Amstrad Computer User1st April 1990
Published in Amstrad Computer User #65
Rock 'N Roll
Marble madness revisited. Try not to rock the boat as you roll your ball round the maze.
When a game proclaiming ten great rock and roll tracks comes out on the CPC, you tend to find a pinch of salt in the cassette box as well. Great rock and roll tracks? On a CPC? The CPC is renowned for many things, but music isn't one of them.
Still, the tunes are reasonable, if a little monotonous. After a couple of games all but the stone deaf will beg for sound effects instead.
So what's the game about then? We aren't sure to be honest. The instructions cover every language including a Germanic dialect of English, but, they don't actually say what the object of the game is. Maybe it's an Agatha Christie mystery - you only find out what it's all about right at the end. Maybe the programmers don't know what it's about.
Anyway, it appears that you have to defuse bombs on each level, and there are twelve whopping great levels to roll through. You are a ball. Rainbow Arts obviously have a lot of programming routines for balls. You wander around, with the view from overhead, in a game that combines Marble Madness, Titan and Bmnbuzal.
Around the maze-like area, various obstructions seek to hinder your way.
Walls of belching fire, intermittently materialising walls, plain and ordinary walls, coloured locks (red, blue, green, yellow) and coloured keys, shopping centres with loads of power ups, ramps, collapsing pathways, sheets of slippery ice, acid baths and energy barriers all try to make your life harder and shorter.
To help navigate some of these hazards the shopping centre will sell you a number of useful items. Collapsed pathways can be rebuilt, new platforms can be constructed over crevasses, rings let you continue on the last level played instead of returning to the start, parachutes will save your ball from unpleasant falls. Armour plating can be added, for a brief period of time, rendering your ball impervious to attack and energy loss, and up to four speed ups can make your ball zoom around the maze at a crazy and usually doom laden pace.
While using the tubes and teleports to jump to and fro in the maze, the majority of the work is done by slogging around on foot collecting objects and opening doors. When you get stuck you can call up a progressively detailed map, if you have collected one or more eyeballs on your journey that is.
Rock 'N Roll is a strange puzzle game and no mistake, but it borrows heavily from numerous other games. The graphics are colourful, and the scrolling and control are good enough to make the game playable. It isn't going to appeal to everyone, but for those with enough patience and a love of maze and puzzle games, discovering the point of the game will be a challenge.