Sky Ball

App review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Sky Ball App Poster Image
Missing instructions, fast pace deflate fun, replayability.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Limited tutorial basically tells you how to move ball, but not where you should be aiming, or why. Adds to frustration of play.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

Ads prominently displayed on bottom of screen, pop up in between rounds; kids can pay $2.99 to remove them.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Sky Ball is an action game based around a player's reflexes. Players are frequently harassed with advertising throughout the entire experience -- the game actually opens with an offer to watch an ad, and players are prompted to get a free wheel spin and a second chance to play a round for watching an ad. Commercials also pop up between rounds. To remove them, it'll cost $2.99. Fortunately, while there are lots of ads, there's no inappropriate content in the game or contact with other users, which is a plus.

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What's it about?

In SKY BALL, players try to maneuver a ball that's zooming through the sky, gradually sinking lower. They move it by swiping left or right, trying to land on long, thin platforms. Hitting certain areas wins points. Players are also given gems for completing various tasks, such as playing once a day. Gems can be spent on balls or blocks, which act as new avatars to roll with.

Is it any good?

This action game isn't hard to play, but its lack of instruction, its accelerated speed, and its missing goals quickly drain the fun out of it. Sky Ball isn't necessarily hard to play; you're trying to keep a ball that's hurtling through the sky from falling, presumably to the ground. By swiping in either direction, you can have some control over its path, but the game instructions are so brief (they're literally one sentence: "Drag to control"), that it's unclear how you can win. You're not told where you're supposed to aim the ball, why you're earning points as you touch down on surfaces, or what the points might be used for. Including information about what part of each landing area you want to target or the ultimate goal of the game would shed some light on the game objectives. The ball moves fast, so without having much idea what you're doing, you can't play long without losing altitude and seeing the round end quickly -- which doesn't make playing very fun, and doesn't really give players much incentive to come back and play again.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about answering questions. The game doesn't offer many answers or directions; if that were to happen in the real world, how do you handle these issues, especially when you have questions?

  • Kids and adults may need to play this game a few times to get the hang of it -- which can be a good way to get them thinking about perseverance. Is there an example you can think of involving a time when not giving up paid off?

  • It's easy to get sucked into playing app games. How much time is too much time to spend on an app like Sky Ball? What are some other things you could do that don't involve extra screen time?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: March 23, 2018
  • Category: Action Games
  • Size: 171.00 MB
  • Publisher: Ketchapp
  • Version: 1.1
  • Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 7.0 or later and Android 4.1 and up.

For kids who love action

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