Why is Sky Ball the #1 Mobile Action Game?

You may lose your marbles playing Ketchapp's endless roller.

Mark Cerny's wildly popular arcade classic Marble Madness has been inspiring game developers ever since debuting in 1984, and Sky Ball is the latest vertigo-inducing endless runner in that lineage. iPhone and Android gamers seem to agree, vaulting this new game to the top of the app store charts. You, too, can get airborne today -- for free (download for Android, download for iOS), with the only in-app purchase being ad removal for $2.99.

In the case of Sky Ball, the typical endless runner stakes are raised by making you descend through an endless series of platforms, with sheer and deadly drop-offs on either side. As you get further down, things get more complex; the platforms start sliding back and forth, and your movement speed changes dramatically according to how well you launch off the ramp at each end.

Sometimes you fall off the side of a platform first and lose most of your momentum, which can make it impossible to reach the next one. Other times, the distance to the next platform is so vast that you can't initially see where it is until you're already descending.

Thankfully, the controls are dead-simple: You just slide a finger left and right to make your ball shift left and right. There isn't even a jump button. That makes it easy to play one-handed, but there's still plenty of challenge involved.

About Tom McNamara

Tom is the senior editor covering Windows at Download.com.