Have you ever wondered what you would get if you combined Marble Madness, Katamari, and let’s say Castle Crashers? The zany minded developers at ACE Team might have the perfect answer to such a strange question. The developers behind the strange and popular first-person brawler Zeno Clash has delivered another unique title with Rock of Ages for the Xbox LIVE Arcade. ACE Team’s latest release shows that the developer has retained their flare for the strange while also showing they aren’t a one trick pony. There are so many bizarre things in this game that you have to love it.
Centered around Sisyphus and his journey through various iconic periods in human history, you will combat everything from undead philosophers to famous works of art. If this sounds strange, you should know that we haven’t even touched on the hysterical story that plays out in Rock of Ages through cut-scenes that are mixed in with addictive gameplay.
Basically you are a rock. In particular, you’re a giant textured boulder that is focused on destroying everything. You start at the top of a hill and then have to roll yourself down it so you can destroy livestock, humans, structures, and if you’re lucky your enemy's front gate. It seems simple enough if you ignore all the silliness surrounding the story, but trust me on this; you will enjoy the off-the-wall story.
While the concept is simple, the execution is quite strategic. You’re able to equip your big bad boulder with upgrades and then use them against enemy forces as you roll along your merry way. Speaking of enemies, there are rival rocks that you’ll have to contend with as well. Sorry folks. You’re not the only rock in town. These rocks have one goal in mind and it’s the same as you – to smash you before you smash them.
At its heart it just seems so simple, but somehow ACE Team has managed to get a lot out of this concept and unlike titles that tried to do the same thing, Rock of Ages doesn’t feel like it’s stretched too thin. The levels are designed so well that you’ll want to run through them again and again. In some cases you’ll have to. The power ups that you acquire only add to the addictive nature of this simple strategy puzzler.
Rock of Ages is a charming game that references everything from the renaissance to popular culture and even other videogames. It’s more than likely that many of the references made will fly over the heads of some gamers, but there are so many that everyone will be able to pick up on a few here there. It’s not very common for a game to be able to hold the interest of philosophy majors and teenagers alike. Rock of Ages is just more proof that ACE Team knows how to deliver. While games rarely seem to attain the “simple to learn, but impossible to master” element of games like chess or Tetris, this downloadable title does it without breaking a sweat and provides some humor as an added bonus. You can’t really ask for more if you like strategy, puzzles and own an Xbox 360.