Rolando for iPhone review

Rolando is an alarmingly addictive iPhone and iPod touch game from Ngmoco. It’s a classic side-scrolling platform game in which you move your pieces from Point A to Point B, overcoming obstacles, gathering up items, and avoiding menacing bad guys as you try to reach the finish line.

Your mission is to move the Rolandos to safety, picking up gems and rescuing members of the Rolandoland royal family, while avoiding deadly Shadow Boxes.

Fortunately, you have an arsenal of finger commands and the iPhone’s built-in accelerometer at your disposal. Tap on a particular Rolando to control it. Tilting your iPhone or iPod touch causes it to roll in that direction. Drag a finger upwards, and the selected Rolandos jump. There are assorted buttons, wheels and elevators that you can press, drag, or push to help your Rolandos reach their destination.

You get points for each Rolando you save, as well as for any diamonds you pick up. You score bonus points if you can complete a level in the allotted time.

Completing a level opens up new ones – there are 36 in all, spread across four lands (which unfold in map form whenever you launch the game).

Gameplay is challenging without being frustrating. Ngmoco includes tutorials at each stage, with tips on controlling the Rolandos’ movements.

OUR VERDICT

The game is not without its flaws. We find the Royal Spikey Commandos – who can climb up walls – difficult to control. But it’s clear that Ngmoco has thought through the game and how to make the most out of the iPhone’s features. Rolando is a stellar example of what can be done with the iPhone platform if you put your mind to it.

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