Roll Away was released by Sony for the PlayStation in 1998 and was developed by Game Design Sweden AB. It was one of the first games to take advantage of the Dual Shock controller. Kula in the original title “Kula World” (as the game was known in Europe) is the swedish word for “ball”. It was subsequently re-released via PlayStation Network (in Europe in 2007 and in Japan in 2009) as a part of the “PS One Classics” line – a version which was ultimately compatible with PS3, PSP, and PS Vita.
In Roll Away the player takes control of a beach ball and has to navigate it through stationary platforms that are suspended in mid-air. The objective is to find one or more keys before trying to reach the exit in time. The defining characteristic of the ball is that it sticks to the surface of any side of the platform. Keys and exits become harder to get to and the player must find ways to circumvent traps and obstacles. The ball can be made to jump over these obstacles or across platforms, as well as down onto lower platforms. If the ball falls off the platform or if the ball is spiked by objects, the game will spawn the player at the beginning of the level. Various beneficial items such as coins, gems and pieces of fruit contribute to the player's score. A score penalty is taken when failing the objective or restarting the level mid-game. When the player's score falls below 0, the game is over.
Levels are very small in size but the placement of obstacles and the multi angled nature of the puzzles make them difficult over time. Multiple platforms are often close to each other but are only accessible by changing the perspective of the ball. This can be done by jumping onto a lower platform or by tackling a platform from one of several directions. Platforms that are interconnected with each other but aren't floating on the same height can be approached by one of their corners in order to roll the ball onto another side of the platform. The perspective changes but the ball sticks to the surface.
The player must navigate the level, locate all the keys and make it to the exit.
After collecting the 5 fruits the player gets taken to a bonus level where the player has to 'paint' all the purple platforms yellow by rolling over them. When all the platforms are painted the level is complete. Failing a bonus stage cannot be retried.
Certain stages have a secret exit that looks like the regular exit but is transparent. It appears when all the keys in said level have been collected. Secret stages play like regular levels but like bonus stages cannot be retried when failed.
- Bronze Coin: A bronze coin worth 250 points.
- Silver Coin: A silver coin worth 500 points.
- Gold Coin: A gold coin worth 750 points.
- Key: Keys are required to complete the levels worth 1000 points.
- Gems: Different coloured gems differing in value.
- Fruit: 2500 points. Collecting the five fruit types: Apple, watermelon, pumpkin, banana and strawberry will grant the player access to a bonus stage to score higher and allow him to save the game.
- Hour Glass: An hourglass that flips the timer either resulting in time added or less time to complete the level. Worth 10 points per second of time it gives to the player. When the player grabs the hour glass and their new remaining time is 15 seconds the point value is 150.
- Pill: A pill that slows the player down and makes the screen blurry. Speeds up the timer. Worth 0 points.
- Bouncy Pill: A pill that makes the ball bounce non-stop. Makes the ball bounce 2 places forward. (3 if the player holds 'X'). Worth 0 points.
- Sunglasses: Temporarily reveals transparent blocks. worth 500 points
- Moving Spikes
- Crumbling blocks
- Invisible blocks
- Freeze time
- Dissapearing blocks
- Teleporters and Switches can be helpful or hazardous.
- Arcade: Main mode where the player navigates all 100 levels.
- Time trial: The player needs to get a specific total time (in the negatives) after every 10 stages to be able to move on.
- The Final: After the player has finished arcade mode he unlocks 50 very difficult levels.
Multiplayer (2 player)
- Time Trial: Like single player time-trial but competing with a second player,
- Copycat: A Simon Says like mode. Player One has to do a set of moves and Player Two then copies said moves and oes new moves, and so until one of them makes a mistake. Levels change every 2 points earned. Game ends after 10 levels.
The soundtrack was made by Swedish Electronic duo 'Twice a Man'. The Main Theme "Hiro" is especially memorable among fans for its relaxing trance vibe.
- Bonus 2
- Bonus 3
Roll Away has since been made available on Sony's PlayStation Store for PlayStation 3 and PSP (as well as PSP via remote play). It was released on November 29, 2007.