Roll: Boulder Smash!
Roll: Boulder Smash! reminds us of Odama, this weird pinball title for GameCube that lets players destroy armies with a gigantic boulder. In this case, the developers at All Things Media ditched the flippers for guiding the humongous rock into villages filled with Vikings, aliens and native tribesmen, but the objective of causing wanton destruction remains. It's how the studio broke up the game that left us the slightest bit disappointed.
What you have are two modes, Story and Challenge. The former is by far the coolest, as you steer the boulder via tilt or virtual stick through huts and extraterrestrial spacecraft while plowing through animals, humans and all sorts of objects, including towers, goop-filled containers and other things, at times watching humorously as hapless victims get attached to the boulder and spin round-and-round. It's fun, despite not being able to see where you're headed at times, and the expected trial and error that comes from accidentally falling into the ocean.
Thing is, Story mode is too short, with just nine levels to explore. The bulk of the game resides in Challenge mode, where you flick the boulder towards an assigned number of items. A decent way to pass the time, but not nearly as thrilling as busting up villages and bouncing along UFOs. If anything, Challenge should have served as a supplementary mode, and not the other way around.
There's also something strange about the flick controls in those Challenge levels. We'll put the boulder in motion, only to have it stay in place or travel haphazardly.
To be fair, though, Roll: Boulder Smash! provides enjoyment in short doses. We dig the simplistic yet effective art style, the game runs smoothly throughout and the fact that both control types are "on" at all times without conflicting with each other is impressive. You'll enjoy the limited time spent with this title, but there's a good chance you'll prefer Story mode and want more of it. That being a major sticking point, we hope All Things Media addresses this in future updates.
Review code provided by All Things Media.
What's Hot:Option to use tilt and virtual stick controls at will, running over people, annihilating villages, tricky Challenge mode.
What's Not:Not enough Story mode levels, occasional camera issues make navigation somewhat frustrating, flick controls may need tweaking.