Aim your shot using the mouse. Fire your shot using the left mouse button.
Ricochet is one of the most engrossing and addictive physics based puzzle strategy games online simply because it's so different from most of the other puzzle strategy games online. Instead of giving you enemies to shoot at or treasures to find, your goal in this game is to simply to meet the challenge set in each given level. To begin, you are asked to collect all of the sun bursts on the screen by doing nothing more than rolling your ball. It starts off rather easily. A few rolls and you're done and on to the next level. The next level, however, isn't quite as easy thanks to the introduction of black holes. If your ball hits one of the black holes at the top or bottom of the screen, you'll need to redo the level. Make it through that level and you find one of those troublesome black holes right in the middle of the sunbursts you have to collect. Just when you start getting used to the sunbursts; everything changes. You're presented with blue squares and your challenge is to turn those blue squares yellow by hitting them with your ball. Again, it starts off easily, but it gets harder as you play. This, you realize, is the nature of the game. This is also what makes this game so addictive.
The greatest thing about Ricochet is that each new challenge in the game starts off with an introductory level that allows you to become a little more familiar with what the game is asking of you. You're able to get a feel for what you need to do to accomplish the goals, even though the following levels will up the difficulty level significantly. That's fairly common in puzzle strategy games because without a challenge, the games would get fairly boring fairly quickly. The great thing about this game is that even for more experienced puzzle strategy game players that find the actual challenges a bit on the easy side - and some of them definitely are - the fact that you're never playing one type of challenge for long makes things more interesting. New levels feel fresh and new so the game doesn't have the chance to start feeling stale or old.
As far as online puzzle strategy games go, Ricochet is fairly basic. The graphics are simple and to the point. You have your blue ball, you have your targets and you have your obstacles. Pretty easy. This isn't a game for someone that needs flashy graphics and bright colors to be entertained. The focus here is all about the game and completing the puzzle presented to you in each level. This game is so much fun because you really need to think about the solution to a puzzle if you want to beat it and you want to beat it just so you can see what the next level is going to throw at you. while you only have a limited number of shots available to solve the puzzle, every level in the game can be beaten. Some levels are obviously more difficult than others, but none are impossible. Even if you have to retry multiple times, you can get through it if you're willing to take a little time to think carefully.
There also isn't a lot of extra information presented to you on the game screen in Ricochet which makes the game even more appealing. Many puzzle strategy games bombard you with information about upgrades and new weapons while this game presents you with the basic facts. At the top center of the screen, you see your time. Complete the level fast enough and you'll be rewarded with a time bonus. To the right of your time, you'll see links to return to the main menu (home), to return to the level selection screen (levels), to visit the store (store), and to reset the level (reset). Use reset if you feel you've made a wrong turn somewhere during the level and you don't think you can complete the puzzle in the number of shots allowed. At the top right side of your screen, you have your basic game information. The larger number tell you how many shots you have left to complete the level. The smaller numbers give you basic information about how close you are to achieving your level goal.
In Ricochet, you are offered several bonuses that you can get if you complete the puzzle in any level quickly enough or with the fewest number of shots possible. The shot bonus is hard to get as it can be hard to even complete the more difficult levels without running out of shots. If you want this bonus, you need to plan out your shots as soon as you see the puzzle. Although your ball will ricochet off walls and obstacles, you should be able to get a basic idea of where your ball will end up when you shoot it. Look at where you expect the ball to end up after a shot and determine where it needs to go next. Continue envisioning the scenario until your goal has been met. Once you feel you have a solid strategy in place, start putting your plan into action. Try to allow a little bit for miscalculations, though. In other words, don't plan your moves so that the success of a move depends on the ball ending up in an exact spot the move before. You're bound to be off my a little bit. Instead, figure out the rough are the ball will end up and plan from there. Planning can reduce the amount of points you get for a time bonus but is often the only way you'll be able to get through the tougher levels.
Overall, Ricochet is such a great puzzle strategy game because it really challenges you to use your brain. When you finally beat a puzzle you've been struggling with, the good feeling you get is better than it would be with a game in which your goal is shooting enemies or something of that nature. You actually feel a bit smarter and a bit relieved. Even if you've been playing longer than you intended to play, you want to keep going. The challenge of the game is irresistible and that's really what makes it so addictive. Newcomers to physics based puzzle strategy games aren't going to feel this game is impossible. The controls are easy to understand and easy to use and the rules are simple. More experienced players might find some parts of the game a bit too easy, but the game more than makes up for that in the later, more challenging levels, allowing experienced used to get the level of difficulty they want out of a game. If you are a fan of physics based strategy games, this is definitely a game you need to check out.