While you think BlackBerry buffs are jutting down the street and bumping into people because they’re buried in their emails, think again. They’re more than likely shooting for a high score in Magmic’s Ka-Glom or some sort of other BlackBerry gaming goodness. It’s true.
I thought I’d take a little bit of time to step away from the more serious-leaning apps (who caught that BlinkBerry review?), and sit down with Simbsoft’s Volleyball. What better way to tease folks confined to a cold cubicle than by flaunting some fun in the sun right in front of them? Check out our review of Simbsoft’s Volleyball after the jump.
If I’ve learned anything from perusing our pals over at QuicklyBored.com (your source for mobile gaming news, by the way), it’s that mobile games need to be simple and fun. Don’t confuse things with complex controls and elaborate storylines. Simbsoft took note with their Volleyball title pitting two blobs of nothingness (lovingly called “Jelly Boys”) against each other while they work on their tans under the hot beach sun, occasionally shooting a volleyball over a net.
You can pick up Volleyball from the BlackBerry Cool Store, or directly from Simbsoft’s official site. The app only weighs in at 500 kb so you won’t waste any time downloading, only playing. In order to get in on the gameplay, you’ve got to be carrying a BlackBerry 71xx, 72xx, 75xx, 77xx, or 8700 device. A little volleyball will make an appearance on your main screen once the game’s installed.
Volleyball loads nice and quick and presents you with a few options. You can start a new games, check your stats, hit the options menu to edit your player name and a few other settings, learn about the game, get some help, or exit. If you’re up for a quick game, just hit the start button and have at it.
If you’re looking for a more customizable experience, give it a second and head to the “options” menu. Here you can choose what colour you’d like your “Jelly Boy” to be from a few selected picks from the spectrum, and edit the jelly’s name. You can also edit the same options for your CPU opponent, as well as editing their level of skill. Up for more of a spectator sport? You can choose to sit out and change your status to CPU as well to see the experts go at it for a bit.
As for the rules, well, if you don’t know the rules to volleyball, I suggest watching volleyball star Gabrielle Reese on NBC instead of using this app to pick them up. But the gist is you’ve got three hits to get the ball over the net and have it hit the floor before your opponent can get in there and try to do the same to you (full instructions are available in the game and on Simbsoft’s site).
The graphics are great for what they are. A simply designed beach background with a couple animated “Jelly Boy’s” bouncing around really isn’t that enthralling, but remember, we’re not looking for that in a mobile game, persay. We’re looking for fun. The colours and animations take care of that.
As for controls, you can choose to use either the trackwheel or set controls on your keypad. The trackwheel was my weapon of choice (I found the keyboard pretty awkward). To go left, you move your trackwheel up. Right, move it down. And to jump just give that wheel a little click to send that ball home.
Overall, Simbsoft’s Volleyball was a nice distraction from my day-to-day dailies. But with the great graphics and gameplay being a solid volley and set, they missed on the spike with a $9.95 USD price tag. If I’m going to shell out $10 for a game, I’m going to want a little more involvement than some bumps and spikes. Simboft’s Volleyball is available from the BlackBerry Cool Store.
BlackBerry Cool rating: B