Ball is a Game & Watch game that was released as part of the Silver series on April 28, 1980. It was the very first game of the Game & Watch series. It is one of the games in the Gallery Corner in the original Game & Watch Gallery. It is also an unlockable minigame in Game & Watch Gallery 2, which includes an updated "Modern" version of the game. Depending on the publisher, the game has gone by other names as well, including Juggle and Toss-Up.
In Game & Watch Gallery 2, the player starts out with only the Classic version of Ball (unlike most Game & Watch games in the Game & Watch Gallery series). In order to unlock the Modern version, they would first have to either obtain five stars on both modes in the Classic version or possess a star count of 25 or more. Easy Mode seems to be like Game A, while Hard Mode is Game B.
This Game & Watch was later reworked into the Mario-themed Mario the Juggler; this remake was the last Game & Watch title produced (not counting Parachute × Octopus released nearly 10 years later).
The player controls the hands of a doll with the goal of juggling balls for as long as possible. If one ball breaks, it is Game Over. Game A has two balls to juggle (one point per catch), while Game B has three balls (10 points per catch). This has, unlike the other Game & Watch games, one chance to play, before a Game Over.
The player starts out playing as Yoshi (depicted as a Light Blue Yoshi in the Game Boy Color version), but as they collect more stars, they can later play as Mario, then as Wario, and finally as King Koopa (who is represented by a K instead of a B), each more difficult than the last. The first mode has the Yoshi juggling Yoshi Eggs. The Mario mode has the player juggling a Star, a Super Mushroom, and a heart, actually just like Mario the Juggler but with the Super Mushroom added. These items have varying arcs of flight as opposed to the fixed patterns of the eggs. The heart is also worth only two points as opposed to three. Wario's mode gives the player the same heart, the same Star, and a Wanderin' Goom to juggle. The objects have varying arcs of flight, and the Goom will occasionally fly offscreen. King Koopa's mode features a Koopa Shell, a Boo Buddy, and a Goomba to keep aloft. Like the Wanderin' Goom, the Goomba and shell will sometimes fly offscreen. The Boo Buddy will also occasionally stop while traveling across its arc. Like the heart, the Goomba and shell are worth only two points apiece.
The Yoshi and King Koopa variants of the Modern version of Ball have Bob-ombs that sometimes fly down from the sky, while the Mario variant has fireballs and the Wario variant has Spiked Balls. If a Bob-omb, fireball, or Spiked Ball hits one of the paddles, it will cause a Game Over too. At 100 points for the Yoshi, 200 points for Mario, 300 points for Wario, and 400 points for King Koopa, coins will rain down from the sky. Touching the coins with the paddles rewards the player with bonus points. By getting all of the coins, the player receives a 20-point bonus as well.
Unlike in the Classic version, music is featured, with the tempo changing depending on the speed of the game.
Appearances in other games
Ball was remade for DSiWare. It was released on July 15, 2009, in Japan; April 19, 2010, in North America; and April 23, 2010, in Europe and Australia.
Names in other languages