Not since the creation of the cinnamon bun has so much sweet satisfaction been rolled into one tight package. Rolando serves up a deliciously innovative design spiced with style. No roll would be complete without icing, though, and Rolando lathers it on in the form of intuitive touchscreen controls that make this fantastic game remarkably easy to play. We just can't get enough.
When Rolandoland is invaded by shadowy creatures, it's up to its citizens to save the day. They're not alone in their quest to save the kingdom, though - the royal spiky commandos help too. Civilian and commando work together to roll through brightly coloured two-dimensional levels packed with all manner of platform challenges and enemy encounters.
The game is broken up into bite-sized levels that have you guiding a set number of Rolandos to an end goal. Tapping a Rolando gives you control over it, and you can select several by drawing a box over them with your finger.
Once selected, you move Rolandos by tilting your handset and make them jump with an upward flick of your finger. Only highlighted Rolandos move and jump as instructed, mind you. Tilting your handset, for instance, doesn't cause every Rolando in the level to move.
These basic movement mechanics provide the foundation for an enormous range of challenges. Rolando possesses amazingly diverse gameplay extrapolated from the simplest of controls.
Tilts and finger flicks become gymnastic routines for your Rolandos. You'll find all kinds of tricky jumps and timed sequences, imposing enemies and dangerous bombs, finger-controlled lifts and levers. Tasks vary from hopping a few precarious platforms to crazy negotiating handset twisting caves that have you literally turning your device all around to roll the rotund king into place.
Each level builds on the previous with new ideas, presenting obstacles that are challenging but never insurmountable. Levels grow increasingly complicated, but it's designed in such a way that enables you to draw upon earlier experiences to solve these problems.
Should you find the game too easy, achievements turn up the heat. Every level has hidden diamonds, a challenge time, and extra Rolandos to be saved that earn you commendation.
Beautifully baked, Rolando looks as good as it plays too. It's bright and bold, boasting a unique style and sound that matches the originality of its gameplay. While the inevitable comparison to LocoRoco must be acknowledged, Hand Circus has deviated from that game's sappy style in favour of a fresher approach.Rolando is a sweet surprise, dishing out what is unquestionably the best game yet on iPhone. It achieves a hardstruck balance between ease of use and challenging gameplay, not to mention embarking on a range of creative ideas that rise to the occasion. The only criticism to be made is about the wait for the second serving.