Quick App: Ramp Champ Brings Skee-Ball Fun to iPhone


Ramp Champ [$1.99 - iTunes link] is a skee-ball-like, old school boardwalk arcade or amusement park-style game for the iPhone and iPod touch. Co-developed by the Iconfactory and DSMediaLabs, it's gorgeous. Of course, I'd expect no less from the pixel perfectionists behind it (and behind other well-loved apps like Twitterrific and Frenzic).

The premise is simple: using your finger and the iPhone's multi-touch screen, you flick balls up a ramp and try to hit targets, win trophies, score points, get tickets, and redeem those tickets for prizes. The art is sublime, from the included Clown Town, Breakwater, Spaceswarm, and Icon garden to the in-app purchasable add-on packs like the Ninja Attack and Tiki Island combo ($0.99 each). Other add-ons currently include Voyage, Halloween, and Challenge. This part of the app is implemented particularly well, and there's even a "restore purchases" button should you even need to re-download the add-ons.

In-jokes abound for the attentive as well. Developer Ged Maheux points out the classic icon sizes 16, 32, 48, 64, 128, etc. used as ticket cost for the prizes. And, of course, the first prize I bought was the Twitterrific blue bird itself.

There are three "goals" to each ramp. The first one tends towards the easy, a cookie to reward us for playing. The second and third range from difficult to how-the-frak-do-I-do-this. (Obvious tip: try to time your shots so that you hit more than one target with each ball). That you can often get close works only to make it more frustrating and addictive to play.

The frustrating part may be a double-edged sword, however. Sometimes flicking the ball seems absolutely intuitive and under your complete control, and sometimes it seems like there's no rhyme or reason to where the ball goes relative to how you flick. In the real world, and number of quirks in a ramp could account for chaotic end results. On the iPhone, it might just be a matter of tweaking the physics engine a bit more.

All-in-all, it's a beautiful, engaging, casual time-filler of a game, perfect for occupying interstitial moments. As a test, however, I gave it to an 11-year old to try out. I only got it back an hour and half later. So, yeah, it works for a wide range of players and time constraints as well.

If you give Ramp Champ a go, let us know how how many goals you get, and which prizes you pick up.

[gallery link="file" columns="2"]

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

More Posts



← Previously

Best of Smartphone Experts, 11 Oct 2009

Next up →

Regarding iTunes LP Costing Labels $10,000

Reader comments

Quick App: Ramp Champ Brings Skee-Ball Fun to iPhone


Last week was a blip, due to me spending much of the past two weeks eiwreving and testing iPad apps and little else. The balance will be back to normal next week. However, I take exception of me having not reviewed a non-HD app in weeks . The week before last, nine apps were covered, only one of which was an iPad one. The week before that was iPad-heavy, but still had 3 of 7 reviews being for the iPhone, and the week before that had 6 iPhone reviews and 3 iPad ones.

However there are many resellers, and llasmer stores which may have special offers or stock a particular item which you cannot find elsewhere. Thankfully, are forward thinking, and give the stores which they supply to online a Certified Online Retailer badge which they can display on their websites. If you are still unsure about whether or not the site is genuine, you could always visit the genuine website and do a store search for the online retailer. If they appear in listings then they are sure to be an authentic reseller. If you are looking to buy some more charms to add to your , but are considering buying charms which are not official then there are a few things to consider. Firstly, the may not fit well, either with hole being too small for the, or too big so that the bead may move around more, causing more wear to the beads on either side. Also, are all made with silver or gold centres, which minimises the amount of wear on worn side by side. Another make of may use harder, cheaper metals, which could scratch and damage genuine Another make of may use harder, cheaper metals, which could scratch and damage genuine With the Murano , the genuine article has been heat treated to be extremely tough and durable. are likely to be made of cheaper materials, and are therefore more prone to chipping and damage. Genuine is crafted to a high standard, making this premium jewellery both desirable and practical. With such a huge range of available,makes the perfect gift for ladies of any age. If you are a collector and you are concerned about being given imitation as gifts, then why not set up a Club account, and create a wish list? can be found for less when you shop on the Internet. are now available online for discounted prices. is one of the most recognized name brands in the world of high fashion. You will find A-list celebrities such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Janet Jackson and Nicole Kidman wearing . Since it's conception, the has been produced into a variety of designs, colors, shapes, and styles that have won top picks of millions of women the world over.

@ killer I said the game is not worth it for 2 bucks! That doesn't mean I can't afford it. Next time before u post something learn how to read and understand!

Ali / La Ya Jema3a hatha 3enda sharika 7ag il 5ala6at oo 3alashan syaewii da3aya oo min hal sowaliif ga3ed yejariib ib apple gadgets ib i5ti9ar hal rayal imalyiiin!! 0 0

@BBYM is correct, Ramp Champ is worth a lot more than $2. Unfortunately, a mix of developers racing to the bottom and user entitlement has created too much downward pressure on prices, and we'll soon reach a point where great developers just give up on making great applications.
Then users will complain that the app store is flooded with nothing but $0.99 CrApps, and have only themselves to blame.
Maybe a few premium apps will return at that point to fill the gaping hole, not sure what it means for the iPhone as a flagship platform however... :(

I precisely diresed to say thanks once more. I am not sure what I would've used without the strategies shown by you directly on my topic. It became a very intimidating situation for me personally, nevertheless considering this skilled fashion you dealt with that took me to weep for fulfillment. I'm just happy for your information and then hope that you are aware of a powerful job you are always providing instructing people thru your webpage. I'm certain you have never encountered any of us.

BBYM is correct. It IS NOT worth $2 because it would BARELY be worth 50 cents. Try playing "Skee-Ball" by Graveck and you'll know exactly what I mean. Ramp Champ has SERIOUS physics flaws and the graphics are just barely par compared to Graveck's simpler idea (which in itself still is far from perfect). The balls are actually 3 dimensional and you have much more leeway to guide your shot in terms of speed, direction and curvature. It just doesn't feel nearly as cheap and half-assed as ramp champ. No thanks.
@Rene Ritchie, some apps I am definitely surprised that they cost so little, so I see your point. GeoDefense swarm, field runners, and Dungeon Hunter are some games to name a few, but Ramp Champ is not one of them. It's a waste of 200 Lincolns.

Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the aemssge home a bit, but other than that, this is great blog. A great read. Ill definitely be back.

I've got to agree - I WANT to like it, but the physics modeling is ... lacking. The design ethos is AWESOME, but the game itself falls short, and gameplay is the biggest part of a game.