ball

Dark Nebula is described as a "skill-based action game" which we previewed back in August. The game is brought to us in part by Anders Hejdenberg, the lead designer of Battlefield 2: Modern Combat.

Dark Nebula is a tilt-controlled ball roller, but one that adopts an action/arcade vibe rather than the more tedious precision work found in many others. In fact, it feels so different, I'd hesitate to put it in the same genre. The game proceeds across 10 levels of action-packed gaming. Each level is very well designed with a variety of obstacles introduced along the way. Your tasks include the avoiding of spikes, triggering switches, avoiding laser fire, and more. And despite no calibration options, the game's controls seemed perfect.

Each of the 10 levels are primarily vertical scrolling scenes with distinct start and end points. Your ball has a single shield that can be replenished along the way. Get hit with your shield down or fall off the level and you have to restart at the beginning of the level poriton you are died on. If you lose all your lives, you can restart at the beginning of any level you've unlocked. There are 10 levels in all.

In fact, it seems the developers have gone to special trouble to avoid user frustration in the game. For example, if you get killed by a laser shot or spinning spikes, these elements actually slow down so it's easier to get through on your next life. The result is a game that you will enjoy immensely to the end, though one that will end relatively quickly.

Dark Nebula is billed at offering an hour's play time to make it through the entire game. If you are particularly coordinated, you will be able to make it through in a significantly shorter amount of time, though going back to get gold stars on each level do offer a legitimate amount of replay value.

Overall, Dark Nebula offers a very fun, action-arcade experience that we loved every second of. The game's rather short length, however, is a legitimate point of concern, but at only $0.99 and high quality of the overall experience, we still recommend it.

App Store Link: Dark Nebula, $0.99

TouchArcade Rating

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  • mrWalrus

    looks very cool..

    Hate to be the one to say it but, can we Please stop with all the episode 1's.. it's played out.

  • mrWalrus

    looks very cool..

    Hate to be the one to say it but, can we Please stop with all the episode 1's.. it's played out.

  • RS200

    Well, I just bought it! - I think it looks great :-)

  • RS200

    Well, I just bought it! - I think it looks great :-)

  • Luke

    easily one of the top games i've tried for the iphone. the levels are really nicely designed and well timed introduction of new elements keeps you hooked until the surprise at the end... great visuals and presentation add to the slick gameplay and just makes it a game that's damn fun to play. looking forward to the next episode!

  • Luke

    easily one of the top games i've tried for the iphone. the levels are really nicely designed and well timed introduction of new elements keeps you hooked until the surprise at the end... great visuals and presentation add to the slick gameplay and just makes it a game that's damn fun to play. looking forward to the next episode!

  • Daniel

    It is really cool

    I just played trough it, and now i´m trying to get gold on all the levels

  • Daniel

    It is really cool

    I just played trough it, and now i´m trying to get gold on all the levels

  • Tom

    I disagree on the episodic content hating. It allows game developers to hit the magic .99 price point, deliver content sooner, and actually make money.

    Keep it coming.

    Bought.

    • http://www.mentation.nl/thanatist/ Thaurin

      I think the episodic content is okay as long as the developers are able to make an episode 2. The biggest disappointment is enjoying the first offering and finding out that the next episodes are never coming.

  • Tom

    I disagree on the episodic content hating. It allows game developers to hit the magic .99 price point, deliver content sooner, and actually make money.

    Keep it coming.

    Bought.

    • http://www.mentation.nl/thanatist/ Thaurin

      I think the episodic content is okay as long as the developers are able to make an episode 2. The biggest disappointment is enjoying the first offering and finding out that the next episodes are never coming.

  • Carl

    I bought the game a couple of hours ago and I have to say that I really enjoy it. It's extremely polished and well designed. I agree with Tom about the episodic content. Instead of having to pay 3-4 times as much for a longer game, you can now try it for only .99 cents. If you don't like it, don't buy the next episode. If you like it (like I do) buy the next episode. This way the users can also have some input to the devs on further development of the series.

    • SalsaMD

      Ideally next episodes of this nature via DLC, rather than having multiple apps related to the same game....

  • Carl

    I bought the game a couple of hours ago and I have to say that I really enjoy it. It's extremely polished and well designed. I agree with Tom about the episodic content. Instead of having to pay 3-4 times as much for a longer game, you can now try it for only .99 cents. If you don't like it, don't buy the next episode. If you like it (like I do) buy the next episode. This way the users can also have some input to the devs on further development of the series.

    • SalsaMD

      Ideally next episodes of this nature via DLC, rather than having multiple apps related to the same game....

  • Alex

    This game looks so cool! I can't wait until I get my IPhone to try it out!
    What's the problem with episodes? How can you complain when all you pay is a buck? If this is half as good as it looks it would be worth it!

  • Alex

    This game looks so cool! I can't wait until I get my IPhone to try it out!
    What's the problem with episodes? How can you complain when all you pay is a buck? If this is half as good as it looks it would be worth it!

  • Rustyjaw

    Gorgeous game, sweet controls (although a more difficult option with more inertia would be fun too). Totally worth 99¢ IMO.

  • Rustyjaw

    Gorgeous game, sweet controls (although a more difficult option with more inertia would be fun too). Totally worth 99¢ IMO.

  • gospel

    If this trend takes off, all apps would eventually start at FREE.

    Is it true that DLC is unique to a device not iTunes account though?
    What happens if I have an iPhone and iPod touch and would like to sync my apps on both devices? Is it possible to download via DLC for free on my iPod Touch as well?

  • gospel

    If this trend takes off, all apps would eventually start at FREE.

    Is it true that DLC is unique to a device not iTunes account though?
    What happens if I have an iPhone and iPod touch and would like to sync my apps on both devices? Is it possible to download via DLC for free on my iPod Touch as well?

  • Lukeb

    This looks as it could be fun.

  • Lukeb

    This looks as it could be fun.

  • wegmans

    This game gets a 3/5 from me *so far*

    I feel like I may have been misled by the above featured review, but will wait to finish the game to be sure.

    On my 3GS, the game has some sort of slight lag, and the graphics are misleadingly simple. It's cool when you go out on a bridge and can see the ground below, but that's about it. I'm surprised at how the ball never actually rotates, but seems to hover or glide, yet when you hit a jump, it rotates in the air?!?

    Also people should make a point of noticing that you won't be holding your device in a landscape manner, but rather the cumbersome vertical way.

    I also can't seem to see how you wouldn't be able to get all the orbs collected on each map.. I guess the real challenge is the time limit (which is not visible during the game)

    I'll say that if you like tilt games like labyrinth, you will love this game. If you are not used to this genre, or are looking for something new (like me) you may want to hold off until it gets some more reviews, so you can make an educated opinion.

  • wegmans

    This game gets a 3/5 from me *so far*

    I feel like I may have been misled by the above featured review, but will wait to finish the game to be sure.

    On my 3GS, the game has some sort of slight lag, and the graphics are misleadingly simple. It's cool when you go out on a bridge and can see the ground below, but that's about it. I'm surprised at how the ball never actually rotates, but seems to hover or glide, yet when you hit a jump, it rotates in the air?!?

    Also people should make a point of noticing that you won't be holding your device in a landscape manner, but rather the cumbersome vertical way.

    I also can't seem to see how you wouldn't be able to get all the orbs collected on each map.. I guess the real challenge is the time limit (which is not visible during the game)

    I'll say that if you like tilt games like labyrinth, you will love this game. If you are not used to this genre, or are looking for something new (like me) you may want to hold off until it gets some more reviews, so you can make an educated opinion.

  • http://www.kotodama.net/blog Zak

    Great game: good visuals, soundtrack, and gameplay.

    Just too short. But then again, for 99 cents, what can we complain about? Hopefully now that they have all the infrastructure in place they can start churning out levels like madmen.

  • http://www.kotodama.net/blog Zak

    Great game: good visuals, soundtrack, and gameplay.

    Just too short. But then again, for 99 cents, what can we complain about? Hopefully now that they have all the infrastructure in place they can start churning out levels like madmen.

  • http://Www.moistproduction.com Moist

    This was perfect for me a my 6yo son. Just enough challange to keep him occupied without killing him on every turn. I had to jump in on a few tricky spots but thats ok. A perfect combo of graphics, control and physics.

    99 cents is a perfect price. If they keep churning out new chapters with this formula well keep buying :)

  • http://Www.moistproduction.com Moist

    This was perfect for me a my 6yo son. Just enough challange to keep him occupied without killing him on every turn. I had to jump in on a few tricky spots but thats ok. A perfect combo of graphics, control and physics.

    99 cents is a perfect price. If they keep churning out new chapters with this formula well keep buying :)

  • Andrew

    I really hope that games don't start at free and then charge for episodes. The reason? For me, if I get a demo i'm quite content and unless it blows my mind will *never* buy the real thing. I've downloaded so many demos on the PS3, XBox 360, and a few on the iPhone and never went and threw down the change for the whole thing (with one exception: iDig on the iPhone/touch. i'm addicted)

    developers deserve their money. even from cheap bastards like me. ;-)

  • Andrew

    I really hope that games don't start at free and then charge for episodes. The reason? For me, if I get a demo i'm quite content and unless it blows my mind will *never* buy the real thing. I've downloaded so many demos on the PS3, XBox 360, and a few on the iPhone and never went and threw down the change for the whole thing (with one exception: iDig on the iPhone/touch. i'm addicted)

    developers deserve their money. even from cheap bastards like me. ;-)

  • Avatar

    Fun but it suffers from the lack of music. Makes you feel like the game is in attract mode.

    I would like to disable the auto-easier functionality.

    • zombie

      Great game! Its very well made and the controls are excellent. Looking forward to Episode 2 and more challenges.

  • Avatar

    Fun but it suffers from the lack of music. Makes you feel like the game is in attract mode.

    I would like to disable the auto-easier functionality.

    • zombie

      Great game! Its very well made and the controls are excellent. Looking forward to Episode 2 and more challenges.

  • Exrabies

    More, more, more.
    This game is so well crafted and beautiful the 0,99 cents is a steal. Bring on Episode 2, 3, 4 and 5, and I’ll buy ‘em without blinking an eye.
    Most beautiful game in the store. Period.

    B.T.W. In-App purchases would be gold for this game.

    P.S. Whiners are everywhere.

  • Exrabies

    More, more, more.
    This game is so well crafted and beautiful the 0,99 cents is a steal. Bring on Episode 2, 3, 4 and 5, and I’ll buy ‘em without blinking an eye.
    Most beautiful game in the store. Period.

    B.T.W. In-App purchases would be gold for this game.

    P.S. Whiners are everywhere.

  • Fadzlan

    I can't seem to pass the last level when everybody is saying its so easy. That alone had lengthened the gameplay time for me ;-)

    Ahh... maybe its just me.

    Great game BTW. Glad I paid for it. Would buy the second one once it came out.

  • Fadzlan

    I can't seem to pass the last level when everybody is saying its so easy. That alone had lengthened the gameplay time for me ;-)

    Ahh... maybe its just me.

    Great game BTW. Glad I paid for it. Would buy the second one once it came out.