Recently, I was asked to play an online browser game named NeuronBall by one of the gaming news outlets I follow on Twitter. I’ve been playing the game for three days, and I’m going to share my first hand experiences with you!
The primary gameplay in NeuronBall is that you manage a team of robots in order to compete in a soccer-esque sport. Now, you don’t actually play as your robots, or even direct them around the field for that manner. All of that is automatically done for you. The entirety of player action comes in the form of you customizing your robot’s stats and parts, and changing their formation. Think of it as those sports games that allow you to customize all of your players, but they didn’t let you play the actual game.
The lack of gameplay wouldn’t have been bad if the customization was at least something worth mentioning. This would at least invest me in my robots like a coach would his players. The farthest the customization of your robots ever go is to change your team color and design, and I couldn’t find a place for me to change my robot’s names. They’re randomly given a name, which is in itself a complicated and long name that is a mouth full to try and say. Needless to say, I’m disappointed by how limited customization is from a game that’s really lacking any serious gameplay.
Another thing that really hampered my experience was how annoyingly random the game felt. I had around eight games under my belt, which isn’t a lot. I didn’t level up my robots a lot, so I could understand if they got smoked in that regard. However, I faced people with less games played than I did, which should have meant they had a lower level than my bots. I would then proceed to lose 0-3. The sad thing is that it couldn’t even be attributed to simple strategy due to the team layout, as all of my opponents usually had three defenders and two scorers like me, making our teams dead even. And now that I’m thinking about it, I had more goalkeepers than him, which would usually bring me under the assumption that my goal would be more protected. Sometimes, one of their robots would stay behind and attack my robots, while mine just took it! Not only did this cause me to lose the match, but I could find no way to have my own robots attack my opponents.
All in all, it felt like I had no control over the behavior such as that on my robots.
Also, while we’re on the topic of unfair things in the game, let me talk about the boosts. These are stat increases that will essentially turn your robot into a Super Saiyan, which you can give to your robot before every match. If you win a match, you receive a boost. Simple as that. These boosts have the power to singlehandedly win an entire game, just because of how significant the stat increase is. It takes away from the strategy of setting up a team formation, when you have a robot that can plow through your entire front and back lines in seconds to score many times during your game. There’s also stat boosts for your entire team if you have supporters with you, which are basically people watching who decide to press a button in your favor. I shouldn’t be losing because you have two friends giving unfair stats to your team. And the sad part about supporter stat boosts? You can support yourself, essentially giving you an edge over your opponent without having any friends.
And as a final complaint…NeuronBall felt like it was way too grindy, and wanted to push you to try and buy micro-transactions. Most of the micro-transactions in game came from buying energy charges, which would be used to speed up building your headquarters and charging your robots. The headquarters offers a lot of helpful options to make your life easier, such as increasing how much money you earn after each game or even building you robots.
As far as robot’s charges goes, it takes about two games from where I was to make your robot close to empty. This isn’t even bringing into consideration certain parts that take up charge faster while playing. The recharge time, for only allowing me to play two games, is ridiculous. My robot was at 8% charge when I had to leave the computer because I had to watch something for an hour. I came back to find said robot at 50% charge…you’ve gotta be kidding me. Essentially, due to my busy schedule, I could only play about four to six games in a single night without using an energy boost.
If you’re offering me gameplay without gameplay, I would at least like to play when I please. I’d rather not have to wait an hour to have a chance at making it through an entire game without powering down. And for fun, wanna know how much it costs for the highest transaction available? $70, for 210 charges. WHO HAS $70 BUCKS LAYING AROUND FOR A BROWSER GAME!?!?!
Errr…sorry. I lost my cool there.
As you can see, I did not have a good experience with this game. I went in totally transparent, liking the concept by the way, but was let down. So, in all honesty, I can’t recommend NeuronBall. I’d give it a 4/10, because I at least enjoyed the idea they were going for.
It certainly isn’t Rocket League. Go play that if you wanna see something mechanical playing soccer, and controlling it.
I’m finished for now. Let me know if you like for me to review a browser game like this! I certainly liked doing this…even though I didn’t like the game itself, and found it easy to be able to do. Leave a like telling me what you think, and maybe even recommend a browser game I should check out.
But until next time, this has been the Anime Analyst. Zachary, out.