Road to Ballhalla

Game review by
Michael Lafferty, Common Sense Media
Road to Ballhalla Game Poster Image
"Roll-playing" game delights in bad puns but is too short.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

While no overtly positive messages, completing a level in fastest time is its own reward. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

No role models; players control a ball around levels.

Ease of Play

Simple control scheme, but puzzle layouts can provide challenge the deeper you go.

Violence & Scariness

if you make a mistake, your ball disintegrates and you start over.

Language
Consumerism

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Road to Ballhalla is a downloadable pinball/arcade-puzzle game that's fairly straightforward. There are some rather sizable elements -- such as the ability to create map boards/levels -- that still haven't been integrated. This is a rhythm-driven game, which means that timing moves made to music can produce positive results. Each level is also timed, adding to game pressure, but there's no violence. If players roll into a hazard, the ball disintegrates, and play resumes. 

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What's it about?

ROAD TO BALLHALLA is an arcade puzzle-based game that sports 20 levels and no storyline and essentially challenges players to move a ball from one end of a game level to the other, avoiding hazards that will consume time and force a respawn. The game incorporates rhythm-driven elements where players can time the activation of hazards to the music to move along without incident.

Is it any good?

Bad, groan-worthy puns meets a ball puzzler with mixed results. This game features bright and colorful levels, and while it starts off easing players into the concept of its rhythm-driven aspects, the challenge soon ramps up. Players are, essentially, playing against themselves in trying to set the best time through the levels. But since stages aren't dynamic and there are only 20 total at this point, this turns into a short game that can be completed in about two and a half to three hours. There are also elements missing, such as the ability to create personal levels (an add-on to be released in the future will enable players to build their own levels and challenges). Ballhalla also would benefit from leaderboards and the ability to share levels, but that may be in the game's future as well. Still, Road to Ballhalla does have plenty of character. The puns fly fast and furious, and if players enjoy bad puns, this title will prove delightful. The uniqueness of the rhythm-driven game elements are very nice as well. Road to Ballhalla is a pleasant diversion; there just isn't enough of a game here to elevate it to extraordinary status. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about strategy. How can you use strategy in this game and in real life? How will having a strategy provide a better outcome?

  • Families also can talk about limiting screen time and becoming more active in real life. This would include not only playing video games but spending too much time in front of the television or using smartphones.

Game details

  • Platforms: Windows
  • Price: $14.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: tinyBuild
  • Release date: August 5, 2016
  • Genre: Arcade
  • Topics: Music and Sing-Along
  • ESRB rating: NR for No Descriptions

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love puzzles

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