Rotolla is a puzzle game inspired by titles such as Super Hexagon and Tetris. The game is the debut title from Hungarian independent development studio Prior Games – formed by the creative team behind the fantastic Sine Mora. Rotolla is the first in a series of seven planned microgames from Prior Games and the studio plans to release three more games this year followed by a further three in 2014.
Rotolla presents players with a hexagon which is divided up into twelve segments. Coloured blocks spawn in the center of the hexagon and gradually move down the segments until they either reach the edge or another block. Your aim is to match two or more blocks as many times as you can. If a segment fills up completely then it’s game over.
As you may have guessed from the name of the game you can also rotate your blocks around the different segments of the hexagon. Unlike Tetris though, Rotolla can throw between one and four blocks at you at a time. The blocks that spawn are also linked which means that they all shuffle around as you rotate. Quick thinking is required to get the blocks into the best segment. If a block catches on another as you are rotating then this prevents all your blocks from moving.
When a block meets another of the same colour then they are destroyed. Blocks can move down a segment to touch another or even match blocks in adjacent segments. With careful planning you can setup groups of blocks to allow you to destroy multiple blocks together for bigger scores. Unusually if you destroy a block in the middle of a stack of blocks those that are above do not drop down. This behaviour helps keep the difficulty high, especially if you do not plan your placements very well.
Controlling the game is very simple with a tap on either end of the screen to rotate your blocks and a tap in the bottom middle to make them drop faster. When things get hectic the touch controls do sometimes let you down as you frantically try to move your blocks into position.
The game starts off at level one at a very slow pace but as you destroy more blocks the level increases. Each new level adds to the speed of the blocks up to a maximum level of 50. We would prefer to see the game get going a little quicker as things don’t really get tricky until you get past level 15. The slow starting speed adds considerable time to each game and this becomes a bit frustrating.
Graphically Rotolla is very simplistic but this fits the gameplay perfectly. The default view of the game views the action from an angle giving it a 3D appearance. However you can also switch to a pure 2D top down view. We tried both and preferred the 3D view. One additional option is the ability to choose between a dark or light colour scheme but this doesn’t change the game. A good puzzle game needs a decent soundtrack and Rotolla features an original soundtrack created by industry legend Akira Yamaoka (Silent Hill series, Shadow of the Damned) which doesn’t disappoint.
There isn’t anything more to the game and we would have liked to have seen a couple of different modes included for variety. However the important thing is that Rotolla is really fun and incredibly addictive to play. The integration of Game Center with online leaderboards can also turn it into a very competitive title. If you’re a puzzle game fan then you should definitely consider adding Rotolla to your library.