Rotastic

Welcome to the rich and dangerous world of Rotastic, bought to you by Focus Home Interactive and Dancing Dots. The object is to swing and bounce your way like an acrobat through a series of maps and worlds, collecting jewels from the country to beaches, graveyards and forests avoiding chickens, buzz saws, crushing robotic arms, and bats to name a few. Choose from 4 different characters, Fraghur the hot headed viking, Lagalos the vain Elf who cannot stand ugliness, Gamman the wild boar whose preferred weapon is a sausage and Death Himself the skeleton convinced he is the Grim Reaper. All characters in four different colours are unlocked as you progress through the Campaign.

There are very few controls to remember which is a god send for gamers with two left hands! Simply press A to hook the rope onto a spin point and then left and right bumpers to change the direction of your rotation. The controls, yet simple enough to use in the early stages of the game, begin to become somewhat sloppy when more precision is required as the maps add in band saws, bumpers and robotic arms and you are required to swing away or not too much to avoid them. I found the “A” button just wasn’t cutting the mustard, I was not as Rotastic as I could have been which I found frustrating and my experience became fraught with rage rather than “fantastic” as promised. Something is definitely off with the control physics. I tried two different controllers just to check and got the same result. It’s unfortunate because Rotastichas the makings of an addictive little arcade game.

Scoring is via a combo multiplier by collecting gems of the same colour and ‘Don’t forget to be artistic”, a voice yells at you, far too many times throughout the campaign in fact so much I began to feel bad about myself along with the “that’s ok but you can do better” when I only got a bronze helmet for completing a challenge. I got your tone buddy! Too much repetition and the voice is really obnoxious after a while. Getting back to being artistic, remember to swing in a figure 8 or be creative with your moves for extra combo points and to be dubbed “Rotastic!” The Rotastic site has a picture tutorial on how to play the game so it’s definitely worth going over there before you begin gameplay to get a heads up on point scoring. There is an option to play Multiplayer, but only local against friends or AI and you can check the leader board and try to beat your friends best scores. Multiplayer is where Rotastic shines merely for the stupidity factor as you bump your friends off their ropes and send them to their death. In concluding, Rotastic does have a fun factor for the first half of the campaign and showed huge potential until the controls became sloppy which took the fun out of completing the campaign so, unfortunately I have no desire to go back and better my scores. The Multiplayer is a hoot and could be improved by adding an online option. Rotastic is available on the XBLA marketplace for 800 MS points.

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