Genre: Action and Puzzle
System: XBOX 360 (XBLA)
Review by: MrB4
Anybody out there who has even the slightest case of motion sickness(myself included), should be warned that this particular title for the XBLA could cause an unwanted event to occur at any moment. Rotastic is one of those unusual experiences that can satisfy a player, and frustrate them all at the same time. It’s one of those games in which it may not look like there is much on the surface due to how simple the design is, but then pulls a complete 180 on you, and provides a deep amount of challenge that even the most experienced players will have a hard time accomplishing. Prepare the barf bugs, and study up on those obscenities, because it’s time to dive deep into a world unlike anything you have ever seen before.
Graphics: The overall presentation is somewhat reminiscent of a saturday morning cartoon. Character designs are colorful and silly, same goes with their animations. Level layouts are easy on the eyes, and don’t offer much in the way of variety, outside of a few color changes, and some different background images. Everything that goes on inside of them though is another story, because obstacles change constantly, making each stage a new and refreshing experience every time.
Gameplay: Easy to understand, yet very difficult to master. Each level is set up with a few dots, placed in different areas, that enable to player to manuever through them, while collecting objects such as coins, gems, etc. Your character has a rope that can attach to these dots, and then they can swing in a circle around them, much like a pendulum, in order to get where they need to go. Controls are simple, one button is used to detach and jump through obstacles, while the left joystick is used to move the character in the direction you wish him to go.
Completing objectives seems simple enough at first, because you may only have to obtain a certain amount of jewels, or hit a few switches to get through them. Over time things will be begin to change up, and the player will have to undergo more difficult tasks to win, such as surviving a stage for a specific amount of time, performing special aerial maneuvers to obtain unreachable items, or participating in boss fights with only a limited number of lives. These variations make Rotastic alot of fun to play, but there were also a number of times in which I became frustrated with how long it took me to complete certain stages, but this, in no way shape or form, can be blamed on the game whatsoever.
Sound: This is a mixed bag to be honest with you, because the sound effects themselves tended to either leave me with a feeling of satisfaction for getting the best of the other players in the stage, or frustration for the exact opposite reason. For what it’s worth though, they were very impactful, and added a level of the tension to the game that made me want to come back for more. As far as the in game music goes, it’s not bad, but not anything to write home about, and is mostly comprised of lively and lighthearted tunes meant to relax players in admist of all of the chaos that is going on around them. My only gripe here is the commentary, because in all honesty, I’m not really interested in hearing somebody call me a noob, and after hearing that same phrase multiple times in a row, I became downirght annoyed with it.
Replayability: Once you have finished the main quest, there really isn’t all that much to come back to. The multiplayer mode was fun for awhile, but it just doesn’t have the staying power that it should. Leaderboards are always nice to see, and unlocking something other extra characters would have given something more to shoot for as well.
Fun Factor: Rotastic was fun while it lasted, but there is really no reason to come back and play any part of the game a second time, unless you are obsessed with leaderboards. Wait until there’s a price drop (to somewhere around 400 points or so) to pick it up, because then you may not feel so bad for dropping the space bucks on something that you may, or may not, come back to in the long run.
Final Score: 4 out of 5 stars
Developer: Dancing Dots
Publisher: Focus Home Interactive
MSRP: 800 Microsoft Points ($9.99)