Developer: Anvilbird Interactive
Publisher: Ratalaika Games SL
Genre: Platformer, Physics
Platform: PlayStation 4 (also available on Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One)
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 20/01/2021
A code was provided for review purposes.
Balancelot, More Like Die-A-Lot
Have you ever played a game that, at times, makes you want to hit yourself in the face with a cricket bat? Think of uncanny, wonky, physics-based games like QWOP or Getting Over It. These rage-inducing, weird games are cult hits but I am not sure they are that good or even that enjoyable. Welcome to the Rapid Reviews Balancelot PlayStation 4 review, sit back and prepare for disappointment.
Balancelot has you riding a unicycle through weird obstacle courses filled with snails and lion-like baddies with far too many legs. Saying that back to myself makes me think this game doesn’t actually exist, and I actually dreamt it. Your task is easy. Get to the end of the level on your one-wheeled rage machine. Except it’s not easy, it’s bloody annoying.
Wibbly Wobbly Frustration
You use your L1 and R1 buttons to propel yourself forwards or backwards and then use your analogue stick to balance yourself. You have a jump button, a stab button, and that is about it. What follows is you wobbling your way through the level, jumping over obstacles, stabbing enemies in the face and dying repeatedly. Sometimes, your deaths are quite funny, but the hilarity wears thin after dying for the tenth time on a stupid, mundane gap.
This kind of game feels strange to me. I mean, it feels like added artificial difficulty and frustration just to mask the fact that the game is actually boring and quite bland. Take the wonky controls out and what you have left is very elementary. I liked Octodad, which had these same wacky controls, but that had an interesting game to back it up. This just feels like a gimmick and not a very entertaining one at that.
A Trophy Hunter’s Dream
Balancelot is published by Ratalaika, so you know what that means, I had seventy-six per cent of the trophies at the end of the first stage and the platinum by level four. Even to me, as a person who likes a trophy or two, is ridiculous. You should at least have to finish the game to warrant the platinum trophy. I mean, I am not sure many would get to the end of this wibbly-wobbly stress simulator but that is not the point.
Graphically, while basic, the game has a slideshow, puppet-like look to it. The aesthetic and style are the same in the game’s opening cutscene, so at least the games art-style is consistent, even if it is not technically pleasing. Sound-wise, the game is quite poor. Basic sound effects and forgettable music do not do much for the games overall presentation.
The game ran well, which is something I suppose. There were no crashes, errors or glitches apart from the frustrating controls and controller squeezing gameplay. I had a hassle-free time. I also quite liked the name of the game. It’s a good pun and quite inventive. Unfortunately, this is where my positive thoughts on the game end.
Just Play Something Else, Unless You Want Some Easy But Frustrating Trophies
So, as you might have guessed, this game is not one I can recommend. It feels very basic with an annoying control scheme lobbed on top. To me, this feels like a way to mask the game’s boring nature and make it artificially more difficult. I don’t mind these weird physics games, as long as they are fun and interesting. Unfortunately, Balancealot is not. Play something else instead.
Rapid Reviews Rating
2 out of 5
If you would like to purchase Balancelot, you can on the PlayStation store here.
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.