Rolling Spells HD (Unique puzzle-arcade game)

Discussion in 'iPad Apps' started by Sunnncho, Mar 9, 2011.

  1. Sunnncho macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2011
    We're glad to present our new game – Rolling Spells HD.



    Official site of the game:






    Our players say:

    by ojtitus (5/5)

    This is a fun new puzzle game. The gameplay is easy to understand and keeps you on your toes. The basic concept of the game is lining up platforms to create a path for colored orbs to fall into their matching colored pot below. While this sounds easy and it is at first, it gets much harder on later levels with more colored pots and other variations but luckily you can earn spells and extra chances to help you out in a pinch. In later levels you have to keep insects from stealing your orbs and you have to content with other hazards that make getting the orbs into the right pot difficult and help keep the game from getting too repetative. There is a story mode and a survival mode, story mode consists of completing levels to move onto the next level, survival mode allows you to play any of the story mode levels but with no end. There is a lot of fun here especially if you like puzzle games.

    by rpgdad (4/5)

    The game is a nice change from line drawing and time management games, but will appeal to people who enjoy those types of games. The graphics and sound are top notch and the gameplay is fun and addictive. You always want to play just one more level. This is the kind of game for which the iPad was made. It has plenty of levels in adventure mode and three difficulty levels. The best part is the inclusion of an endless survival mode. The survival mode combined with the thorough adventure mode gives the game a lot of replay value. The load screens are slightly long. Also, my main menu always says authenticating... and the high score screen only says loading... I think this is due to the fact that I do not use any online system like game center. If so, it would be nice if people not using these features don't see these messages. I would also like to see multiple files for people who want to have their own adventure file. Other than these minor quibbles, I love the game and would recommend it at the current asking price. (Full disclosure: I did receive a promo code for the game.)

    by writingsama (4/5)

    First and foremost, this game is fun and highly recommended. I rag on the visuals, but please read past that part! I give it a 4 out of 5.

    So, on to the review:

    The visuals are a bit too cluttered for my taste. They're very, very detailed and colorful - but, as an example, on the title screen, the letters don't really stand out very well against the very detailed and colorful trees. This cluttered visual style extends to much of the game's visual design, such as the menus and the map.

    Everything in the game looks like a bad HDR picture, which is to say, there's no shadows, just tonal changes. (Which has its own good points - please don't believe I am completely bashing the art - it is technically very good, just too cluttered!)

    Thankfully, like most negative aspects (and there aren't a lot), that doesn't translate over to the actual play screen, in which I would only ask for a little more contrast, but it is still easy to play and see.

    This could be my own personal taste talking, though. Like I mentioned, the in-game screen works well, and that's the most important part.

    I can't comment on the audio. I played (as I almost always do) with the sound off. Sorry.

    When I first started playing I thought it might be a children's game. The pacing of everything - the way the marbles fall, the way the intro happens, etc. - seemed so sedate. I was worried it would be a walk in the park.

    A quick overview of the gameplay: four types of balls drop one after the other onto a playing field consisting of little diagonal platforms off of which they roll to the right or the left, depending on the platform's direction. You can switch the direction of any of them by tapping on it. Switching them is very precise and I never once switched the wrong one, which is good, it's all too easy to mess that up on a touch screen. There are three colored cauldrons to direct the balls to, and spells to get if you direct the gold ones to various arrows on the sides of the playing field. You can also get extra "lives" by dropping three golden ones in any cauldron.

    The game isn't very clear on a few points: it says "any cauldron," but I discovered that it meant I could drop two in red and one in blue and it would still count. I wasn't sure if it meant "pick any cauldron and drop them all in there."

    The balls have a relatively constant speed; they don't accelerate past a certain point. This is very good for gameplay reasons, it helps keep the pace and keep things manageable. It's almost like directing something other than falling balls, but it feels very natural and works very well.

    Soon, twists are added - "boss fights", little locks in place of platforms that lose you a life if you don't avoid them - but you can get spells to unlock the locks - and there are probably other things that spice the gameplay up coming down the road if my 45 mins. so far is any indication.

    The difficulty ramps up nicely and quickly. The first few levels went by fast and soon I was managing multiple balls on the playing field and also trying to hit the correct spells with gold coins. What seemed sedate at first gets frantic, but not in a stressful way; I really appreciate how the designers managed to pace it so you can be performing complex tasks and even racing to do things and not be on the edge of your seat. It feels like - you have enough time, you just have to use it properly. The game doesn't pile on too much, but just the right amount. Which isn't to say it's uninteresting or boring - its just perfectly intense for this sort of game, by my standards. And I do like tense games - just finished Dead Space 2, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, and Just Cause 2 on my PC, but I also play Minecraft and adventure games.

    It gets very zen: balls are dropping, you're swapping around pieces directing things, occasionally frantically rearranging your whole board to deal with upsets, and then suddenly it's 45 minutes later when you only meant to spend 15. This is a good thing.

    Of course, (visuals aside) this isn't a complete paradise of gameplay. I found most of the spells superfluous (though they may be needed later on, who knows!) and the loading times between levels were a touch long. Especially since the game doesn't change the background (which is mostly obscured by the playing field) every level, it makes you wonder why it needs so much time. It's a little shy of taking too long to load, but it would be really nice if it would load a bit faster.

    Also, the "you win!" type screen comes up rather slowly and sedately, as do other little events. A general picking-up of the pace when outside of the gameplay would be a little nice, IMO. But again, this is only a small complaint against a very worthwhile and fun game.

    I have a lot of games on my iPad and many of them don't get much play time, I have a feeling this will be a regular contender though.

    I've only tried adventure mode, but survival looks tempting.

    Suggestions to the developer - and some of these may be in the game later on anyhow!:

    -Some kind of event that randomizes the board - for instance hitting a "bad" spell, or in a survival mode where you get a one-two: first miss randomizes the board, all misses after that take lives until you stop missing. I can't emphasize this enough: a randomization of the board in the middle of the game would be really fun!

    -Also, switching around cauldrons as a form of punishment, like if a green ball goes into a blue pot, they switch places so now that's the green pot and the blue is where the green was, or as a punishment for hitting the wrong spell.

    -A zoomed out version, where the playing field is larger and you can be managing more marbles at a time; alternately, if the marbles moved slower in a certain mode, this could also be accomplished.

    -Later on, dropping two balls at opposite sides of the field in increasing frequency

    -Some kind of indicator of how far through the level you are would be nice.

    -A *little* more contrast on the playing field

    -A *little* less cutesiness in the dialogs

    -A *little* more clarity in some of the instructions.

    -I haven't even pushed the survival button yet, but it would be nice to start out slow, medium, or fast instead of always starting from the "bottom;" some games do that with survival mode and it gets tedious to go through the easy parts every time - take for instance, Ninjatown: Trees of Doom, which I enjoyed a LOT more after the update when they added the ability to start at 1000 ft at the start when you've reached that high, if you wanted.

    Final thoughts:

    I like this game a lot. I would not regret having purchased it. The gameplay far outshines any issues I have with the visuals (which are a matter of taste). I can't wait to see what twists the game has in store for me, and just even play faster and faster. If the survival mode is robust I can't see any reason I'll be deleting this game for quite a while.
  2. Sunnncho thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2011

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