Picture the scene. You stand overlooking a beautiful mountain landscape with the love of your life waving to you from afar. However, you are too far away to prevent them from being struck down, all the while noticing the horrific grin etched onto their tormentors face. Now imagine that you are a boulder. From this, it becomes rather easy to sympathise with the spherical chap which is probably a good thing as the ensuing massacre it embarks on might be hard to justify otherwise. Indeed, the entire experience of Adult Swim and Pik Pok’s latest collaboration Giant Boulder of Death is surprising to say the least.
Currently available as a free app for IOS devices, there are few complaints that can be made about the fluency and satisfaction of the gameplay. You play as the aforementioned boulder as you set off down the mountainside looking for nothing more than to eliminate those who harmed your beloved. And mangle a few hitchhikers. And a dog or two. In fact there is little that you do not have a grudge against and the game is better for it.
As the title implies, there is little in the way of subtlety when it comes to Adult Swim conceptions. Barrelling through a large collection of targets is sadistically satisfying, especially when the combo meter is filled and the aptly named ‘invinciboulder’ is unleashed. Simple controls make Giant Boulder of Death accessible to anyone, with tilting the chosen method of steering and tapping which allows the boulder to jump over oncoming blockades or enemies. The game flows beautifully with the boulder able to pick up momentum on particularly steep segments whilst the ricochet physics send enemies flying hilariously in all directions. Fluency is also aided with the in-game continue system, though this is when the infamous IAP’s become apparent once more.
Players aim to collect coins as a way to upgrade their boulder and cause more carnage, whilst finding the occasional gem can allow them to continue a game if they are stopped. However, finding these gems is rare and players are encouraged to purchase a stockpile as an in-app purchase. Often players will have enough gems for one continue per run and though it is frustrating to not have enough to continue constantly, the minimum £1.49 price tag is a tad questionable when all gems are liable to be used on a single playthrough. Luckily, the IAPs do not detract too greatly from the over-arching feel of the game and their recent offer of a discounted starter pack is a lot more reasonable than previous ‘deals’.
Cute blocky graphics and a quirky yodelling soundtrack add charm, whilst the simple objectives keep this casual game casual. Coins are easy enough to obtain, meaning that they do not need purchasing and the level goals give the title a sense of purpose. It is evident that this is a game that is restricted in run time when you can see the limit of each upgrade and you are brushing aside anything in your path with minimal effort. To a certain extent though, this is acceptable as Giant Boulder of Death is intended to be enjoyed intermittently whilst waiting for your lives to recover on Candy Crush Saga or your frustration levels to evaporate after a Peggle session. It would be hard to play for more than half an hour at a time as it just does not have the depth of these other titles. Overall, sceptics should persevere with this title just like the boulder should persevere with his quest. Do not fret my rocky comrade; you will make it to her one day. Giant Boulder of Death gets 7.5 out of 10
- Addictive gameplay.
- Charming graphics and music.
- Simple Controls.
- Over-priced IAP’s.
- Limited gameplay.
Related: IOS games
Credit: Matt Newstead