Gasketball is the latest iPad title from popular indie developers, Mikengreg. The studio, consisting of two people named Mike and Greg, made a splash with their creative auto-scrolling title, Solipskier. While Gasketball fills a totally different niche of gaming, I'd say it's an excellent follow up full of the same personal charm. It’s a polished gem of a game worth checking out if you own an iPad.
You can play the first two level packs as a free trial. The first set of levels is your basic introductory tutorial stuff, and the second pack takes samples of pretty much every crazy mechanic you'll see later in the game, just so you know what to expect before buying. Your simple goal is to get the ball into the basket while bouncing it off of the necessary obstacles and items. You always start by hitting the obstacle outlined in red first, but after that point, it doesn't matter how you get the ball in the net, as long as you do. People looking to maximize their score, however, will have to figure out some of the game’s insane trick shots, and they are quite insane. For a real challenge, you also have Shot Attack bonus levels, where you have to make every shot within a time limit.
What makes Gasketball stand apart from your regular slew of physics puzzlers is the feeling of developing an actual skill as you play. The physics seem very consistent, and you really have to get a feel for how the ball behaves and at what speeds and angles to make your throws. It especially feels great on the large iPad screen. You always have a unique and helpful robot companion reminding you of the rules and such. The mechanics really do get crazy before the end. You'll be dealing with saws, bumpers, teleporters, speed boosters, and gravity flipping switches.
The art is simple and colorful, with nice sound effects and funky music. The four worlds are nicely varied in their visuals, too. On top of all this, you also have a practice mode where you can create your own levels, same device one-on-one multiplayer, and an online multiplayer version of H.O.R.S.E. It will cost you three dollars to unlock the full game, but if you pony up the dough, you'll get every single level right off the bat, all items for use in H.O.R.S.E., all robot friends, plus all future content that is ever added to the game. If you have an iPad, you really shouldn't miss out on Gasketball.