According to Wikipedia.com, a furball is an alternative name for a hairball, that accumulation of follicles found in an animal’s digestive tract that usually ends up on your carpeted floor or furniture. In the case of Furball Frenzy, however, the “hairballs” are much more colorful, decidedly less disgusting and a lot more fun to play with.
Reminiscent in appearance to the Dweeboids in the Dweebs puzzlers from Software Amusements and the Chuzzles from PopCap’s similarly named game, furballs are furry, “orbular” aliens intent on gobbling up Earth’s entire candy supply as they munch their way through our solar system. Your challenge is to employ powerful lightning traps via “click-trap gameplay” to thwart the invading furballs’ plan.
What exactly is Furball Frenzy‘s click-trap gameplay? Basically, it’s a means of catching and eliminating furballs, accomplished by successively clicking on one furball after another to create a linked series of three or more like-colored critters. This produces an electric “bolt” or “fence” around furballs that you want to eradicate. For instance, your task may be to connect five red furballs together, creating a lightning trap that removes five yellow furballs. The more you remove at a time, the higher your score. But, furballs are constantly in motion making the process a real challenge. What happens when you do corral them? Captured furballs are humanely sent to a rocket for relocation (well, it’s an assumption, as you really don’t know where they end up).
Of course, that’s a simple example of the gameplay in Furball Frenzy. Other elements are introduced that increase the challenge as you progress from each of the game’s 100-plus levels to the next. Over ten available power-ups and bonuses (used immediately when “caught”) provide extra challenges, rewards and surprises such as various fruits that add bonus points; Turtles, slowing furball momentum; a Clock that replenishes the level timer (yes, the game employs timed play); 2X Furballs, doubling the number of furballs in a level; and Final Flag that sends all furballs immediately to the rocket for extraction. A final power-up of sorts takes the form of Rainbow furballs, color-shifting aliens that connect to furballs of other colors, adding an element of strategy to play.
Penalties exist, as well, and surface in the form of Freeze, halting your chosen color of furballs in their tracks for ten seconds, and Speed, increasing the rate at which furballs bounce around the screen, making furball selection extremely difficult. Especially annoying are varied obstacles that break your traps open just when you think you’ve rounded up all those pesky furballs.
Other features of interest include special Bonus levels and a Trophy Room. The former serve up opportunities to ramp up your point total, while the latter offers a place to view the nine medallions you earn for clearing each planet in the solar system.
Furball Frenzy is a simple, yet addictive diversion with cute graphics, upbeat music and a simple but unique game mechanic. However, it lacks a few essentials that would rocket it to the top. Its single mode of play is somewhat constraining. A story or challenge mode (against real or AI opponents) would have given it some much-needed “legs.” Plus, gameplay quickly becomes repetitive with little variety in spite of the various power-ups and bonuses. In essence, these balls are a bit thin on the fur.
Still, Furball Frenzy is a fun and moderately challenging diversion for players of all ages. Download the demo to see for yourself if its play is electrifying enough to charge your batteries.