Step right up ladies and gentleman, try your luck here, you won’t be disappointed, a prize every time.

Ramp Champ takes the traditional amusement arcade game of skeeball, gives it cosmetic surgery and then returns it into an authentically old-fashioned seaside postcard setting.

Skeeball involves rolling balls up a ramp, trying to get them into holes in order to score points which earn tickets at the end of the game.

That same basic concept has been retained in Ramp Camp, with a few changes.

Instead of aiming for holes, you’re aiming at targets similar to a shooting gallery you might find at a carnival. Each target has a certain points value. It’s a clever twist on the standard format.

There are four ramps to play: Clown Town, Breakwater Bay, Space Swarm and The Icon Garden.

All are beautifully designed and have distinctive themes. Space Swarm, for example, pays homage to the old Space Invaders arcade game while Breakwater Bay has you aiming at underwater creatures.

News Shopper: Ramp Champ

Evocative sounds and music provide a lovely ambience to the game, stirring up nostalgic memories of being at the funfair while playing this very modern version of an old game.

In each game you get nine balls with which to get as many points as possible.

At the end you are awarded tickets based on points scored which you can take to the in-game store to swap for various virtual prizes. It’s like going to the counter in the amusement arcade, except you don’t get your prize handed to you by a surly teenager and you don’t get that horrible feeling of having spent several hours and about £200 earning enough tickets for something worth about 50p.

Some of the prizes are the usual cheap tat like fuzzy dice or bucket and spade but others are actually quite desirable, such as a lamp and space playset. You can even win a goldfish. All the prizes you win are neatly stored on a bookshelf, another nice design touch.

News Shopper: Ramp Champ

Controls in the game are simple enough to use. To roll a ball you place your finger at the bottom of the screen and flick upwards. Strength and direction of your flick determine the success of each shot.

My one real gripe with Ramp Champ is related to the way the balls are rolled up the ramp, which is a shame because when you strip away the fantastic design the rolling of balls is at the heart of this game.

While it’s easy to take a shot, the layout of the screen seems to restrict calculated play, making the process of taking a shot feel slightly random.

I’m not sure whether it’s because you only see part of the ramp on the screen or because you don’t see your ball until after you’ve launched it, but aiming a shot and gauging power correctly is just a little awkward.

Fortunately the game has enough panache to overcome my gameplay grumble. Ramp Champ is still a lot of fun.

News Shopper: Ramp Champ

I was worried when I started playing the game that the small number of ramps and repetitive nature of skeeball would lead to it becoming boring after a short while. After all, no matter how snazzy the design the core gameplay will always only be rolling balls up ramps.

But with each ramp having its own set of goals and trophies, and with there being dozens of prizes to redeem tickets for, the game does have long-term appeal.

I was quickly hooked and have found it strangely compelling trying to collect everything in the game.

Even if someone does manage to achieve everything in Ramp Champ, there is additional downloadable content which can be purchased for currently two more ramp packs containing new prizes, goals and trophies.

Ramp Champ, which comes from The Iconfactory and DS Media Labs, is one of the nicest looking games I have yet seen on the iPhone / iPod and deserves top marks for its design. The gameplay while not perfect is still good.

This is an entertaining game oozing with charm.

Verdict: 7.5 out of 10 – Stylised design and classic amusement arcade fun combine for an engaging and delightful game