Rock of Ages isn't your typical tower defence game, in fact it's art style might for a second have you thinking that Monty Python's Terry Giliam had gone and made a video game, he hasn't (though I'd love to see him have a crack at one.) Rock of Ages is the most recent release from Chile based developers ACE Team, yes the folks behind the bizarre first person fighting game Zeno Clash. Their familiar cosmetic oddities are present in Rock of Ages, though to a less freaky and confusing degree.
At its most basic, Rock of Ages is a tower defense game where the objective is to destroy the enemy's gate and flatten one of the many famous historical figures that cower inside; if you do so you win, pretty simple. Rock of Ages takes a page from the artistic styles of historical artwork and the Monty Pythonesque cut out figures give the game a real charming look. As do the between battle cutscenes which splice in a few modern cultural references with takes on famous movies scenes such as 300's "This is Sparta" and Lord of the Rings "you shall not pass" making for amusing moments.
The player takes control of a large boulder and controlling it is both slow and sluggish (as you might expect), unfortunately to many battles end up simply being a case of who can get their boulder down the hill the fastest. The 'tower defense' part of Rock of Ages consists of building of weapons and towers on the play field, with the intention of slowing down and damaging the enemies boulder. It's basic and won't be revolutionising the tower defense genre anytime soon.The relatively slower pace might also frustrate some and while rolling a big boulder and smashing into buildings as its simple thrills, there's little to keep you hooked.
The PS3 version suffers with some framerate drops here and there, especially when the game displays the enemy's boulder on the top right separate screen, but it's more then playable and doesn't quite spoil Rock of Age's charming style. Audio is worth a quick mention to, with silly voices that act as speech for the cutout figures and a pleasant cheery medieval score accompanying it.
Rock of Ages is an odd one, but I'd expect no less from from the folks who brought us Zeno Clash. It's charming, especially if rolling large boulders down a hill and squashing famous figures from history is your sort of thing and while some will find it a little on the irritating side, I can always appreciate a game that travels the less trodden track and in this regard Rock of Ages is recommendable. Flawed but worth a look if your into your tower defense games, double if you like them to be on the strange side.
Thanks for reading,