DescriptionMadballs in Babo: Invasion
is a game based on a toy-line of rubber balls of the same name, originally started in the mid-1980s and revived at the end of 2007. It is a mostly top-down shooter where the player controls one of these armed balls in a series of maze-like levels with slightly different paths leading to the same level goal.
It is set on the planet Babolon where balls of rock and goo evolved quickly into intelligent beings when the planet was hit by a streak of green light. The race was quickly divided into two factions, B*D*I and Scorched, both in search for the artifact that crashed on the planet, while a third faction was already trying to solve the mystery as well.
The singleplayer portion consists of a Campaign mode, Level Attack and Boot Camp (training). In the main mode players choose one of the two available factions to play an identical set of levels. Each faction also consists of five different classes based on health, speed, certain resistances and weaknesses, and specific abilities. The available classes are Assault, Heavy, Support, Flyer and Runner. They need to be unlocked gradually and it is encouraged to replay levels as certain functions and weapons only become available after a while.
The ball needs to traverse the levels, take out enemies with ranged weapons such as lasers or grenades and collect items, health, and solve small puzzles. Often there is an option to change the weapon, access terminals for additional information, or change the main character to a different class using a transmogrifier. All weapons generally have two shooting options and other special abilities (a spinning attack, bursts of speed) are tied to specific classes and factions. In later levels, the balls meet opponents with specific weaknesses that need to be taken advantage of using the appropriate weapon.
Even though most areas are maze-like and cramped, there are many different ways to approach them, using bridges, hidden passageways and jump pads. The gameplay is mostly action-based, but there are also some minor puzzle elements; often a number of glowing levels need to be touched to open up forcefields.
The multiplayer potion of the game offers online co-op with up to four players for individual levels or an Endure mode for the entire campaign, and regular match-ups with 21 maps and up to sixteen players.
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