Admittedly upon the first boot up of the title, the initial thought was: What on god’s earth is Polandball? And if I’m honest, I’m still not 100% certain.
Looking a little deeper it’s a satirical cartoon/meme which came out of a ‘cyber war’ between Polish internet users and those from other parts of Europe and the rest of the world.
No, not the best history lesson for the title I admit… But it seems a rather odd title for a game if it’s not being aimed directly square at people from the European country or the aligning countries who were involved in the meme exchanges over in Eastern Europe and parts of Asia.
Anyway, onto the game and as soon as you boot into the title screen it looks sharp and has a crisp little audio soundtrack. Now I’m not one for intros or tutorials so I dived straight in, after all this is a mobile title and the thing that keeps me entertained is if it’s instantly accessible, it’s prerequisite for any game on my phone. It has to grab the attention, as gaming on the go for me is in short, sporadic bursts. (It’s also available on Steam Greenlight for PC gamers)
So what’s the premise? Blast off with your Polandball into the earth’s atmosphere and try and keep going until you run out of fuel, flying higher than all the other ‘countryball’ that look to block your path. On the way there are coins to collect that you can use to upgrade and tweak your craft to get you higher and higher, making it more powerful or lighter, have a higher fuel capacity or spend your currency to make your craft more nimble and with over 80 enhancements there’s plenty to go at.. Using these upgrades make the job of avoiding the other ‘countryballs’ and obstacles that try to halt your path that bit easier… AND they do work.
It’s a simple premise and it feels that way too. It doesn’t try to be something it’s not, a mobile game for me is something that doesn’t keep me captivated for hours, I’ve got my consoles for that. Polandball: Can Into Space does fit the bill in that respect, kudos to the creators of the game, Alien Pixel, it looks good and sounds good, the menus are easy to navigate. As I say it’s is a well-presented, easy to play, has an easy to understand control system… BUT….
I find it difficult to get past the ‘PolandBall/countryball’ thing, there are little ‘in’ jokes about use of language, which is all part of the whole story behind the game but… As alluded to at the start of this piece, I had to have a little history lesson to get to what it was about and it just feels a little too niche for me. Obviously, if you are au fait with the whole meme craze around it then I’m certain that it will be for you.