Think outside of the box as you try to throw a ball into a box
What does the lead designer of Monument Valley 2 do in his spare time? Create more games, of course! Jonathan Topf is back with the sequel to Trick Shot, a game almost entirely made on the commute to and from work.
The principle here is breathtakingly simple: get the ball in the box. Drag back to aim, release to fire – much like Angry Birds – and watch as your ball ricochets around the stage, bouncing around an often complex array of obstacles. If it lands in the box, you win, with a bonus star awarded if you can get a direct goal without rattling the edges.
Games like this live or die on their level design, and luckily the challenges in Trick Shot 2 are inventive, clever, and satisfying to complete. They do occasionally require a little too much trial-and-error to achieve the perfect bounce, but in general, we found the satisfaction of a sweet trick shot outweighed any frustration.
Levels variously include buttons, levels, portals, and gravity machines to mix up the play and make those trick shots that little bit, uh, trickier. It would perhaps be interesting to see a few more physics-based challenges – objects that can be toppled domino-style, perhaps – but there’s just enough here to stay fresh over 90 levels. The graphics are well-polished, with a simplistic charm that takes a back seat to the action.
This time around, there’s a level creator included so players can design their own stages to share with their friends. It’s not a last-minute addition, either – the in-game level editor was used by the developer himself to make every level of the game while sat on the train. You can almost tell these stages were designed on the go, as a good chunk of them seem inspired by real-life observations and interactions.
The level creation interface can seem a bit confusing at first, but you only have to edit a few existing levels to get to grips with how the various mechanics work. We also found the community shared levels a bit buggy – but luckily there are plenty of pre-made stages to work through
Overall, this game is a joy to play. Admittedly there’s not much depth here, and the concept isn’t entirely new, but for $3/£3 that doesn’t really matter. Lining up the perfect shot, bouncing balls through tight gaps, off insane platforms, and into bizarre moving parts is a great way to kill a few minutes when you’re sat on the bus or train. Even more impressive considering it was designed on one.
If you enjoyed the first Trick Shot, buying this version is a no-brainer – and if you didn’t, this is a good place to start. It’s an entrancing game, at once simplistic and devilish, and though it won’t blow you away, it certainly does enough to deserve a spot on every puzzle-lover’s Home screen.
- Very satisfying to play
- Lots of varied levels
- Robust level editor
- Not super original
- Slightly buggy