Rollabear Review

Rollabear Review

Jan 8, 2014

We know we like stuff projected by catapults. We know cute animals are to die for. We like physics puzzlers, adore gesture controls and absolutely live to knock over weird-sounding Homer Simpson wannabes.

Here’s Rollabear. It brings in subtle portions of all these elements. Somehow.

The gameplay is all explained in the doing. It’s virtual bowling on a whole new level. The backstory is a strange yet compelling tale that involves laundromat washing machines becoming portals to a forest world where grunting backwoods folk become bowling pins.

It (the gameplay) comes in three flavors. Campaign, Ten Round and Survivor. Campaign pits the player against AI in level-based gameplay. Ten Round is like “regular bowling over ten frames, while in Survivor, you have to get strikes or spares to stay alive.

To play, a virtual finger pull builds up the required kinetic power, while holding the extended elastic and shifting roll1the finger adjusts the direction. Releasing the catapult flings the bear projectile in the direction of the man-pins, which usually can just be seen in the distance. At some point during flight, the flung bear folds over and becomes more sphere-like. The basic rules of physics mostly hold sway. Hitting the front pin at an angle tends to create the right type of cascade for a strike; swiping on the screen right before the bear hits the pins helps create an effective spin.

Any pins not picked up by a roll can be targeted again for the spare. Outgrowths, “natural” ramps and narrow lanes make it quite the challenge.

Rollabear is ostensibly free, with a catch; one gets only so many rolls a day, after which a prompt to unlock unlimited tools via in-app purchase comes up. Outside of that, players have to wait for the daily roll limit to reset.

Can’t fuss too much at developers for monetizing, though, and this is one game that I suspect won’t be held back by a purchase requirement.

Be ready though. This could be a new year addiction.