Rolling Hero flips the concept of a traditional platformer quite literally. Instead of guiding your character from one end of the level to the other by running and jumping across the environment, you control the environment itself. Although you never move your character directly in Rolling Hero, you tilt the world to roll him in the direction you want to go.
The controls of Rolling Hero are simple: Tapping on the left side of the screen causes the level to rotate to the left, while tapping on the right causes a rotation to the right. Rotating the level makes your hero to roll downhill and, hopefully, toward the goal. Each level is small, able to fit within your device’s screen. The levels are also mostly round, with lots of curved platforms to roll your hero across.
Your job is to safely get the hero into a portal in each level, but that may not always be so easy. The portal can be locked, and you need to get your hero to the key to open the portal. Other times, there may be obstacles in the way, which require patience and skill to avoid. One hit and your hero is dead.
You’ll be tossing your hero around in these levels, often dropping him from one platform to the other. However, we found that the gravity isn’t always easy to figure out. Most levels have gaps between platforms, and, if you’re not careful, your hero will fall through. However, he won’t just fall to his death. In fact, he’ll often linger as though in orbit. We found if we rotate the level, it’s possible to bring your hero back down to earth. The game never offers to explain the world’s sense of gravity, and it can be difficult to predict.
The game is divided up into different worlds, each offering a new level of challenge. For an extra buck, you can unlock all the worlds in one fell swoop, or you can risk it and unlock the levels as you go. The game becomes more difficult and presents new challenges and power-ups as you progress. Despite all the puzzles this game offers, each level feels relatively the same.
Although we’ve seen similar games on the App Store before, Rolling Hero offers a twist to the standard conventions of platformers, with a colorful, eye-pleasing world to boot. Despite all of this, it doesn’t offer enough to make it a favorite. It’s a fun game to play through once, but we doubt we’ll be picking up much after we’re done.