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Roly review (iPod/iPhone)

April 22, 2011

“I get the pressures of life through lack of patience”

10 word description: Platform puzzler, physics, solve problems, object manipulation, rolling ball character.

I know how he feels

10 word review: Graphically polished, let down by loading delays and slow gameplay.

If it was only about looks .... but it isn't

You will like this if you enjoy: Platform puzzlers, but only if you have a great deal of patience.

The good news: Visually it’s up there with the top cute/cartoon physics puzzle games.

The bad news: Afflicted by The Curse of Game Salad, every screen transition involves an inexplicable delay. Level intros involve a slow reverse pan of the whole level which you can never, ever skip. The first level involves pop-up tutorial text boxes that seem to stay on screen for an eternity. Controls (tilt or joystick) feel unresponsive because Roly accelerates incredibly slowly. Physics puzzles involving being bounced from springs shouldn’t feel completely random, but they do here.

That spinning "Game Doing Something" icon - bottom right - get used to that, you'll be seeing a lot of it.

Arcadelife verdict: Being forced to repeat a level, or parts of a level, because a spring (over which you have no control) shot you into a chasm, is no fun. When this happens after a slow, unavoidable level intro, preceded by one of many long loading delays, your rational first instinct, unless you have the patience of a saint (or you’re reviewing the game) would be to quit.

This is part of the intro to level 1. You can't skip it, ever. It lasts for ages.

Roly looks great. The graphics and presentation (apart from not being able to skip the level intros) are very high quality. The trouble is, there are major annoyances and frustrations in the core game mechanics, such as the unpredictable elements of the physics puzzles and the painfully slow acceleration of the player character, that need to be sorted out in order to make this game fun. I don’t know if anything can be done about the incessant loading delays; that’s a Game Salad issue.

This spring will shoot you onto another spring. That spring will either shoot you too far or not far enough, both of which will put you back to here. Unless you get a lucky bounce. This isn't fun.

It’s hard, sometimes, doing this. I’d love to be able to say I thoroughly enjoyed this game, as it’s clear that a lot of effort has gone into it. However, even if you ignore the loading delays and the painfully slow level intros, there is still something missing in the way it plays. If Roly was considerably speeded up it might help, but I’m honestly not sure. I hope this game gets tweaked quickly enough to get a decent chance, before too many people pick it up based on the great way it looks and end up disappointed.

Arcadelife rating: 45/100 (most of those points are for the graphics)

Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.0.1

iTunes link

Space Monkey Studios website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (OS 4.3.1)
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