Rock of Ages was a mad, brilliant game about rolling a boulder through historic scenery, bashing down turrets and avoiding cannon fire until you careered into your enemy’s base. Rock of Ages 2: Bigger and Boulder [official site] – which came out this week – is a more extravagant take on the same formula. Its new boulders have special traits (one glows red hot and then explodes, for example), the scenery is prettier and you have a greater range of defence options at your disposal.
The game is split into two segments: first, there’s an isometric tower defence bit where you place catapults, Da Vinci tanks and, er, sticky cows that can damage the enemy boulder and slow them down. Then, you race your boulder through the traps that your enemy has set up and get to their castle as quickly as possible without taking damage. The art style looks gorgeously silly, and from what I’ve seen it’s retained the first game’s excellent sense of humour.
I found that half the joy in the original was just admiring the detail in the levels, each themed around a different part of history, and the sequel’s environments look even more crammed. The scenic backdrops look great too, and you’ll see everything from Van Gogh’s Starry Night to giant naval battles. There’s boss fights that are based on the time period you’re playing through, too: for Ancient Egypt you’ll bounce off the bonce of the Great Sphinx.
Developers ACE Team (them of Zeno Clash, The Deadly Tower of Monsters, and Batman Doom) have added more multiplayer options this time, with 2v2 online battles and split screen so you can roll over your mates. Makes a lot of sense.
It costs £10.99/14,99€/$14.99 on Steam, and if you buy before 26 September you’ll get some free DLC containing a Binding of Isaac boulder and three avatars.