Wish I was a Baller...
You might have heard the name Dude Perfect before, particularly if you frequent Youtube. The Dude Perfect guys are a bunch of Christians who love Basketball and have used their sport to promote charity and their religion on the internet. What makes them worth watching is the way they play, using objects and setting up some impossible looking shots.
The game ignores the religion and charity parts and aims to take this to a logical conclusion in a style not too dissimilar from Angry Birds. Each level has a basket, a baller (sometimes two) and a variety of objects in your way.
Far from asking you to get the ball in the basket without hitting anything, it actually encourages you to bounce it off as many objects as possible before finally getting that basket. A minimum score is required to pass the level and each bounce has a score attached, depending on where and how it hits. You get three balls to try, each removing the score from the last attempt (a mode to score higher using all three balls would be welcome here). How many balls you use is captured at the end of the level, but there seems to be a missed opportunity with this on leaderboards.
Presentation takes the form of the sort of bright pastel colours Sega would be proud of and some nice cartoon style backgrounds. It’s all very pleasant, but can feel a little basic on early levels. What it does achieve, though, is a good platform for the game without cluttering the screen.
As you progress through the various stages, more items will be placed in your path, including aeroplanes and moving clouds, all of which will have some impact on the ball. The minimum score, too, will be raised to create a greater challenge.
On later levels you can have two players and the ball passes to the second when it gets close. What annoyed me about this was that the score was reset. It felt as if catching the ball was an error rather than something that should be encouraged. I would have liked to see much more emphasis on encouraging teamwork to gain higher scores and maybe even stretch this to three players on later levels. Finally, the last set of levels are set around a water park and while the water is fatal (and very annoying, I might add) the addition of bouncy items that propel your ball further is a great idea, it’s just a pity that this is over too soon.
None of this would be of any interest if the physics themselves didn’t work. I’m pleased to say that the ball physics are actually pretty good, though with so much on screen it can be very hard (if not impossible) to predict the path of the ball. This makes it far more a game of chance and luck than skill.
If the game was about aiming for the basket and nothing else then it would be an easy task, but the other objects on the level provide an unknown quantity to the path of the ball. I was still in two minds whether I liked this approach half way through, but as I got used to it I found that the constant retries were actually the sort of challenge I relish. Others expecting the more logical approach that Angry Birds takes lacking in Dude Perfect and will be annoyed rather than challenged by the random nature of levels and the single goal.
Another annoyance is the adverts for a website that gives out rewards for gameplay. While you can sign up to this and it does look like a legitimate competition, it feels misplaced coming up between every set of levels, as well as in scenery items.
On the iPod Touch the game seemed slightly cramped, though still playable. Playing Dude Perfect on the iPad, it opened up the game and made it far more playable, not to mention easier to control. This will be the same with many physics games that require finger swipes, but more so here with so many objects to navigate around.
Still, if you’re looking for another physics game and don’t want a carbon copy of Angry Birds then Dude Perfect may be worth downloading. It’s not perfect, as the title might suggest, but certainly provides a fun, if short, challenge.
- Sound: 7
- Graphics: 7
- Gameplay: 7
- Longevity: 6
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