Fuzzball Review

Fuzzball manages to get across it’s concept in about 2 seconds – using your ball, hit the other balls off of the screen or into hazards to win. Simple stuff, yet there’s enough here to keep us coming back for a few more rounds.

Each of the characters are so sweetly designed it’s almost sickening, with their rotund bodies housing exaggerated features that scream children’s cartoon. The arenas take place in real world, house bound environments such as on top of a cooking stove, a study or even on top of the toilet. They’re pretty simple looking affairs, but there’s enough twists and extra that make each one feel unique and fun.

The Study for example features a pair of possessed books that will much any Fuzzballs that roll their way, while the stove top has electric elements that randomly come on and burn any Fuzzballs unlucky enough to still be on top of them.

It’s not as simple as just avoiding these traps mind, as the crux of the game sees up to four players bashing each other around in order to be the last ball standi…rolling. We can use both light and heavy attacks, while a jump lets us hop out of danger. That’s pretty much it, and it falls to the physics to do some of the heavy lifting, as we angle for that sweet smack to send the opponents off of the screen. The default mode gives us five lives, with a fall out or death by hazard draining one at a time until we run out.

Moving the balls feels a little heavy to start with, though that same weight allows us to survive weaker hits. It’s not long before each character is slinging themselves around at some speed though, attempting to get the win. While it’s perhaps not as deep as some offerings out there, there’s still enough to Fuzzball that could provide a solid returning game to local game nights.

Two other modes feature, in Party Mode and Flexiball. The former removes the live count, instead opting for a time based affair that also introduces random challenges to complete to get the highest score. Events will pop up on the playing field such as a short platforming challenge, or a series of checkpoints to hit in order, and the first player to do so gains the points. Eliminations still count, and there are often extra balls on the stage to knock off in addition to the other players, but clearing these objectives is the way to victory. Due to the perspective I did find some, such as the platforming one, to be a bit tricky to pull off. But these added elements did make for a nice alternative mode if all out brawling gets tiresome.

The Flexiball mode is a bit of an oddity, and wasn’t something I especially enjoyed. Here, players compete as before, but the rules are constantly changing thanks to picking up words dropped into the stage. Playing as the dog character, for example, might see you defeated when another player picks up the word Dog Is Defeat, or even changed to another animal with Dog Is Cat. While the idea isn’t bad, I found it to be far less engaging than the other modes, and didn’t come back after very long.

Conclusion

While hardly the deepest game in the world, Fuzzball still manages to be a fun little local party game. It’s very easy to pick up and play, with some lovely designed characters and levels to choose from. The Flexiball mode is a miss for me, but Versus and Party Mode managed to keep me coming back, and likely will do when it comes time for a game night again soon.

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This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by the publisher.
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Good
  • Cute, kids cartoon-like characters
  • Levels are all different with unique elements
  • Versus and Party Modes are a good laugh
Bad
  • Flexiball wasn't as much fun unfortunately
  • Perspective makes some of the random events a bit tricky
6.9
Okay
Gameplay - 7
Graphics - 7.5
Audio - 6
Longevity - 7
Written by
I've been gaming since Spy vs Spy on the Master System, growing up as a Sega kid before realising the joy of multi-platform gaming. These days I can mostly be found on smaller indie titles, the occasional big RPG and doing poorly at Rainbow Six: Siege. Gamertag: Enaksan

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