Marble Sumo

Marble Sumo Movement
Players:
1-2
Multiplayer:GameCenter, Pass'n'Play
AI:Yes, easy difficulty
Universal App:Yes (there is a single app which works on both iPhone and iPad in HD)
Purchase for iPhone:Use link below to purchase universal app
Purchase for iPad:

Price: Free
User rating:
GD Star Rating
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Marble Sumo, 6.5 out of 10 based on 4 ratings

Marble Sumo from SketchAPI is a modern take on a classic marbles game. This elegantly simple game takes place on a hexagonal board, where you and your opponent attempt to push each other’s marbles over the edge. It’s surprisingly engaging for such a quick game, and you’ll find yourself reminded of other simple 2-player games, such as Tic-Tac-Toe.

Marble Sumo Starting Screen

Gameplay

When you first open the app, you’re presented with an animated tutorial, showing you the clean interface of the board, the movement of the marbles, and the rather simple rules. You can push either one, two, or three of your marbles against an opponent’s, moving them all one space. In this manner, your goal is to push six of your opponent’s marbles off the board to win.

Marble Sumo Single Player mode

The board is just large enough that players need to actively seek each other out, but also small enough that a mistake could cost you a marble. The simplicity and speed of play really makes putting it down after starting a match tough, but if you manage to pull yourself away, don’t worry, your game is saved. With rules and gameplay that can be explained in under a minute, it’s easy to see this game as a quick distraction between other tasks.

Implementation

The movement of the marbles is smooth and about realistic as you can get without sound effects. They allow you to move them, while still dragging, a full 360 degrees and one marble’s diameter out from their starting point. Neighboring marbles are shoved, within limits, out of the way while you’re doing this, but as soon as you let go of the marble, it will drop into the nearest legal move available, the other marbles following suit. This technical feature will likely entertain you at some point, but otherwise it might frustrate you, as a quick swipe in slightly the wrong direction could mean you make a move you didn’t want to.

Marble Sumo marble movement

When playing against the AI, this is simply fixed by hitting the back button, and I can’t think of any other reason you’d use that feature. To be honest, the single player version of the game features an AI that is about as challenging as the 3-year old who lives next door to me. It only attempts to move your marbles when they move conveniently next to its own, and it only moves its marbles out of the way when they’re facing certain doom. Otherwise, the AI just tends to move its marbles back and forth in a corner of the board, possibly computing the highest digits of pi, while you shove one of its marbles into an obvious trap.

The online play via the GameCenter is the better option if you have no one nearby to play with, but the game’s simple UI might be too simple in this part of the app. It’s sometimes unclear who’s playing which color, whose turn it is, and how to permanently leave a game, as closing the app will just return you to the same game the next time you open it.

Marble Sumo match played out

Verdict

There’s still some areas where this app needs some polishing. But for $0.99, this is a nice little ad-free game that you can teach in under a minute, that will definitely keep you occupied while killing time with friends.



  • counterpoke

    Thx for the review. I know I should skip this one since it has a weak AI.

  • Juju

    That’s just abalone, isn’t it?

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