The Best iPhone App?
Rolando is, without a doubt, one of the best games you can get for the iPhone to date. In fact, it is better than a lot of games coming out for dedicated handhelds like the DS or PSP, and it's selling for a fraction of the price; only 9.99 on the App Store. For that money, you get a sizeable game that makes use of just about every special feature the phone has, all in visually attractive packaging. If you're looking for a great adventure game or even just an app that shows off all different facets of the iPhone, Rolando comes highly recommended.
There's not really much of a story here, nor does there really need to be. Basically, you are taking control of Rolandos - cute little spherical creatures that can roll around and jump. You roll them around by tilting your phone left or right, and swiping upward with your finger to jump. You can select specific ones or drag boxes around a few to control a group. Sometimes you'll just have to navigate some winding, two-dimensional level designs and find the gate at the end, which takes you to the next level as the displaced Rolandos get closer to their homeland, Rolando Central.
Oftentimes it's more complicated than that, though, and it's in its clever obstacles that Rolando really shines. There are tons of spiked floors and walls, turnstiles, elevators, and more standing between you and your goal, and often you'll need to get most or all of the Rolandos to the end gate, and the pleasantly devious level design gets in the way of that. The cool part is that most of these objects can be manipulated with your fingers. So you touch the turnstiles and spin them around yourself, or drag up and down on the elevators to transport Rolandos. Sometimes you'll need to keep the little guys rolling while you mess with stuff on screen, creating some genuinely thoughtful gameplay.
The difficulty scales up nicely throughout all of this, so that you generally feel just challenged enough to make it through a level the first time, and will feel more and comfortable each time you repeat it. Going back to earlier levels isn't a necessity, but medals are available for getting all the Rolandos to the exit, collecting hidden gems, and finishing the level within a time limit. You don't need to amass these medals to finish the game, but they do add a nice layer of replay value for those who are into earning those sorts of accolades.
Basically, it's just tough to find much to dislike with Rolando. It's got a great look, a quirky soundtrack, and the tilt and touch controls are excellent. It's even got a fair amount of value associated with it, too, almost unheard of for an iPhone game. This is something you'll want to pick up off the App Store.