Way back in 2011 a little game came out called Rock Of Ages.Developed by ACE Team, Rock of Ages combined tower defense with racing and it just worked. The game proved to be pretty popular, especially among youtubers. Now, 6 years later, a sequel has dropped surprising everyone, well everyone who cared about the first one. Rock of Ages II: Bigger and Boulder pits the player as Atlas who, during his duties of holding up the world, accidentally drops it and runs away to escape god’s wrath. As he’s on the run, he entertains himself by killing various historical figures because why not?
The first thing that becomes apparent while playing Rock Of Ages II, is the type of humor it’s going for, and that’s the absurdly, stupidly, funny kind. Honestly this style of comedy works great for this game, paired with the cutscenes which are animated in a very Monty Python-esque, Terry Gilliam-y style. This definitely ended up being my favorite thing about the game. The game does take the opportunity to, however brief, try to teach the player a bit about these historical figures that you’re about to throw rocks at.
The game may not sound like much; roll a stone across a terrain and hit your enemies castle, then set up defenses to block the enemies stone, rinse and repeat. But it’s actually pretty addictive. The controls were solid for the most part, so the rolling and maneuvering and jumping of the rock proved to be the most fun aspect of the game rather than the tower defense portions. The senseless destruction definitely added to the fun. As your enemy sets up his defense such as walls, elephants, and catapults only for them to be squashed, broken, and bruised as you tumble your stone towards their castle. It definitely helps that the action is smooth and fluid as well.
The most frustrating thing about this game has to be the extremely frustrating and unbalanced AI. Some battles I’ll get through, no sweat, easy as heck, then others are incredibly difficult while all at the same difficulty. Keeping on the topic of terribly unbalanced AI, the boss fights might be the worst part of the game. They’re boring and bland, and most of the times they pretty much highlight everything wrong with the game, such as the AI issues. The boss fights ended up being easier than most of the normal battles and if that’s not unbalanced I don’t know what is.
There’s not much differentiating this game from it’s predecessor. They’re both games where you roll a stone down a path and crash it into an enemy castle. So that being said, Rock Of Ages II doesn’t quite feel like a full game, more like an add-on to the first with some additional story and features. To the game’s credit, differentiating a game where it’s 2 main mechanics is all it really has is probably a hard task to accomplish.
Thankfully, Rock Of Ages II sits at a fair $19.99 on the respective stores, so recommending the game is not too hard. While it does have it’s fair share of issues such as unbalanced AI, repetitiveness, and overall exhaustion, it does have some pretty addicting gameplay at least for a while. It’s also very funny with it’s zany Python-esque cutscenes. This comes down to a matter of if you liked the first game, you’ll like the second because they’re the same game, so buy Rock of Ages II if you liked Rock of Ages I.