Mad O Ball 3D: Marble Rolling Fun?

Marble rolling puzzle games can be quite challenging and fun, but they can also be very frustrating for practically the same reasons if the controls are not just right.  Mad O Ball 3D brings marble rolling to the iDevices by using accelerometer controls to tilt and guide the marble through a variety of levels and challenges.


Good puzzles: If you’re looking for a challenge this is it. There are a variety of tracks that will drive you nuts (but that’s not necessarily a bad thing is it?) but you keep coming back because you know it’s completable.

Almost catchy music: The custom soundtrack is a little annoying at first but it does grow on you and really adds a lot of charm to the game.


Bland backgrounds: The 3D environments around the tracks are not very colorful or particularly detailed. Whether this is intentional or not is hard to say. It seems like the background art was cut to save development time and costs, but it is also equally possible that it was done so that the game can run on the lower powered first and second gen iDevices that simply don’t have the processing capacity.  At least they don’t distract in any way from the puzzle at hand.  Although some might argue (myself included) that the distraction is an added layer of difficulty that the game lacks.

Strict Calibration: If you think you can play this game on the go think again. The game seems to have great difficulty playing in any position other than perfectly flat on a table top. Every time I tried to play the game in a non-horizontal position it simply freaked out and the ball just spun around not knowing where to go. I tried to recalibrate in the desired play position but it was still a no go.

Mad O Ball 3D is a tough one to rate. There are some interesting puzzles in the game that can be a tough challenge if that’s what your looking for, but there is a lot of little things that detract from it that leave me feeling that I should probably not recommend it.  If you’re still interested I would suggest trying out the lite version and see for yourself.

Mad O Ball 3D was developed by Tommaso Lintrami, and I played through version 1.0.2 of the game on my iPod Touch 3G (OS 3.1.2).  The current price point of the game is $3.99.

13 thoughts on “Mad O Ball 3D: Marble Rolling Fun?

  1. I didn’t want to believe my workmate, who made the marketing job, but I must admit this is the worse review we got all over the world. Is the first time I hear about difficult controls as, at opposite, I heard about fantastic controls, who beat any other games of this genre.

    Is also the first time (after 32 positive reviews on the Appstore which speaks about great graphics) anybody complains about the poor/cheap graphics.

    I am astonished how can a serious most-visited website like this, can write a so bad article about a great game, without probably to have even tried to actually play the title..

    Good luck with your business,

    Tommaso Lintrami

  2. Well there’s a difference in saying bad controls and complaining about the calibration isn’t there? I didn’t say the controls themselves were bad. The game controls with excellent precision, it just has to be controlled with the iPod flat on a table. Not how I like to play.

    And as far as the graphics go, I can appreciate the 3D environments, but they just seemed like they were a little simplistic.

    So because I’m not a huge fan of the title-I did give it a “Worth a Look” and not an “Avoid”-It’s automatically a bad review? Now who’s being unfair? I didn’t say the game was terrible. The puzzles were actually good challenges and I kinda grooved on the music.

    To question whether or not I actually played the game is flat out insulting. Maybe I should have been harsher and just given it an avoid had I known I was going to be chewed out for not giving it a glowing review. Please reread the article and reconsider your hateful comments.

    As a final note, you can’t please all of the people all of the time. To be frank, no one on the team was interested in doing this review and I took it upon myself to play it and be as fair as possible, given that I was also not interested in the game. I am sorry that I still managed to offend you, despite my reasonable effort to be considerate.

  3. Well, don’t be harder, as I didn’t insult anybody at all. Com’on.
    I just was astonished. And I felt to post a comment.

    I can agree to the simple environment critic, as well as the critic about the calibration don’t allowing to play the game in any kind of position. These critics are both true!

    What I don’t understand is the “Worth a look” only compared to some other titles you are reviewing which are not the best I have seen got a “BUY”.
    Also I don’t understand why to give a such a critic-negative title to the review when actually people around the whole world (first country USA) seems to liked so much the title !

    The point is not if you liked or not the game, we can take that.
    The point here, is that the game isn’t so new, is out since 4 March, so we got a lot of positive reviews, and this bad review leaves just perplexed me and many users out there.

    Said that, I’m not asking for changing the review or anything, but you could expect a comment from the developer, couldn’t you ?


    Tommaso Lintrami
    Breakdown Studios

  4. You keep calling it a “bad” review even if I’m assuming you simply mean that I did not like it rather than it was poorly written It was given a worth a look which is actually a grey area review. It’s not a bad game but its also not particularly good. For me personally I waffled on a buy or worth a look, but ultimately decided that the game was not a buy simply because I did not feel comfortable saying straight out to get the game. I even recommended and linked to the lite version so people would try the game out despite my more or less undecided viewpoint.

    As far as comparing it to other games, this is where the more negative aspect of the game really came in for me. Considering the portable nature of iDevice gaming I have a preference for on-the-go style games and will usually rate them higher for it. After all they are designed with the system’s most common play style in mind.

    Take my recent Orion Racer review for example. I did give it a buy because it was very fast paced and an entire race can be completed in a very short amount of time-perfect for pick up and play a quick session gaming I happen to be a huge fan of. Whereas Mad O Ball requires a great deal of precision, and thus, a lot of time to successfully navigate the puzzles-especially if you are looking to shorten your track times.

    Forgetting about the calibration issue I had, which is quite possibly an error with my iPod rather than the game, I can’t imagine trying to complete a track in a quick “On the John” session. My legs would surely fall asleep! Considering that most people I know prefer to play a quick game in this way I would not want them to be stuck on the can trying to complete a puzzle.

    Finally, I am a very harsh critic in every aspect of my life, especially when it comes to movies and video games. I condiser myself a bit of a snob when it comes to movies and games and will often complain about things that I enjoy. Just one of those personality types I guess. Avatar’s special effects were amazing, but ultimately the film itself was mediocre since the story in essence was so incredibly by the numbers. I still very much love the film, but I do consider it to be mediocre. How is this possible? Conflicting opinions about different aspects of the film.

  5. Hi,
    we completly unndesrtand your criticism, and we take it into consideration for future productions.

    What my pathner here is trying to say, is that, beside all the great comments you gave on your review, there are some words that are a bit hard for us to digest, like when you say “leave me feeling that I should probably not recommend it.”, now that you explain all the points that make you write this decision it is all a lot more clearer, but maybe you should have poinbt out this in the review itself, couse other people like games that are not on the go, and maybe this people will not pick up the game only becouse that was not explained properly. I’m not here to tell you how to do your job, and I’m sure most of the readers here that follow your articles will probably do so, becose thay have your same kind of taste, but when we created this game, we wanted to make something different for the iphone, try to involve more gamers then casual gamers, giving them challanges thaty could take on for hours and we created those graphics, as you said, to make it available to all the iphone owners, 3G and 3Gs.
    Keeping this in mind, I repeat, We have a game that is going really well now, and Iìm sure you are giving a contrubiution to our business with your critques, it was just strange to see, a longer dislike section then the like section 😀
    But don’t worry, we love you all and we will make the perfect game for you too in the coming mnonths!


  6. I quite liked the game, personally. I didn’t expect much, but found the art and accelerometer controls, as well as the tracks great fun. It’s pretty unique, too, being sort of a cross between a ball-roller and racing game. This coming from someone who doesn’t typically get into ball-rollers. I didn’t even enjoy Labyrinth 2, honestly, as I found it quite frustrating. I can’t say this game is superior to Labyrinth 2, but I personally did like it more, as I found it a lot more fun.

  7. Hey hey, what a hot debate!

    I personally liked the game very much. I really don’t understand some of the critics I agree with some other. Overall a great product IMO.-
    I understand the anger of the developer though, is always frustrating to get bad criticism on own work, perhaps I wouldn’t directly tell to reviewers my reasons…

    >>How amusing. Also, please learn English.

    If you didn’t get it, these developers are from EU, one from Italy and one from Sweden,
    yes it seems that not both of them have the same English level but your comment is inappropriate and misplaced.

  8. The reason the Dislike section is longer is to better exlpain why I disliked each item. If I just said I don’t like the calibration then it would be more common for people to simply confuse it with a control problem (as medianotzu still showed confusion). Considering the actual number of likes to dislikes it was even at 2 examples to 2 examples.

    It is because I was fairly even in my like and dislike that I had to give it a worth a look rating. I didn’t particularly feel strongly one way or the other and that seems to be the ideal rating for that. Once again this is not a BAD rating, everyone seems to get confused and assume if its not a buy or a must have it’s a bad game. Mad O Ball is not a bad game, it just didn’t wow me enough to want to recommend that everyone buy it.

  9. Thank you very much for taking our defence, I wonder who have the worst english now 😀

    We are not mother tongue, and I didn’t use a spell check when I wrote my comment, since it “on the run”. Sorry about it, I will take more care about it next time! I hope it was understandable.

  10. I wasn’t confused at all. I actually was not commenting on the review or the back and forth occurring here, simply giving my own impressions of the game.

  11. Hi Travis, with the latest update we made our game universal and is now in HD for the ipad, we have also added some new features, one of this would be the possibility to calibrate the tilt controls in any position at any time, we still prefer to play the game using the device flat down.

    thank you


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