Belly Bums: Casual Gaming that's Comical but not Compelling

This app is not currently available in the App Store.

belly bums iPhoneBelly Bums - When you think of beach volleyball, typically the image that comes to mind is athletic, toned players diving for the ball in the sand. Prepare for that image to be demolished with Belly Bums. Instead, the game's characters look like The Biggest Loser contestants—week 1 and without shirts.

The game certainly has some comic value considering that you launch the ball over the net with the player's oversized stomach. But while some of the game's nuances are a bit comical, the gameplay is quite thin.

The controls take some getting used to—tapping the screen catapults the ball with your belly. By swiping on a volleyball icon in the corner you can control the spin. With a little practice most players should be able to get a handle on it and master some of the decent spin and targeting moves that you can perform with the volleyball.

The only downside is that playing Belly Bums feels like controlling the movements of  Wii Sports characters: you don't. The game essentially breaks down into a contest of tapping in time in order to keep the ball alive. Eventually your opponent will stumble and you will score a point.

The available game modes in Belly Bums are quick play, tournament, or to connect online through the popular OpenFeint—a service that connects many iPhone games by sharing leaderboards, achievements, and connections. In quick play, you choose a player and then must belly up to take on an opponent. For tournament the only difference is that you play through the field until you lose or defeat the rest of the players. There is a large variety of oversized men waiting to be discovered and challenged. Once they are unlocked, you can use them in later games.

Belly Bums doesn't offer much in the way of compelling gameplay, but it will give you a few laughs. Take the game along to occupy a casual afternoon of lounging about in the sand, just don't expect much more.

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This app is not currently available in the App Store.

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