A strange but oddly compelling little game, Roll’d dumps you into proceedings without telling you anything at all – your little character running along a pathway for…reasons.
It takes a few seconds – and a few failures – to truly grasp what’s going on. You don’t control the character at all; in fact, you control the path it’s on. There’s a variety of ways to control the path – stick or shoulder buttons make most sense – but ultimately, what you’ll be doing is moving the undulating, ever approaching scenery left or right to make sure your avatar doesn’t come to any harm from falling or bumping into the road.
There are split screen modes and loads of stuff to unlock; there’s very little to it other than the collectables – character outfits and backgrounds – and challenges on offer, but it’s sensibly priced and offers a decent amount of fun – with most fun to be had playing competitively in splitscreen mode – for less than the cost of a coffee.
Sure, the premise is thin and it does have the look and feel of a mobile game; the fact that microtransactions are absent renders that complaint somewhat moot, however, especially as Roll’d is a fun and challenging little diversion. Roll’d has shades of Sonic at points in visual terms at least; the setup of the screen in single player, with black borders and ever present scores (and high scores!), along with the pixel art style, recalling the classic arcade games of the 80s – which is no bad thing.
The Switch is a great console for bite-sized indie experiences that feel fairly unique, especially as they can be comfortably played in little chunks of down time on the move – Roll’d is no exception in that regard. It won’t be competing with those big budget AAA games or even ambitious, larger and/or mid-scale indies, but as a game based around one simple, single and unusual idea it does what it does well; Forever Entertainment have priced it at just the right level too.
It may be a short experience, but you’ll have some challenging, addictive fun while it lasts.
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