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Sponsored Game Review: Polandball: Can Into Space

March 22, 2016 - Written By Tom Dawson

Polandball: Can Into Space is an Android game that makes fun of the space race, and the different countries that are still trying to reach the stars. The focus is on Polandball, a Ball that represents the Polish, trying to overcome the other nations – such as Germanyball, Japanball, Russiaball and more – that often put Polandball down. Other nation balls – such as Jamaicaball – will help Polandball in the skies, though. Similar to Faster Than Light, users will need to build a rocket capable of getting Polandball into space, certain aspects are simply upgraded, and players can earn more coins as money to better perfect their little rocket.

Polandball: Can Into Space can be downloaded from the Play Store as both a free version or an ad-free version, as well as on Steam and even iOS if you’re so inclined. Once launched, there are a few options to choose from on the main menu.

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A nice touch here is that users are given the option to see the Intro or not, as well as to run through the tutorial or not.

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The first thing I noticed was the poor English used throughout, and while I’m not 100% sure this is done on purpose, I’m pretty sure that it’s all in good fun. One thing the Intro didn’t impress me with however, was the stereotypes of the different Countries…

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Hopefully however, this is just all in good fun, but the Tutorial informs you of some country balls that are more likely to do Polandball more damage than good, and the stereotypes here aren’t much better, either.

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The Tutorial does a pretty neat job of educating players how to play the game and what to look out for though, which is appreciated.

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Getting out there into the skies is where the action is, and controls are nice and simple, with a radar to show users what’s coming up and where. Things to look out for are red and green dots for unhelpful and helpful countries as well as money and fuel – which is needed to keep on flying, of course.

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Some of the other Country balls can be really quite aggressive, making it difficult to fly straight and keep on going. The Romaniaball in particular was very aggressive and annoying, but it does add a further challenge to the game.

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When you run out of fuel, it’s game over, and Polandball will end up falling back down to Earth, having failed its mission. Players are given a KM readout at the top left while flying up and there’s a progress meter updating users how close to Space they are on the right.

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The idea in Polandball: Can Into Space is to make adjustments to the rocket and then have another go at it. Things can be easily upgraded, many of which make a big improvement to the overall performance of the rocket.

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For instance, the Helmet can deliver some extra speed while the Fuselage will add to the overall Armor stat as shown to the right of the rocket. Each part of the rocket has a small important role to play, and they can be upgraded individually.

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There’s a lot that players can do to improve their rocket, but they do seem to cost quite a bit, and I often found myself with not enough money to purchase what I needed next.

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Ads are a bit of an annoyance here, and while I understand that developers need to make money, and pop-over ads before a level are one thing, having something always visible is a pain. Even so, Polandball does make the most of these ads and offers players a little something in exchange. There is also a paid version – which doesn’t cost much at all – which is available here without any ads.

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Players that play right to the end will be rewarded with a cinematic which can only be seen by reaching the moon. This is a nice incentive for Countryball fans to keep on playing and it’s nice to see this sort of thing in mobile games.

After spending some time playing Polandball: Can Into Space, I can see where the developers got their inspiration from; Polandball has been around for some time and it’s a nice way of tapping into Internet culture. The overall gameplay is pretty good, and there was a lot that I liked, the gameplay of heading into space and then tinkering with parts of the rocket reminded me of Faster Than Light as well as soap box racing, and I enjoyed actually playing the game. As someone that hadn’t come across the Polandball meme before however, I was a little confused at first, but a few Google searches later and I can see where the inspiration came from. Gameplay wise, this reminds me a lot of other similar games, but with its own charm and charisma to it. This might not be to everyone’s liking, but there’s a solid game beneath a funny reference that will strike a chord with those who know where it’s from and such.

Ratings

  • Speed (4/5) - The game runs nice and smoothly, and there are no issues where performance is concerned.
  • Theme (4/5) - Graphically, things look good here. There’s a definite indie feel to the game, and that works nicely, but the Polandball reference and theme is one that not everyone will understand or even take a liking to.
  • Features (4/5) - With fun, challenging and ever-progressing gameplay, Polandball: Can Into Space is a game that plays well and offers a fun challenge for the majority of users. It’s not something that will instantly appeal to everyone, but not many indie games do.
  • Overall (4/5) - It might not be totally original, but Polandball: Can Into Space is a game that has good gameplay, lots of replayability and a definite progression from a fairly basic starting point to a more advanced craft and so on.

Pros

  • Looks good and has a tongue-in-cheek theme and appearance that will make a lot of players laugh.
  • Gameplay is good, and offers progression throughout, as well a sense of achievement the higher and higher people get.
  • Customization options are varied and make a real difference in-game and are fairly easy to unlock as a lot of coins can be collected in-flight.
  • Will appeal greatly to those of a certain generation that spend a lot of time on the Internet.

Cons

  • Not everyone is going to understand the Countryball or Polandball theme and its memes, and might be confused.
  • Some of the stereotypes for the different Countryballs could be considered a little too out there.

All-in-all, Polandball: Can Into Space is a game that I can see a lot of players really enjoying, but those players will need to be those that have an understanding of certain memes and such. Regardless though, the gameplay is solid and sci-fi fans as well as casual gamers will really enjoy the gamer after a little while of playing.

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