04 Oct Ramp Champ
Category: Gaming, iPhone, Reviews

Ah, I remember the day when Lights Off was released, the first truly native game for (jailbroken) iPhones. With not even a rumor about Apple’s now legendary and infamous App Store, the game was available for free through the somewhat clandestine Installer app. Designed by Adam Betts and developed by the now Apple-employed Lucas Newman, Lights Off was not only a joy to play, but also beautifully designed.


It made me incredibly excited about the prospect of native games on the iPhone. Fantastic iPhone-worthy design coupled with addictive games was a reality I couldn’t imagine. That turned out to be a positive limitation on my brain, since the introduction of the App Store has brought about mostly horribly ugly (yet sometimes quite playable) games. It’s Ramp Champ that brought me back to those good thoughts, though.

Ramp Champ has been designed by the Iconfactory and developed by DS Media Labs. My friends at the Iconfactory are quite renowned for their amazing design skills, and Ramp Champ is, if anything, a great showcase of their talents. I was glad to see that the graphics aren’t the only strength of the game, though. Ramp Champ is a very addictive and fun game inspired by the typical game booths at carnivals that let you win tickets that you can redeem for prizes.


Fortunately, Ramp Champ doesn’t cost you your precious dollars to throw a few balls. You can explore the beautiful and adventure-packed (seriously!) ramps at your leisure, and save up your tickets to adorn your virtual shelf with prizes. You’ll have to do quite some power-throwing and tossing to make your way to the premium prizes, and that’s where Ramp Champ’s addictive nature sets in. I’ve played the game for days, in queues at shops and while waiting for important email to arrive, often finding myself entangled in the quest to win the mystical plushie.

It’s very nice to see four extra ramps were added as purchasable content last week. As expected, they feature gorgeous design and a solid extra number of hours of gameplay for the Ramp lover.


It’s a pity how Ramp Champ illustrates how horribly incompetent the App Store is at showcasing and featuring great design and attention to detail. Games designed with love, care, and attention like Ramp Champ wither when they drop out of the all-or-nothing iTunes charts, making way for mediocre titles that sell fast thanks to their 99 cent price tags and/or brand names. I hope to see its pretty face pop up in an iPhone commercial some day.

After the beta test of Ramp Champ, I bought the game without a moment’s thought to support such great design and in hopes of bringing them into the charts. I encourage you to also grab Ramp Champ off the App Store: at $1.99, it’s a bargain.

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11 Responses

  1. 1

    looks great! I’d heard a lot about it but i haven’t bought it yet. gonna grab it now!

  2. 2

    I already got it, but it’s freakin’ great! Kudo’s to the IF guys.

  3. Nice post! I got Ramp Champ the first day I could. I loved it minus the frequent crashes. Once those were fixed this went down as my all time favourite app for my iTouch.

    I myself highly recommend this app to anyone. I love it!

  4. While Ramp Champ is absolutely freaking gorgeous and the attention to detail needed to produce a game this lovely is mind blowing, my gripe with the game is that it just isn’t much fun. The gameplay is incredibly shallow and repetitive, and i just don’t enjoy it (but I bought it anyway, because, hey it sure if beautiful). I might be alone in thinking that, as at least two co-workers are raving about the game.

  5. 5

    i play this game a ridiculous amount of time – it’s incredibly addictive. the graphics are absolutely exquisite. the attention to detail is just incredible. the game physics are nice, though it’s best to let your unit warm up a bit before playing a ramp. the ramps are wonderfully put together – delightful and just a ton of fun to play.

  6. Ramp Champ is my favorite game on my iPod touch!. Totally worth $1.99!

  7. @Jonathan

    When I first grabbed the game, I was thinking the exact same thing. Beautiful, but felt way too simple and repetitive. However, as I played more and more, I started to realize a deeper game within what normally would be a very repetitive (yet beautiful) game. And the best game analogy I can think of at the moment is something like Diablo. Probably one of the dullest gameplay one can think of, yet you feel compelled to play it for hours on end. What is the secret? Loot. I found that trying to get the achievements and prizes was the real satisfaction in Ramp Champ.

    And getting the achievements on some of the later ramps are extremely tough. There have been many times I’ve wanted to toss my iPhone across the room. Yet, when you finally do get that achievement, there’s such a sense of satisfaction.

    IF did a great job with the achievements and prizes. I think that’s what makes Ramp Champ a great game. The only thing I wish they did to make it even more compelling to earn tickets, was maybe mask the icons a bit so you can’t really tell what they were until you win them. I think that would have added a sense of surprise to each item you win.

  8. 8

    I absolutely love this game. The attention to detail, both in the design and implementation, is wonderful and it’s always a pleasure to play.

    Highly recommend it, I’ve purchased all the available add-ons, including the two released last week. Love it!

  9. 9

    Best game on iPhone. Ever.

  10. 10

    I was certainly aware that this game existed, but I didn’t buy it. My reasoning being that it looked great and had lots of levels, but had no variety in the gameplay area. Just “throwing a ball down the screen with various nice textures” didn’t sound like it was worth my time and money. Sorry :-/

  11. 11
    Dave M. 

    Like others here, I bought the game the instant I saw it was available. I was very disappointed that the game crashed so often due to a huge memory leak that should have been found before release. I guess all the developers and testers were using 3GS’ instead of devices with only 256MB of executable RAM.

    Now that the memory leak is fixed, I’m still not satisfied with the game. Sure it’s repetative, so is Skee-Ball, but I love Skee-Ball (the AppStore game). RampChamp has a big problem with the accuracy of the “throws”. I can swipe my finger at what I feel is pretty much the same speed and get balls that go over the top of all the targets on my first throw and drop in front of the first row of targets on my second throw.

    The game is gorgeous and Icon Factory did an amazing job with the graphics. I’m just very disappointed with the game physics (if one could call it physics). Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that the developers are going to do anything about that aspect of the game since so many others seem to think that the game mechanics rock. I still have hope that someday they will improve the mechanics in such a way that it’s an enjoyable game to play. Until then…