I’m sure most of our you have played Skee Ball at an arcade before. If you haven’t, it’s an amazing game, and surprisingly addictive! Ramp Champ brings you a similar experience packed in your mobile powerhouse (also known as, your iPhone) for the small price of $1.99.
Ramp Champ is the Iconfactory’s latest creation, as the successor of their two other marvelous apps.
There are many reasons I enjoyed this game so much. Sure, the icon looks gorgeous, and the price isn’t too bad either [$1.99], but that’s not the main one. The main reason is the replay value of the game. We will take a look at this later in the review, along with a few other key points that I’d like to discuss with you.
Let’s start at the interface of the application first. It’s is fairly simple to understand, and there is a lot of eye candy in the game. The colors are vivid, and the targets are great looking as well. The person who created all the graphics for this game is truly talented, and it definitely shows. In a nutshell, the interface of Ramp Champ is excellent.
The gameplay itself is very simple as well. If you enjoy playing Skee Ball, you’ll enjoy this. The objective is exactly the same in Ramp Champ as it is in real life Skee Ball – knock down the targets. The farther the target is, the more points you receive for knocking it down. This sounds easy, but it isn’t, especially with the time constraint. You have a specific amount of time to complete each level. Obviously, the faster you complete a level, the more points you receive.
Controls are simple and share the same strangely compelling gameplay as Paper Toss. Flicking your finger from the bottom throws the ball. The faster you flick your finger, the farther the ball will go, with more and more power. You can also flick your finger directionally. To toss your ball to the left a little, you flick your finger to the left, in hopes that it will make contact with the target. All of the targets award different amounts of points.
Included in the game are four different Skee Ball Machines. Clown Town has a carnival theme, Breakwater Bay is underwater, Space Swarm tips its hat at Space Invaders, and the Icon Garden pays homage to Iconfactory’s roots in icon design. There are currently five different addons (in-app purchases), one of them being free. The free add-on supplies an extra Skee Ball Machine, as well as nine new prizes (which will be discussed later in the review). Currently, you can buy the Voyage Pack, Adventure Pack, Challenge Pack, and the Halloween pack. Each pack provides an extra two ramps / Skee Ball machines, as well as some other goodies, including more prizes and trophies.
If you download the free add-on, you will get an extra ramp called North Pole. It features moving objects such as elves and reigndeer. You won’t see me complaining about the free add-on; North Pole is my favorite ramp!
After you finish playing, you receive a certain amount of tickets, which is based on how well you did. This replicates an actual Skee Ball machine. With your tickets, you can buy prizes and view them later on. If you have downloaded an add-on, you will have extra prizes that you can buy.
If you’re old enough to have been around when arcades were popular, you likely have fond memories of dumping quarters in to skee ball machines, cramming your pockets full of tickets, and claiming some completely worthless reward from the prize counter. As the eventual owner of several of those terribly useless over-sized stuffed animals, Ramp Champ has provided an awesome amount of nostalgia. There’s more to the game though as each of the four included machines also have their own sub-set of goals (achievements). Completing all the goals requires a high amount of precision, and in my few days with the game I’ve been unable to complete more than a few of them.
This brings us to the replay value of the game, something which I mentioned in the beginning of the review. The challenges keep you coming back for more, attempting to complete more and more of them every time. Many of the goals seem simple, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. An example would be when you are required to knock down six targets with 10 balls. As you go along, they get extremely tough, and I sometimes begin to question if it’s even possible.
Anyways, to sum it up, Ramp Champ is a great game that will keep you coming back for some more. At first, it doesn’t seem to be worth the $1.99, but as you play it, you realize the true value and appreciate the game, as I have. Ramp Champ is a hit, just like the Iconfactory’s other apps.
Our Rating: 4.5 / 5
Developer Link: Iconfactory