Steam Game Review: On a Roll 3D (2015)

Posted by Retrokaiser On Wednesday, March 4, 2015 0 comments

"On a Roll 3D" is a fast paced 2.5D platforming game for the PC.  In this game you play as a ball with eyeballs that must travel the world to stop evil balls from taking over the world.  The journey will be the tough one for good ol' Ball as he must travel high and low, avoid dastardly spike traps, and solve puzzles to get past locked doors...  Ball has it tough.  It takes one ball to change the world in On a Roll 3D. (Click "Read More" to read the full article).

Story in this game is something that you'll have to interpret for yourself while playing the game.  The story doesn't matter anyway as the focus of this game is the gameplay.  Gameplay is a simple platformer that is really fun to play.  The gameplay focus' a lot on being a classic styled platformer to where not only is the goal is to beat the levels but to also get a high score and fast times.  You do have health in this game and you get health by collecting starts found throughout every level.  When you get hit by an enemy you will lose some stars and when they hit you when you have no stars you just simply lose a life.  

Another collectable found on each level is an item that looks like a number and that's because it is a collectable number and what that item does is add to your score. Lastly you can also find extra lives throughout the game and they do come in handy.  When you beat a level with all stars collected you'll get a nice point bonus, that's not the only points bonus you can get at the end of a level as you also get bonus points for not getting hit, not losing a life, and for defeating all enemies.  One thing that was a bit weird in the post-level bonus points was that defeating all enemies is marked as "All Enemies Killed" and the "Killed" part seems a bit out of place for a cutesy family friendly game like this and thus it clashes styles. 

There are six worlds you can visit in this game and they are each made up of three standard stages and one boss stage.  Beating the standard stages is pretty simple as all you do is just make it to the other end of the map and avoid all the obstacles.  The boss stages in this game is the weakest point of the game as the boss stages are very slow.  Each boss isn't that hard to beat once you've figured out their attack pattern and it can be frustrating to figure out that pattern on some bosses as their patterns aren't very obvious although you will figure out their pattern very quickly as they weren't hard to learn.  One thing that was interesting about the boss stages was that you do not fight the boss right away but you have to go though a mini-level to get to them and so there's a chance you'll die on the level before you even reach the big ball himself.  Even though I said that the boss fights were the weakest part of the game as I still found them to be quite enjoyable nonetheless.

This game is not a hard one to beat as the difficulty is quite mild although that's not to say that there isn't any challenge in this game as I'm just saying that anybody can beat this game is all.  This game isn't very long as you can play this from start to finish in one or two hours depending on how fast you are trying to beat the game.  There is a lot of replay value in this game and you'll find yourself playing through this game quite a few times due to the addicting gameplay.  I'm not normally the one to care for online leaderboards in games but this was one of those rare cases where I found this feature to be quite addicting and it made myself want to get better at each level until I can speed-run this game and steal the number one spot (I actually did have the number one spot on one level at one time).

Controls in this game are simple as all you do is move with the left and right keys and use the up key to perform a jump.  The controls were very smooth and responsive which is a great thing for a platformer like this and it helps a lot making the game fun.  This game may also look like it plays in 3D but it actually plays in 2D and I liked the fusion between the two styles.  The hybrid style also makes for some fun visuals as the 3D effects will twist and turn each stage and it takes me back to the day of playing "Pandemonium (1996)" for the PlayStation as this game has the exact same 2.5D style as that game which is a good thing.

Graphics in this game are fairly average looking but from the looks of it, it seems that was the developers intention to make this game look a bit outdated as it helps make the game look like a clean Nintendo 64 or PlayStation One game (maybe even throw in Dreamcast in there) and it actually works well with the game.  Character designs are very basic as all they are balls with eyeballs and they look very cute and did I feel a little bad for squashing the bad balls as I just want to cuddle them instead (so cute).  Speaking of character designs as you can change the color of the main character in the menus and I liked it.

The levels were designed well with no areas feeling dodgy and well thought of puzzles and obstacles.  One thing I do find strange about the levels is that they all seem like they were copying level themes found in "Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)" but in a way where this game was paying tribute...  Heck if you are going to pay tribute to 1990's platformers with the gameplay and graphics, you might as well do the same for level themes as it makes sense.  Music in this game has an 1990's sound that reminds me of platformers from the PlayStation One but it also sounds generic but not in a bad way.  The soundtrack was also very calming which is good as you'll need that for the frustrating parts of the game.  I did enjoy the tune that played at the end of each level as it gives you a sense of satisfaction.

Overall if you grew up with games during the late-1980's to 2004 then you are bound to have a ball with this game.  I must say that this is also a title you shouldn't judge by it's cover as the screens do make this game look uninteresting to play but the end product is far from being uninteresting and I do recommend this game.  Hidden gem.

Game: On a Roll 3D
System: PC
Developer/Publisher: Battenberg Software
Genre: Action, Adventure, Platformer, Neo-Retro
Price: $3.99 (Steam)
Recommended: Yes


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