In a world of big balls…
You will not be distracted by flashy colors and compelling audios. This is a game for complete surrender of the inevitable that you will ‘fall from grace’ in this white space of extreme minimalism.
Jumping will make you happy as long as you reach the finish line.
You will become a ball-like character in the world where balls of different sizes and other round objects dominate the void. Your goal is to bounce from one ball to another and reach the ball with the flag while avoiding obstacles and not falling into space.
By touching anywhere on the screen, you control a straight-forward geometric invention for reflex and timing. To an extent this game tests how good you are in guessing the angle of bounces. You also collect as much stars as you can to help unlock additional chapters for free. If you don’t have the patience to collect required amount of stars, you can purchase to unlock chapters.
There are 4 chapters in the game with each containing added elements for variety in challenges. In the first chapter, ROTO focuses on fundamental controls and serves as tutorial area for the player to get used to the mechanics.
The first chapter has 90 levels and despite the variety of challenges it offers, monotony settles in after reaching half of the levels or so. I felt the number of levels are too many.
In the 2nd chapter aptly titled “Ghost Chapter” has balls disappearing once you jump towards them. You have to jump out before they completely disappear or you fall into space. Third chapter is called “Bounce”, where coloured balls bounce or push you back. Fourth chapter is named “Portals” wherein coloured oblong shapes transport you from different locations of the stage. The added teleportation and bounciness in chapters 3 and 4 liven up the gameplay.
Extreme minimalism will be seen here. You will not see any flashiness but crisp, clear lines and circles to bounce from one place to another. This game is simple, straight-to-the-point that it pays homage to similar known app aesthetics like Dots, Blek, and Threes.
Others will find aesthetics too minimal and boring but I personally find this kind of visuals refreshing. There is an art to use minimalism and make it very engaging and elegant and ROTO has been successful at that.
What I found very annoying (but effective) is the metal-grinding sound when your ball reaches a chain-gear. Continuously hitting those made me gnash my teeth in irritation that I had to lower the volume on my iPad. It could be just me since I have this cringing tendency in hearing any screech or gritting sound. Don’t you cringe when you hear fingernails scratching a blackboard? Ugh.
ROTO is one of those games you can place in your gadget to play when you have nothing else to do. You can go back to it anytime you want and even if its minimalism makes an impression, the number of levels of continuous similar gameplay within each chapter sets off a monotony that will make one leave the game for awhile. It is a good free game to play for a sitting or two but might later be forgotten for extreme minimalism not in aesthetics but in variety of gameplay and challenges.
Roto developer site: WerakuGames