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Go Mecha Ball review: A fun roguelike with too much gimmick

Go Mecha Ball review: A fun roguelike with too much gimmick

Bouncing all over the place

There’s one thing that any roguelike should nail, and that’s consistency. There needs to be some form of consistency running throughout the game, whether that’s in unlocking upgrades, making steady progress, or having a balance between your firepower and the enemies that meet it. While go Mecha Ball has a lot going for it, it lacks something that I can only refer to as consistency.

The best way to highlight this is to describe a situation that comes up more often than not while describing the game. Essentially, Go Mecha Ball combines a roguelike twin-stick shooter, with pinball-style movement. The titular mech is a bipedal construct that turns into a ball and rolls around. While this sounds like a great idea, in practice it’s sometimes the cause of frustration.

Go Mecha Ball plays brilliantly on Steam Deck and looks gorgeous too

This is because so many of the enemies you’ll be facing also have this habit of rolling around in spherical shapes. They happily bounce into you while you’re focused on taking out an enemy or pathing your way through the level to reach a particular area. Being bounced around halts the flow and the action - it causes an interruption that feels slightly unfair. It’s not consistent.

It’s not helped because each level is small, compact, and littered with pinball-type objects. For example, you could be shooting an enemy and suddenly be bounced from the side into a boost hazard that flings your mech across the arena, and suddenly you’re losing health because you’re surrounded.


This has quite an impact on the boss fights also. If you look at the first boss, a huge mecha spider, the arena slowly fills with tiny ball enemies that constantly bounce you around making for an erratic experience. Which brings me to my second gripe, the lack of ammo. For a game that is built on fast and frantic action, it’s surprising just how often you find yourself without ammo, despite being able to carry two guns. Now, here is where you would use your ‘melee’ attack which is a boost that bounces you into an enemy. Yes. More bouncing.

And all of this is made more frustrating because when Go Mecha Ball is good, it’s very good. The environments are bright and flashy with a kind of comicbook style; the sound design is hyper and wacky, making it sound like it should be spilling from an arcade cabinet; and the combination of weapons and abilities make for some addictive threads that beg to be pulled.


As you destroy enemies you’re rewarded with a currency that can be spent in the shop that appears before a boss fight. Here you can buy health, different guns, or a new ability. Between levels, you’ll also get a chance to select an ability that can range from an explosive ground pound to a vicious attack where saw blades are thrown forward. In these moments you could go for a buff instead, something like extra health or a higher rate of fire for your weapons.

It’s in these combinations that the fun really begins. In order to unlock more of these abilities, weapons, or upgrades, you’ll spend another resource back in the hub world and they’ll unlock randomly from a flashy gumball machine. Sometimes it’s an ability that will snag you the kills, or get you out of danger quickly, and you’ll soon have your favourites.

Go Mecha Ball is an otherwise run-of-the-mill roguelike, which is not a damning implication. It’s a bit ‘by the numbers’ but it makes for an addictive delivery of dopamine, one that will challenge your skills, and sometimes your patience.

Pros: Gorgeous arcade feel, unique movement mechanics, interesting upgrades.

Cons: Frustrating enemy design, lack of originality

For Fans Of: Super Monkey Ball, roguelikes and pinball

6/10: Good

Go Mecha Ball is out now for PC (version tested) and Xbox Series X/S through Game Pass. Review code was provided by Super Rare. Read a guide to our review scores here.

Featured Image Credit: Super Rare

Topics: PC, Xbox, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X, Xbox Game Pass, Steam