Developer: Chillingo Ltd
Price: $0.99 Download on the App Store
Chillingo keeps rolling out the apps and their recent release of Roll in the Hole has people talking. Developed by Eccentricity Games, Roll in the Hole is another cute and cuddly game loosely based on physics where players puzzle out how to get PoPo the panda to collect all three ice-cream treats on each level. Players can advance to different worlds by collecting the required minimum number of popsicles and complete the game by earning three stars on all 72 levels.
Roll in the Hole can most definitely be categorized as cute – perhaps downright adorable. PoPo the panda is rotund and robust and an all around roly-poly delight that is also challenging to control and hard to walk away from. Whether he’s rolling, sliding, or bouncing, it’s pretty clear why he’s winning the hearts of more than a few casual mobile game lovers. Roll in the Hole also features a goofy thieving Gorilla, but his presence is part of a storyline that is rather ambiguous and has no impact on play.
One of the most interesting things about Roll in the Hole is the exclusive choice of touch controls. For a game that is so obviously suited for tilt control, the choice to use the touch left, touch right control mechanism is confusing. It isn’t that the controls are complicated, but mastering the controls in conjunction with sensitivity is a bit of challenge. In many ways it pays to go slow, which cuts down on action, but being as how the main character is a panda, it might actually make sense. Nonetheless it still leaves room for complaint from users who are accustomed to and prefer tilt control games.
Aside from the control conundrum, Roll in the Hole meets Chillingo-hyped expectations as far as graphics, sound and overall composition. There’s nothing breakthrough to report, but it fits the bill as a casual game with variation in level design. With three worlds – the valley, ice, and stars – PoPo ventures into different maneuvering challenges as players attempt to get him safely to the portal exit. Some levels are challenging, especially given the desire to whip through them when the controls won’t allow it, but it minimizes frustration by allowing players to skip levels. Of course, new worlds don’t open without a minimum number of stars, but the end goal is achievable.
Roll in the Hole is available for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. It may look cuter in HD, but the benchmark .99 for the standard iPhone version is right on par and provides another satisfying mobile adventure. If you like cute and cuddly, Roll in the Hole is pure panda pleasure.