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For: iPad   Also on: Android, iPhone, Windows Phone

Roll up, roll down

Product: Rollabear | Developer: Matmi | Publisher: Matmi | Format: iPad | Genre: Action, Arcade | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Rollabear iPad, thumbnail 1
It's not always the most obvious combinations that work. Sometimes you need to go out on a limb a little if you want to create something original - otherwise you're left with the same staid content that everyone else is producing.

Which is exactly what Rollabear has done. It's not a complete success, but the mashing together of cute-animal flinging, platforming, and ten pin bowling still manages to feel a lot fresher than most of the games on the ever-stagnating App Store.

Roll with it

The game is all about flinging a bear at some bowling pins. Except the pins are made out of people, and you're not flinging the bear so much as firing it from a giant makeshift catapult. You control that launch with the now customary drag-back of a finger.

Once the bear is tearing down the 3D level, you can shunt it left and right by tapping on the corresponding side of the screen. The control is pretty imprecise, but at the speed you're rushing through the level that's not much of a surprise.

There are crates of fish to collect as well. These aren't any old fish, though. They're magical time travelling fish. Grab one and you can rewind time by swiping down on the screen. Swipe up and time starts running in the correct direction again.

You need to knock down all ten of the pins at the end of the level, and you get two shots to do it. You'll only get the top scores, and the stars that are associated with them, if you knock them all down in one go.

It's not often that you'll actually make use of the fish, and the bite-size nature of the levels means hitting 'restart' to take you back to the start doesn't grate too much.

Grin and bear it

The levels are mostly well designed, and always push you to risk a crash in order to get the best scores. There are clever platforming twists that see you bouncing off lily pads or sticking to rails, and a decent enough twitchy core to appeal to those who like a little more edge in their mobile gaming.

Rollabear isn't without its problems, including a bit of slowdown here and there, and a forgettable art style. But it's still an enjoyable little chunk of arcade gaming that proves thinking about different ways to play can reap rewards.
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 15 October 2013
There are a few niggles here and there, but as a package Rollabear offers a decent few hours of quick-fire fun
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Apr 2013
Post count:
Waii Hui | 11:36 - 15 October 2013
Stagnating?? Why r u hating on the best mobile store?