Ball Breakers is part of Take 2 Interactive's $9.99 value line of games, and miraculously enough, it manages to be well worth the ten bucks. If nothing else, Ball Breakers is a straightforward game. You control one of five cyborg warriors who, instead of having legs, have robotic torsos hovering over a ball. You fight your way through a string of prison levels, each of which has three arenas. Beat the three arenas, advance to the next prison, repeat. While each prison has a supposed theme, it's difficult to distinguish between the prisons.
Through the different prisons, there are seven arena types. "Run the gauntlet" charges you with making it to a goal point within a time limit, all the while avoiding other warriors and obstacles such as flame throwers, spikes, and gun turrets. "Pursuit" is identical, but it adds the challenge of the arena crumbling away at your feet (or ball, as it were.) "Powerball" has you collecting balls throughout the arena and throwing them at a goalpost before time runs out. "Last man rolling," "king of the hill," and "race" all play like they sound, and "tag," which seemingly has nothing to do with the conventional concept of tag, has you collecting a set number of tokens that have been scattered throughout the arena within a set time limit. While there is a lack of variety in the prisons, the constant rotation between the different arena types manages to keep things from getting too stale.
With each arena having a different skill focus (speed for race, strength for last man rolling, etc.), you'll quickly find that the different warriors are better suited for certain arenas. You are given a choice of five different warriors, who all have different strengths and weaknesses, as well as laughable back stories.
Graphically, Ball Breakers has the look and feel of a first-generation PlayStation title. To its credit, the graphics are sufficient. The character models and environments are simple, everything clips along at a steady frame rate, and there is nary a problem with the camera. Sonically, Ball Breakers is forgettable at best. The bland ambient industrial sounds aren't terribly interesting, but they aren't so grating that you find yourself hitting the mute button on your TV.
In terms of control, Ball Breakers is like Marble Madness gone mean. Along with the basic rolling, you're able to punch, block, and jump, as well as execute spin-attack and rage-attack special moves. Keeping in theme with the rest of Ball Breakers, the controls are simple - but they work. You get a solid sense of momentum on your ball, a la Marble Madness, and there is a certain amount of finesse needed to make the required platform jumps in the run the gauntlet arenas.
If you look past a painfully weak back story and the painfully simple graphics, you'll find there is an enjoyable game to be played in Ball Breakers.