The triumphant return of Rolando, one of many first hit iPhone video games

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Again in 2008, Rolando was one thing of a revelation. Earlier than cell had firmly cemented itself as a viable platform for video games, there was a colourful and charming puzzle journey that felt completely at dwelling in your iPhone. It wasn’t only a nice cell sport; it was a terrific sport, interval. The unique Rolando spawned a sequel and loads of imitators, however in 2017, it disappeared, a sufferer of the good iOS migration from 32-bit to 64-bit apps.

Late final 12 months, developer Hand Circus obtained the rights again to the franchise from its authentic writer, and it began desirous about one of the simplest ways to deliver Rolando to trendy gamers. “There have been so many choices: probably the most easy path would have been to simply put it again within the retailer as-is,” says director Simon Oliver. “As our debut title, it’s a very necessary sport to us as a studio. So we determined to take a position time modernizing the sport and making use of the whole lot that we’ve discovered about cell within the final 10 years.”

The result’s Rolando: Royal Version, which is out now on iOS. It’s primarily a ground-up overhaul of the unique sport. The core gameplay is similar: in every degree, you information a bunch of sentient balls known as rolandos by a twisting maze. You utilize your iPhone’s motion-sensing capabilities to roll the balls by the extent, and also you faucet the display to make them bounce. There are all types of twists that crop up as you progress — like oil slicks and particular royal balls — and it’s simply as enjoyable right now because it was a decade in the past.

If you happen to performed the unique, the sport feels very acquainted, a lot so that you just may miss among the modifications. “A giant factor we discovered when rereleasing the sport was that you’re competing not with the sport because it was, however the way it was remembered, and nostalgia is a strong power,” explains Oliver. The obvious change is the visuals. The flat world has been given a three-dimensional depth and much more element. The backgrounds shift as you progress about, creating the phantasm of a a lot larger area. There’s additionally a very revised interface, and the story has been redone to provide the rolling rolandos extra persona.

“On the design aspect, one among our important aims was to tighten up the controls and physics to make it really feel snappier and extra responsive,” says Oliver. “Whereas the unique sport remained tremendous enjoyable to play and the core mechanics have been strong, at occasions, it felt a bit gradual. Whereas displaying the unique to associates, many assumed it was working at half-speed. Tuning the sport remained a fragile process, although. Clearly, you don’t wish to mess an excessive amount of with the physics of a platform sport, otherwise you may find yourself having to revamp large chunks of the sport.”

Previous to the relaunch of Rolando, Hand Circus had been comparatively quiet for a while. The studio’s final main launch was the 2014 ocean-faring journey Seabeard on cell. Oliver says the small workforce has been spending a whole lot of time prototyping new ideas, exploring the whole lot from augmented actuality to real-time multiplayer video games. He provides that “a kind of video games is shaping up actually properly,” however when the chance to revisit Rolando returned, the studio determined to shift focus for a bit.

The cell area has modified fairly a bit since Rolando first debuted. The so-called premium video games that when stuffed the App Retailer are actually rarer, with free-to-play experiences now dominant. Even nonetheless, Royal Version is a $2.99 sport with out issues like in-app purchases. Oliver says that the success of video games like Florence and Alto’s Journey helped show there’s nonetheless an area for these paid experiences. Going up towards these sorts of high-quality video games can also be a part of the rationale the workforce put a lot effort into the brand new model.

“We actually wanted to lift the bar with the brand new version with a view to actually stand out within the trendy cell market and justify it being a brand new launch,” says Oliver.

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