Roll in the Hole Review

By , on October 17, 2011

Roll in the Hole
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5


  • Bright and colorful art style with solid design.
  • Delivers exactly what it promises.


  • Controls a bit finicky.


If you've ever wanted to collect lollipops while rolling a fat Panda towards a hole, Roll in the Hole will provide you with just that.

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When you start playing a game titled Roll in the Hole, you expect two things. Rolling, and a hole to roll into. You'll be happy to know that this game delivers on both those fronts. You play Popo the fat Panda. A mean Gorilla has stolen all your ice cream and you must chase him down the only way you can, by rolling into oblivion.

You would think that a game based around rolling would revolve around tilt controls, but funnily enough, Roll in the Hole uses the touch screen. The screen is split in two, and touching either side will start Popo rolling in that direction. Be lenient on how much speed you give him though, as once momentum begins, it's very hard for the Panda to stop or change direction. As the levels continue you learn a feather touch is required for even the most straight-forward looking levels, and even then a mistimed roll can send you careening off the level's edge. Along with just getting to the exit in one piece, there are three ice creams in each level replacing the stars that most puzzle games include these days. A certain number is required to unlock all the other worlds so even though you can skip those levels giving you a hard time, you might need to return to them to witness everything the game has to offer.

Visually Role in the Hole is striking. A very colorful and solidly designed cartoon style adds to the rolling experience, as do the jovial sound effects and music. There are seventy two levels in all with different surfaces affecting how the rolling works, so those enthralled with Popo's plight will definitely get their money's worth.

There seems to be a winning formula for the app store lately. Take a simple physics based puzzle concept, add some cute animals or creatures, design a bunch of levels and you have yourself a game that will appeal to the masses. This is not cynicism speaking, but rather a curiosity on how long this formula can last. Roll in the Hole skirts the edge of this line, being a solid idea with some great polish, but with the controls and gameplay possibly being a little too finicky to make a title that truly shines.


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