It was only the number "4" that made me wonder what's the deal with this Red Ball game. It doesn't look like a solid franchise. On the contrary, there is a plethora of developers who seem to have produced at least some sort of game featuring a red ball. There is even a "Red Ball 6" and a Red Ball Adventure. Upon closer inspection though, it seems that most don't even reach the knee of Red Ball 4. The technical and visual accomplishment, while not extraordinary, makes Red Ball 4 the cream of the red ball crop. So you can rest assured that we're dealing with quality here.
In this wonderful bi-dimensional sidescrolling world, our hero witnesses his rotund brethren being squared out by the evil black squares. These communist-like evil shapes want everybody to look and perform like them (that is be poor at rolling about). Out hero suddenly comes to a weird realization. If things continue the way they are, the world itself will become a square! We don't want that to happen, do we?
Therefore, our protagonist sets out to jump on evil squares, collect stars and solve puzzles in order to reach... er, new levels and settings I guess.
Controlling the red ball is straightforward, albeit difficult at times. The ball has a strong grip and a powerful tendency to accelerate. It can be controlled in mid air too, which makes things a tad easier. However, standing on a wooden box which floats on water is a rather tricky business. The challenges in Red Ball 4 are based on seemingly impossible tasks of reaching high and/or far ledges. But by pushing boxes, adjusting ramps, and gathering momentum, these feats are quite possible.
Enemies come in the form rolling (imagine) squares that steal one heart from you if they're not met with a vertical drop. Three hearts and you're dead. You're also dead if you touch water. That ball goes down faster than an anvil. Facing water, the boxes suffer the same fate too. They all... bleed red, so to speak.
Red Ball 4 is free to play, but you only get 5 lives at a time. To get more you must agree to watch an advert a couple of times or wait for several minutes to get more. Quite the pain, but you can also pay them a coffee and get unlimited lives and all levels unlocked for you. Quite a sweat deal if you ask me. If you enjoy the gameplay that is.
Red Ball 4 is a decent physics based action puzzler. Yes, it's less of a puzzle than action, but it's not all high octane jumping all the time either. It is a decent mix which might be perfect for the tired mind and nimble fingers that some have out there.