Review: Save The Roundy
Time for a little bit of fun on Friday as I look at 'Save The Roundy' from AE Mobile. It's another gravity powered puzzle game that takes a level-based approach. The physics is spot on and it's a good diversion, but it's missing a little bit of sparkle to lift it out of the 'average' game category.
Version Reviewed: 188.8.131.52
In the game, you have a number of 'Roundy' characters (reminiscent of the M&M characters) trapped in various cages. The cages are stacked on a table, with a number of other blocks between the cages, building up towers, interlocking walls, and carefully balanced structures. All you need to do is remove the non-cage blocks from the wall, leaving the caged Roundys on the table.
Of course, when you knock out a block, there's every chance that the cages and blocks above will tip over and fall off the edge of the table, thanks to gravity. Lose two caged Roundys, and you'll fail the level and have to start again.
It's a simple control system - just tap the blocks you want to disappear - but the physics engine here is pixel perfect. Any block that is slightly off-centre is going to fall, and if it hits anything on the way down, then the momentum is likely going to be enough to push too many Roundys off the table, into oblivion, and the level resets.
Resetting the level happens very quickly, which is good because you are going to be experimenting a lot. Because of the delicate balance the blocks are placed in, removing blocks to keep the Roundys above the table is a very delicate operation and will need a huge amount of trial and error. Even when you are confident you know how to beat a level, you'll need to practice the timing and speedy block removal to put the plan into action.
Save The Roundy is a game that has a wonderful concept, but doesn't quite see it through. I think it needs to be a little bit more forgiving in terms of the accuracy needed when completing a level. Unlocking the levels in batches of five means that you have some leeway to progress, but not by a huge amount - you need at least 13 stars out of 15 to open the next, so you can only drop two Roundys over five levels to proceed, and that's a very big ask, even from the second batch of five levels.
I like that the button to restart the level is prominent and easy to reach - you can play the game much faster by hitting this reset button rather than waiting, but it's right next to the in-game banner ad space, and that means phantom clicks that open up the web browser happen more often than you would hope... an issue compounded by the lack of fast-app switching support in the code here.
There's also not a huge amount of game-play here, with just thirty levels to play through. Even though this is a free to download title, I would expect a little bit more action to be on offer. Psychologically, thirty sounds low, and fifty sounds high. An update to Save The Roundy with some more levels would make this a more attractive package.
This is never going to be a 'big' title, but AE-Mobile have put together a good implementation that I hope is bringing in enough advertising income that they consider it a success. While it's not incredibly memorable, there's nothing fundamentally wrong with the title, and I hope to see more from AE-Mobile in the future.
Reviewed by Ewan Spence at