The Minimalist Platforming of Forgotten Ball

Sometimes it’s nice to strip out all the excess and go simple.  Simple like a ball jumping its way through a tower of deadly red obstacles and bottomless pits, the path wrapping around a central column and camera occasionally giving a view to the depths you traversed on the way to the latest checkpoint.  Forgotten Ball is a Kickstarter project for a lovely platform adventure where you’re a ball on a mission to the top of the tower, and it’s got a demo to show that its ambitions are well within reach.  A short demo, admitted, but promising and somehow relaxing at the same time.  It’s like video game comfort food.

As a ball you can do two things- roll and jump.  There’s momentum involved, and one of the videos on the project site shows a jump that’s just a hair too high from a standing start but possible with a bit of force behind it to push the ball over the top of the ledge.  Still, that’s a pretty simple moveset, so Forgotten Ball makes up for it with atmosphere and clever design.  Buttons spin bits of scenery about to create new paths that bend around in twisty 3D, areas wrap around a central column and offer different paths forward, and the demo even contains a a view of the entire world panning by during a particularly impressive section.  The simple look of the game fits the action nicely, and while the size of the map doesn’t make it seem like an epic gaming experience (the developer, Joshua Croft, can clear the whole game front to back in 74 minutes, which should equal at least a couple of hours for a first run through) you can get a full copy of the game for a Kickstarter donation of slightly less than $5.

The demo that’s currently available is a small little thing, but there’s a new one on the way in the next day or two.  It won’t have features like giving the ball some bounce (at the moment it just kind of lands with zero impact) but that’s coming along eventually.  You’ll probably always be able to jump around 90-degree corners, though, because why would you not?  Forgotten Ball is just about complete, needing only a bit of funding to pay some talent for extra art and audio plus secure a Unity license.  How complete, you might ask?  About that complete, and with a few days left on the Kickstarter campaign it’s looking good to fill out the rest of the map-