Indie Review: Rock of Ages
Rock of Ages is a boulder bashing and strategic defense game in which you need to squish your opponent and stop them from squishing you.
- Worth The Time?Most definitely; if the humor doesn’t keep you playing, you are, as plainly stated as possible, dead inside.
- Things LovedThe whole game; especially the quirky humor
- Things HatedSometimes, only sometimes, the physics with regards to the boulder movement can become frustrating
- RecommendationA definite must have! Buy now!
- Name: Rock of Ages
- Genre: Tower Defense, Action, Racing
- Players: 2 player versus
- Multiplayer: Yes
- Platforms: PC, MacOS, Linux and XBox
- Developer: ACE Team
- Publisher: Indie
- Price: $9.99
- Reviewed On: PC
Firstly, and before I write any sort of unbiased review for this game, I feel I must first express my completely biased opinion:
Rock of Ages is amazing! I’m surprised so little people own this game and that even less have even heard about it; it’s unimaginable. Not owning this game would be like not owning a cell phone or a widescreen monitor/television in our modern day and age; it’s simply inexcusable. I’m struggling to even fathom the concept of not playing Rock of Ages.
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Before I get too involved in your failures and clearly disappointing choice in video game purchases, let me give you an unbiased review of Rock of Ages and hopefully you too will understand why I think this game is the business.
Firstly, the game is based loosely on the story of Sisyphus who was a king punished for being a rather craft and sly fellow when dealing with the old Greek gods. He was compelled to roll an immense boulder up a monstrous hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this mind numbing task throughout eternity. In comes the beginning of Rock of Ages story. Sisyphus being the crafty fellow he is decides to roll the boulder down this huge hill to break down the gates of Hades and escape. Upon escaping Sisyphus travels throughout the major time periods of humanity facing other boulder wielding historical figures.
These periods of time comprise of:
Each time period introduces a wonky track, with which to navigate your ever faithful boulder, as well as giving you new towers and devices to prevent the opponent’s treacherous boulder from reaching your own gate. The concept of the game is rather simple. As stated before, you navigate a track with your boulder, bashing through buildings from that time period as well as the towers erected by your opponent; these reward you with gold so you may put obstacles in your opponent’s boulders path. Whoever’s gate gets bashed through first is the loser. You will at times have to navigate the track up to 4 times to break through a gate. After your boulder takes a shot at breaking the gate it crumbles to dust and must be re-carved. You may choose to augment your boulder with iron spikes or even imbue your boulder with the heat of the sun and sow fiery death upon your opponent’s defenses.
If you aren’t into the whole “offense is the best defense” strategy, you may invest your hard earned gold into defense. These defenses include:
These fortified structures serve to block the boulder’s path. You may bash your way through these towers which, depending on its strength, may significantly damage your poor boulder.
Pebbles, rocks or even livestock launched via catapult to divert the course of a boulder.
Placed on key points of the track, you may prevent boulders from taking a shortcut usually achieved by bouncing over a gap.
Mad cows and even mammoths, who are a little ticked off by the whole extinction thing, will charge a well doing boulder and knock it off to the direction you face the peeved animal (preferably of the side of the track).
They go boom; boulder gets blown away.
For the wise economist and budding entrepreneur, you may build structures that increase your gold income so you may place more defenses down.
Huge fans that will push your boulder off of its intended path.
Projectile firing towers or cannons that damage the boulder chipping it down bit by bit until there is nothing left.
All of this boulder bashing and strategic defense placing is conveyed in a great Monty Python animation styled aesthetic. The quirky look to the game adds to the humorous task of bashing your way through the track. Don’t be fooled though, this game uses the unreal engine and rewards people who have moved past Windows 95 and CRT monitors with great visual effects.
The singleplayer campaign can only be described as an experience you must have; an experience like your first beer or getting that first chest hair. In between tracks you are treated to a Monty Python animation styled cut scene brimming with quirky humor. My favorite being the entity of ‘The Plague’ being portrayed as a misunderstood person only looking to make friends, but ultimately just kills everyone and everything he comes into contact with. You do not only bash through courses but must also defeat time period bosses. These behemoths will usually have a weak spot that you need to pulverize with your boulder before the boss chips your boulder down to a pebble.
The multiplayer is just as rewarding. You may challenge your friend in battle mode, on a selected track, and finally determine who the better boulder wielding strategist is. Or, if you’d prefer, you may try your hand at the skeeball game mode where you may use your boulder to bash your opponent off course to achieve the best score.
There, now if you don’t understand why you must have this game, I am done with you. Go play Bingo with your Gran. My words were clearly wasted on you. For the rest of you who know a good thing when you see it, give me a shout sometime, I’d love to school you in the ways of boulder bashing strategy.