Rolled Out! Review - Super Monkey Ball In Spirit
Rolled Out! is a spiritual successor to the popular Monkey Ball series. After Super Monkey Ball HD being a disappointing Unity Engine game, I was left wanting a better Monkey Ball experience. While Rolled Out! is still in early access, it shows a ton of promise and has some great potential.
I recommend this game because the core gameplay is excellent. However, if you prefer finished games, you may want to wait a little longer. I know it's Early Access, but for a game that's been in production for 3.5 years and has a sizable budget for an indie, what's here is a little underwhelming.
There are only two game modes, one of which is practice mode, one player, and a limited number of world themes. Often the worlds look fantastic, and other times they seem to be in the early stages of creation. In some areas, the music varies from good to ear grating. Even the menus seem to be barely usable, with the UI consisting of the bare necessities to get you from the title screen to the core game. But it's the physics and the consistency of the stages that really matter here.
Fortunately, I have no complaints about physics. It's a lot of fun to enjoy, even though it's really close to Super Monkey Ball games from the GameCube era. So much so that it seems like this might have been a romhack. The level design varies from genius to awful, but luckily most of the time tips toward the former. A game like Rolled Out! and Super Monkey Ball depend entire on the physics. What makes them fun is your interaction with the world, and if the physics aren't right, your ball won't respond properly or do what you expect it to. Rolled Out! has spent a lot of time trying to get the physics right, and they've completely succeeded. Rolled Out! has the fundamentals of a good "marble rolling" game here, and if they keep on this direction they'll have a real winner.
What's novel about this is that each world has its own collection of gimmicks. This, however, may sound a little tedious since stages that share a gimmick are often clustered together. This lessens the element of suspense that the Super Monkey Ball games had, where you never knew what the next level would bring to the table. This also means that several levels in Rolled Out have the same world theme, which means there isn't as much visual variation as you would have wished for. This is one of the big downfalls of the game, which makes Rolled Out feel smaller than it is. It would be alright if these gimmicks were spread apart a little more, but they're not.
Even in its current state, Rolled Out is a better option than Banana Blitz HD if you're looking for Monkey Ball. However, this game still needs some time in the oven before it can reach its maximum potential.