Tower defense meets Monkey Ball in the sequel to 2011’s Rock of Ages. Find out what we thought in our Rock of Ages II: Bigger & Boulder Review.
|Release Date||August 28, 2017|
|ESRB Rating||Everyone 10+|
I remember playing the original Rock of Ages back in 2011 when it came out. At the time I thought it was a pretty quirky title that was quite different than other titles on the market. I had a bit of fun with it, but I really didn’t think there was much of a possibility for the series to continue. I mean, what more could you do with rolling boulders down a course of obstacles? ACE Team proved me wrong and brought everyone a full sequel with Rock of Ages II: Bigger & Boulder.
The beauty of the Rock of Ages series is that it was already pretty innovative in 2011 and it has yet to really be imitated by any other game. The game’s story goes like this Atlas has misplaced the celestial sphere the only way to get it back is to launch a giant boulder to knock down the doors of his enemies. It’s a similar concept to the first game with Atlus replacing Sisyphus.
Rolling your boulder through a course of obstacles and pits of doom is the core mechanic of the game. Opponents are situated along mirrored versions of each map. The goal is to break down your opponent’s door and smush their ruler before they break yours down and do the same to yours. You have to do this as fast as possible because the difference between winning and losing could be as little as a few seconds. Of course, it’s not that simple. You and your opponent can lay down traps and obstacles to make things even more interesting.
These traps and obstacles range from normal things to complete oddities. The normal things you’ll encounter are cannons, catapults, patches that can fling your boulder off a ledge, etc. Some of the more absurd things you’ll see are whales that operate like a vacuum, herds of cows, and even a lion hanging from a balloon that captures you in its grasp. Some of these things can even destroy your boulder, but I’ve never come close to having that happen to any of mine so far. New gadgets can be unlocked through the game’s single-player campaign. You progress through the campaign by completing levels and earning stars. The higher the difficulty, the more stars you’ll obtain. There is also a time.
There’s a lot more strategy than just putting down obstacles to slow your opponent down. What about your boulder? You can choose a great variety of those as well. There are armoured boulders, there are boulders that can tar the ground on impact so the enemy can’t build on it, and there are even balloon boulders with a high jump. Of course, all of these have their weaknesses if they’re really good at something. For example, the balloon boulder can jump high, but the impact isn’t very good so it takes more hits to break down the door. There’s even a super-fast prehistoric wheel that’s really hard to turn. It’s all about what your strengths are and what you want most out of your boulder.
What I love the most about Rock of Ages II is how much personality there is in the game. All the faces on the boulders make me chuckle and the storyboards are equally as entertaining. The storyboards remind me of early South Park animation and move the story along quite well with a mix of history and mythology. The game definitely doesn’t take itself too seriously and it’s better for it. I mean, this is a game with bosses like The Great Sphinx.
Rock of Ages II does include multiplayer for up to 4 players. It’s a pretty fun thing to team up with someone else against another team of two and battle for supremacy. The great thing is that the levels actually intersect so you can even knock your opponents off if you’re feeling particularly villainous.
I had a good time with Rock of Ages II: Bigger & Boulder. This sequel improved a few things from the original, but mostly gave us more of the same which isn’t exactly a bad thing. I don’t know how much more you can really do with a game about boulders rolling through history and mythology. I think ACE Team did a wonderful job creating a humourous title that is unlike any other out there. It does get a bit repetitive after a while, but it is worth trying. Check this one out if you haven’t played it, it might surprise you!
*A copy of this game was provided to FYIG by Atlus for review purposes*