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Mobile  header logo

Rock 'n' Roll

For: Mobile

A rolling stone gathers no moss

Product: Rock 'n' Roll | Developer: Tag Games | Publisher: SkyZone Entertainment | Format: Mobile | Genre: Action, Puzzle | Players: 1 | Format: J2ME | Reviewed on: W810i other handsets | Version: Europe
Rock 'n' Roll Mobile, thumbnail 1
A word of advice: don't be trying to play Rock 'n' Roll whilst on a plane. Or any form of transportation for that matter. You'll understand why in a few moments, but for now you're going to have to take our word for it.

The premise is a simple one, if a bit loony. You play a goggle-eyed lump of rock, called Roll, whose brother Rock (do rocks have brothers?) has been kidnapped by another evil rock with fangs. And a pair of horns. You have to rescue him by navigating a series of mazes – split over three stages – and collecting all the musical notes scattered throughout. See? We told you it was loony.

But it gets better. The control of the game is pretty unconventional, too. You don't control Roll, but rather the screen itself by rotating it left and right. Whichever way – and how fast – you turn the screen will determine where Roll moves, whilst gravity does the rest and sends him on his merry way.

It's a smooth and precise control scheme, and it's so simple even the most ham-fisted of players will get the hang of it. Equally importantly, the version we tested had no visible slowdown, so the developer has managed a proper technical feat – with pretty decent graphics, too – without any drawbacks to how the game plays.

There's an added complication in that Roll can grow or shrink in size. If he brushes up against objects such as toads or jellyfish he gets smaller, and if this happens more than two or three times, he loses a life. Other obstacles are less forgiving, like giant stamping machinery that will take his life in one hit.

Conversely, if Roll finds a bone and nibbles on it (do rocks eat bones?) he grows bigger, to a maximum of three times his size. This is a useful power-up, because he can now move faster through the mazes like a giant pinball. Indeed, certain sections are set up just like pinball tables, and Roll bounces around at such speed and velocity he could seriously give Sonic the hedgehog a run for his money.

This is where the warning about playing on the move comes in. Two words: motion sickness. It's rare that playing a mobile game makes you reach for the paper bag, and usually it's because it's awful. But in this case, playing Rock 'n' Roll is such a topsy-turvy experience that lesser mortals might find themselves turning green around the gills.

There's another downside to the game, though, in that it's bloody hard. Each maze grows more complex the further you progress, and without any kind of map or route finding feature it's easy to become lost, spending hours looking for that one missing note you need to complete the level. Plus, players only get three lives and a set number of continues, and once those are gone it's all over.

But all that said, this is a mostly wonderful game and one to beat if you're looking for a real challenge. So come and have a go if you think you're hard enough. Rock hard, that is.
Rock 'n' Roll
Reviewer photo
Bulent Yusuf | 4 December 2007
A hugely enjoyable, very pretty game with a whacky sense of humour and a refreshing set of controls that work perfectly on mobile. Just bear in mind its unforgiving difficulty might deter you from playing it through to the end
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