TouchArcade Game of the Week: ‘Rolando: Royal Edition’

The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn’t necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable “best" thing. Instead, it’s more just us picking out the single game out of the week’s releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.

These picks might be controversial, and that’s OK. If you disagree with what we’ve chosen, let’s try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.

Without further ado…

 

Rolando: Royal Edition

There have been a lot of classics released on mobile over the past decade or so, but none feel more synonymous with iPhone gaming to me than the Rolando series. In the very early days of iPhone gaming, even before the App Store arrived when it was just hobbyist developers tinkering with homebrew games, the unique features of the iPhone–the touchscreen and the accelerometer–were usually the targets of different gaming projects. Most felt like smaller tech demos or proof-of-concept ideas, but then Rolando arrived in late 2008 and showed what a highly-polished, full gaming experience that utilized touch and tilt should look like. It was the embodiment of the potential of gaming on the iPhone, and now ten years later it’s back and better than ever with Rolando: Royal Edition ($2.99).

We reviewed Rolando: Royal Edition in-depth already, so I’ll refer you to that if you’re curious about the details. But let me just say that as a huge fan of the original from more than ten years ago, I haven’t smiled as brightly as I have while playing Rolando: Royal Edition in a very, very long time. Sure, it came out before iPads even existed and when iPhones were much smaller than they are now, so its tilt-based controls may not be for everyone. But this is a landmark game no matter how you slice it, and the epitome of what mobile gaming can be if free to play and race to the bottom 99¢ pricing hadn’t taken over right at the height of Rolando’s popularity. Hopefully the recent resurgence and interest in premium gaming with things like Apple Arcade and GameClub might usher in a second wave of incredibly creative premium games, but I can at least take comfort knowing I can enjoy the classic original Rolando all over again with Royal Edition, and I pray that developer Hand Circus can do similar magic with its sequel Rolando 2: Quest for the Golden Orchid and, dare I dream, finally release the cancelled Rolando 3 sometime in the future.



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