What's the one thing cuter than a fuzzly, wuzzly panda on a quest to get his ice lollies back from a mischievous chimp? One who's also an adorable, round, bouncy beach ball, that's what.
The thing about cuteness, though, is that it often marks a ruthlessly tricky game. Underneath those cuddly good looks, Roll In The Hole has a bit of a mean streak to it.
The premise is as simple as it gets. You'll touch either the left or right hand sides of the screen to start the aforementioned fuzzly wuzzly cutesy [stop that Jon, you're supposed to be a professional - Ed] spherical bear rolling in the desired direction, with the aim of collecting some errant ice lollies and eventually ending up in a transdimensional vortex. Or 'hole,' to use the correct scientific terminology.
This sets a simple and effective framework for what soon becomes a surprisingly tense and rewarding little puzzler. The laws of friction, momentum and inertia all have to be taken into account, especially when steep slopes and bounce pads come into play. Jumping on these trampolines is incredibly tricky, not to mention frequently frustrating before you've got the hang of exactly how much spin to put on your panda.
Not something I get to say every day.
You can skip levels, though - and there are an awful lot of them. Like many Chillingo titles, the raw quality and value is absolutely excellent - though on the flipside, it can get repetitive fairly quickly. The visuals are also as sharp as you'd expect (even the SD version looks pretty nifty when magnified on an iPad).
The sound design starts to grate after a while, which is probably just down to the fact that I played an awful lot of it in one go for review purposes. It's designed as a 'little-and-often' timewaster, not a marathon run.
- Simple, effective gameplay
- Great value
- Repetitive sound design, repetitive generally
- Frequently frustrating
- Or maybe I just suck. It's a possibility.
Summary: Roll In The Hole is easy to learn, hard to master, incredibly cute and packed with value. If you're a fan of physics based platformers, you'll definitely get a kick out of Chillingo's latest offering.