Hany Party Game (Star Ball) is a simple strategy puzzle game where you play components (slides and bounce pads) around a playing grid and then set a ball in motion with the object of collecting all the candies on the screen and getting to the goal. It's kind of like Lemmings with a ball:
I know this is a difficult game to explain, so check out the picture below first before reading on, so you can kinda visualize what's happening:
Basically, you have a certain number of slanted peices (that look like / or \ and can be rotated between the two orientations) and a number of flat pieces (that look like _ and operate as a trampoline for the ball) that you can place around the screen in an effort to direct the ball from the top of the screen, to collect all the candies around the screen and down through the goal at the bottom (these pieces are in blue). Fixed peices of various shapes and sizes are also on the screen (in red), and you will have to use these to your advantage. The stages become increasingly difficult as you find it harder and harder to use the peices you have and successfully collect all the candies while directing the ball to its destination.
The graphics are passable. They are colorful and well drawn. What animations exist (a laughing kid on the side of the screen and the ball moving through your contraption) are well executed but sparse. It looks very professional (as it should) and are pleasant enough that they don't bother game play.
GRAPHICS = 7/10
Music and Sound
The music, like all GP32 games, is basic. There is some popping when the song loops, which is barely noticeable as the loop is relatively long, but is definitely there. The song changes during some stages, but they all sound about the same - bubbly, happy pokemon-ish music that you wouldn't normally play at a party unless you were five years old. With that said, it fit the mood of the game well and really wasn't a distraction.
MUSIC & SOUND = 7/10
The game, as described above, is very simple in nature. You guide the ball with what pieces you have throughout the screen and out the goal, very similar to Lemmings, but with a ball instead of a bunch of lemmings. Screens get more and more complex adding such interesting innovations as elevators (indicated by white arrows in yellow blocks - see the picture above) (when a ball touches a piece on an elevator square, the ball is elevated a number of squares and than rolls of the peice the indicated direction, either / or \ depending on the piece).
You can rotate blue pieces with B and move blue pieces by selecting the piece with A and moving it with the control stick. R starts the Ball rolling through your setup. You can press R a second time to speed the ball up if you're just curious as to where it'll end up (for trouble shooting your design). The L button is used to reset the pieces to the beginning setup or to stop the ball from rolling and start over depending on what screen your on. Red pieces litter the board and are unmovable. You'll have to use these in every level as you'll never have enough blue pieces to get the ball to every piece of candy and the goal.
There are three levels of difficulty which must be cleared in order, with 20 boards per level. I've only completed about halfway through normal so far (the second level), but it's definitely a lot of fun.
PLAYABILITY = 9/10
Well, this is one of those simple games that anyone can pick up. Personally, I like it a lot. You can brainstorm about a board for awhile, try a couple different configurations out and try again. It's excellant for short commutes or waits as it has automatic save everytime you complete a level and boots up very quickly. You can get the smartmedia card version from Lik-Sang for $19.99 USD under the title Hany Party Games. This "cartridge" is a 16 MB SM card with both Star Ball and Tower Master bundled together. You could also download it from Joy GP for 8000 kw (about $6.90 USD). So its slightly cheaper if you buy both of them and download them, but the "cartridge" is nice and comes complete with a nice box and instructions. Plus you can use it on any GP32, not just your own. Either way, if you like strategy/puzzle games, it's worth the money.
OVERALL = 8/10
Edited by hwong3, 13 September 2004 - 08:32 PM.