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SolaRola Review

By Dave Flodine, on August 7, 2012


SolaRola
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • Beautiful alien picturesque backgrounds.
  • Only one star to collect? I can dig it.

CONS

  • Terrible sound effects.
  • Rather bland gameplay.

VERDICT

Perhaps more suited to younger players, Solarola has you playing a rolling alien blob jumping around worlds, avoiding goo, and reaching the level's goal. It lacks that something special, and the sound effects certainly don't help matters.


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I know what you're thinking. It's a game where you roll around. That much you have spot on. However, contrary to what may be going through your head, you are not rolling around a jazz musician or a creature powered by sunlight. No, this is the story of Wiz and Waz, intrepid space explorers who find themselves crashed on an alien world, and have to find the necessary parts to get home, and then  continue their jobs of exploration, collection, and eventually saving the galaxy.

Now a game where you roll a blob around, you'd think it would be tilt based. Not so - at least not by default. The screen has a left and right arrow to roll in that direction, and a up arrow to jump. You need to jump over deadly goo and rocks, and roll other rocks to access higher ground, or roll fuel cells into their containers. Each level has a simple goal and a pretty straight-forward way to obtain that goal, as well as a single star to collect (usually obtained by jumping on the aforementioned rolling rocks). All the while you can marvel at the impressive alien backgrounds and cringe at the sound effects.

The backgrounds are the visual highlight of the game. A lot of effort was spent on their vibrancy and variety. The foreground visuals are rather simplistic in comparison. It's an odd choice, but it kind of works as an interesting choice of contrast. The sound on the other hand is tragic. Each jump is accompanied by an annoying exclamation from your blob, and seeing as a platformer is based around jumping, you'll be muting your iPhone in the span of a level or two depending on your tolerance.

Solarola is really just kind of there. Its flaws are balanced by what it does right, but there's nothing that really stands out or gives the game a unique quality to it. Younger players may get more mileage (and with the design, we can only assume that's the intended age bracket), but even still, the whole experience falls more than a bit flat.

Screenshots

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