App Name: Hemball
Categorization: Puzzle, Arcade, Platform
Operating System: iOS 9.3 and higher
Release Date: 03/03/2020
Size: 115 MB
Languages: English, Spanish
This is a reinvention of the platform game - instead of controlling a character around a platform in Hemball you control the platform itself. This is essentially a game where you must dynamically program and re-program the platform in order to route little balls to their correct destinations. In Hemball an ability to plan “on your feet” is as important as problem solving and lightning reactions.
It is a kind of cross between a Pocketeer and Tetris.
Mr Hem, a somewhat unscrupulous businessman, is aiming to dominate the global market in the manufacture of ball-pit balls. Not through brilliant business acumen or an enlightened management style and certainly not through the adoption of technology. Bucking all modern trends and technological advances, the Luddite Hem’s secret has been to find a way of training rats to run the production line for him, thus slashing costs and undercutting all the competition. But the best laid plans of rats and men are not immune from problems and Hem runs into one: rats are colour-blind. His customers keep getting the wrong coloured balls and they are constantly on the phone to him (as he shuns e-mail) to complain about it. His solution: recruit a human "fulfilment director" to sort it all out.
In the guise of the director of fulfilment at a factory making ball-pit balls it is your job to get the product out of the door and on its way to the customers. The finished products arrive at the top and you have to use the design of the platform and the different types of doors between each floor to guide the ball to the matching truck at the bottom. Each truck has a skip sticking out of the top denoting the colour of ball it is waiting for. To facilitate this the platform has a set of buttons adjacent to and which control different types of doors (sliding horizontal and vertical doors and trapdoors) which allow you to modify the route through the platform dynamically. Here again it diverges from the conventional joystick-controlled platformer. If you get it right then the truck zooms away and another truck arrives at the loading bay, if you get it wrong then the logistics foreman will have to take the trucks away from the loading bay for a while to reorganise things. And, of course, there are a few additional complications:
The production line does not wait for you and the balls keep coming out of the pipe at the top
The coloured balls don’t always come in the right order meaning you will have to use the platform’s design and doors to figure out ways to arrange their passage through the platform in the correct order
If you let two balls collide then they burst. This could be an advantage (clearing the way for another ball) or a disadvantage (losing the ball you are trying to get into the waiting truck)
You must complete a set number of orders each shift to “get paid” and each shift has a set amount of time
If you manage to complete your shift there are some bonuses to be earned. If you do particularly well, you will get some overtime to rank up your score. And after you have completed a shift you will be whisked off to another location where a different design of awaits you
In each shift you get three strikes and if you fail to complete your shift in three you get fired
Mr Hem has grand designs for international expansion but no intention of investing grand amounts in achieving it. The frugal Hem is always on the lookout for places to set up shop cheaply (or preferably for free) – with or without the permission of the actual owner!
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