Dodge & Roll ($0.99) by UNNYHOG Entertainment is a challenging puzzle game that is perfect for the season. Dodge & Roll is a perfect mix of puzzle and survival that is guaranteed to keep you entertained for quite some time.
It’s December, so for plenty of you, that means snow. I don’t really experience that in Southern California, but I wish I did on a regular basis. Fortunately, Dodge & Roll has plenty of snow in it, so it’s something. Playing this really makes me wish I was out in a snowy area, making snowballs of my own to throw, or in this case, roll around.
The graphics in Dodge & Roll are gorgeous. The developers didn’t skimp out on details when it comes to the snowy floors that serve as the background, the walls that surround it, and our little snowball that we end up controlling. And then when you toss in the fire, water, dirt, ice, and other elements of danger into the mix, you end up with a vivid explosion of color among an otherwise gloomy landscape. The animations in the game are smooth and fluid as well, from the falling snow, to the rolling and dodging, all the way to the way the hazards come flying in to the arena — it all looks great. The soundtrack is also quite whimsical and in tune with this time of year, so you’ll feel right at home.
There are three different “episodes” in Dodge & Roll, with 15 different level each. In order to move on to the next one, you’ll need to survive the previous first. Once you reach a certain point, you will unlock the survival mode for these episodes as well, if you really want a challenge. For each level, you will need to roll the snowball around using the virtual joystick in the bottom left, and collect all of the snowflakes before going into the hole to advance. It sounds easy, but things get difficult fairly quickly as you start to get incoming fireballs that kill you instantly, ground balls that slow you down, water that makes you lose control, electric barriers, saw blades, and more.
When you complete the levels, you will earn coins, instead of stars, based on your performance. The faster you finish, the more coins you get. In Survival mode, you earn stars instead of coins. These coins and stars can be used in the shop to purchase magical spells that you can use during the game. If you’re low on coins, you can buy more via in-app purchases. There are also puzzle pieces that you can find or buy, and these will piece together who the snowball is and what this wonderful world is.
The spells add a unique twist to the game, and can really get you out of sticky situations. You can find them scattered throughout levels, and you can collect them by rolling over them. Your spells will be available to use in the bottom right side of the screen, and when they are ready to be used, they will appear lit up. Give it a tap to activate, but make sure to use it wisely, as it may take some time to recharge. The first spell you find will be teleport, which is incredibly useful (tap on the screen where you want to move to once activated), and then you get stuff like increased speed for avoiding being blown up, and more.
I mentioned that by default, the controls are a virtual joystick in the bottom left. If you access the game options, you can change the joystick position to the right side of the screen, and you can choose between a supported game controller or have tilt controls. There is also full Game Center support for leaderboards and achievements.
At first, when I looked at screenshots of this game, I thought it would be something similar to Tilt to Live 2, but I’m glad that it’s far from it. While it’s about surviving, the puzzle elements that you need to solve are key to survival, and you need to be quick enough. And since each level isn’t randomly generated, you can exercise your muscle memory as you learn about the danger patterns through each failure.
I’ve been enjoying the challenge that Dodge & Roll presents, and it’s a great addition to the collection if you’re a survival puzzle game fan. You can get Dodge & Roll in the App Store as a universal download for $0.99.