PC Game Review: Rollers of the Realm (2014)

Posted by Retrokaiser On Wednesday, April 29, 2015 0 comments

"Rollers of the Realm" is an action packed pinball adventure game that's set in the time of kingdoms and knights.  This game opens up with a tale about three legendary heroes that put the stop to an evil witch.  Shortly after that story we are introduced to a young female rogue and her pet dog.  Rogue is just your average street rat that likes to steal gold from passing strangers, sadly she gets into trouble with the authority and that leads to her dog getting taken away.  Rogue is very upset about the situation but lucky enough she runs into a drunk old knight and he is willing to help get her dog back.  Knight and Rogue manage to battle their way through the town and get back the dog but soon learn that a the Baron is trying to get away with something so dark, so evil, so gruesome, and so something that I'm not willing to spoil.  Now our two heroes will have to fight through the Baron's men if they want to survive but the trip isn't as harsh as it seems as our heroes will meet more heroes that will join up with them to defeat the Baron.  This is an adventure with balls and that's without a doubt.

The story in this game is a very simple tale about a rag tag group of heroes that must save the world from evil.  I liked the story but I also didn't find it to be anything all that special due to the story being a bit too overly simplistic.  The story is progressed though cut-scenes and boxes of dialogue and the presentation of them are very decent and the text boxes are easy to read.  This game does have voice acting, it was pretty decent as the voices matched up with the characters and the acting itself was good but  there were a few parts early in the game where the acting did sound a little forced but that forced sound went away pretty quickly.

The gameplay mixes in elements of action, adventure, role playing and traditional pinball as each level has a goal/mission and in order to complete those missions you must use paddles to knock around balls into stuff.  The missions require hitting different things including certain objects that are on the field so you can get items, barricades so you can get though to other areas, and enemies that will do what they can to stop you.  You will also gain experience points and gold during each level/stage and these come in handy as gaining experience will make your ball more powerful and you can spend gold on buying upgrades for your ball.

Each character is represented by a ball and at the start of the game you will only have a few characters/balls, you will gain more by just progressing through the story and by buying them from the store using the gold that you have earned.  You can only buy/unlock a new character from the store every time you gain a certain amount of levels and so you will have to grind in order to be able to unlock being able to buy all the unlockable characters.  Each ball also have special abilities like being able to spawn more balls for a multi ball moment, the ability to heal, making your ball more powerful, and being able to bring back a ball from the dead.  The way you get to use the special abilities is by filling up a bar that will collect magic points and once you've got enough magic you can hit the space bar and unleash the magic.  The spell system is very good as all the spells are very fun and useful and you will need to learn it if you want to beat this game with a pleasant experience. When your ball is resting on the main flippers (the ones with the health bars) you can switch between characters/balls by hitting the I key on the keyboard.

It took me a little bit to get used to using the flippers in this game as I am used to the control set up found in "Pinball FX 2 (2013)" and "Pinball Arcade (2012)", the way you use the flippers in those games is by hitting the left and right shift keys.  In this game you use the flippers by using the A and L keys and I had no problem with it once I got used to it.  One thing that is unique about the flipper system in this game is that both your flippers have health bars.  The flippers will shorten in size the more health they lose but you can refill their health bars by using your healer ball and hit bumpers that are on the field.  Only a few enemies can actually damage your bumpers like archers and wizards that shoot flaming balls and so you do not have to worry about your flippers being attacked in every level.

You can also control the ball by using the S key to nudge the ball left and the K key to nudge the ball right.  The nudging system can take a little bit of time to get used to but once you've got it down, you will find it to be incredibly helpful in certain situations.  There's also a power-up that makes controlling the ball much easier and you will be begging for that power-up in certain stages.  Do not worry about the game locking up from tilting the balls too much as these pinball tables don't do that and that's okay as it isn't really needed for a pinball adventure game like this (I just wish all pinball tables didn't lock up from tilting the ball).

The pinball physics in this game are pretty decent as the ball does feel like it has some weight to it and the ball does react to how you would hit a ball in a physical pinball machine.  The paddle physics are good as they also feel like they carry some weight and help make for some very tight ball hitting.  The difficulty in this game is fair as it starts off easy and becomes harder as it goes along and it does so at a very natural pace.  This game isn't very long as you can beat it in an afternoon but I didn't find the need to keep playing the story mode after I had beaten it as I found one playthrough of the main mode to be enough.  There is replay value to be found despite not wanting to beat the story mode more than once and the replay value can be found in the bonus mode.  The bonus mode has you trying to beat certain levels in a certain time and with a certain score and I found it to be really fun and very addicting.

Graphics in this game do not look bad by any means although they do not look anything special either.  The game has a basic look but that isn't a bad thing as you can clearly make out to what is going on in the level and having a clean look for pinball is a good move for when making a pinball game.  I did like the designs for the levels as they were fun to knock the ball around and they also vary in sizes and that added some nice variation to the game.  The character designs in this game were average looking when it came to the 3D models but they were good looking when it came to the 2D artwork and I was a fan of the portrait styled paintings for the character art-work.  Music in this game was enjoyable as it used an epic styled orchestra sound and it did go well with what went on in the game.

Overall this is a very decent game and also a kind of game that doesn't come about all that often, I think this is the latest pinball action adventure game to come out since "Odama (2006)" for the Nintendo Gamecube but I could be mistaken as a lot of games have come out between 2006 and 2014 (please correct me if I'm wrong).  I do recommend to go out and play this game as it would be worth your time but do not go into this thinking it will improve your skills on the more traditional based digital pinball games.  Worth playing.

Game: Rollers of the Realm
System: PC (Reviewing Steam version)
Developer: Phantom Compass
Publisher: Atlus U.S.A. Inc.
Genre: Pinball, Adventure, Action
Price: $9.99 (Steam)
Recommended: Yes


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