If Katamari Damacy’s young prince is the Patron Saint of Rolling Stuff Up, then the boulder that features in Adult Swim’s Giant Boulder of Death is the Dark God of Tearing Stuff Down. Giant Boulder of Death is best described as an “endless rolling game”—or maybe even an “endless destruction game.” Either way, knocking cows, houses, and humans aside like so many bowling pins is as fun as it sounds. At least for a little while.
Believe it or not, Giant Boulder of Death has a story behind it, and it’s a tragic one. A boy boulder balanced precariously on a mountain peak spends his days mooning over a girl boulder situated at the entrance of a Bavarian mountain town. Alas, one day the girl boulder is chiseled into a statue of a General who lives in the town. Blinded by fury, boy boulder thunders down from his peak to deliver human-squashing justice.
There is but one goal in Giant Boulder of Death: Be the best damn giant boulder of death you can be. Each new session begins with you (as the boulder) rolling down from your mountain lair and falling directly into the business of crushing whatever’s in your way: Trees, cows, yetis, houses, villagers, name it. Every act of destruction nets you points, and you can also collect coins for upgrades. If you chain enough acts of havoc together, you can fill up a power meter that temporarily transforms you into a spiked, invincible wheel of agony.
When your rock goes Super Saiyan, it can rip through anything that’s put in front of it. That includes the walls, spikes, barriers, and tanks that the aforementioned General erects in hopes of stopping you. The further you roll, the trickier the traps become.
Giant Boulder of Death is stupidly easy to play, and highly addictive as a result. It is, however, one of those games that you burn out on quickly; strange as it may sound, there are only so many times you can mow down cows before it starts to get a bit old. Moreover, while the controls are adequate, they’re not as sharp as they could be. The sluggish response time makes it difficult to navigate traps that are set closely together. Yeah, rocks are slow animals, but this stony dude is supposed to be sentient.
Regardless, Giant Boulder of Death is free, and it’s crazy fun for the length of time it does manage to keep you occupied. And by playing as the rock, you’re also participating in righteous vigilante justice. So, y’know. Rock and roll.