Sola Rola: The Gravity Maze
The following review is for a game that appeared previously in one of our Link Dump Friday features:
Sola Rola: The Gravity Maze is a topsy-turvy turntable of a time, published by Gimme5Games. Wiz and Waz are two spherical buddies who are just cruising through space one day and happen to get caught in a series of mazes, a scenario we can all relate to. Together they must escape, but they only move when you rotate the maze. It's your job you roll them right into the red and blue beacons that represent their exits.
The controls consist entirely of the [left] and [right] arrow keys, which rotate the maze. There's a slight variation in the mass of the two balls, the red one is slightly heavier than the blue one, so if you give the maze a slight tilt you'll get more motion out of the red one. Corners have little studs on them that require a little extra momentum to get over. When a ball intersects with a switch all the gates of the same color open. When the two balls are sitting on the power-switch looking icons of corresponding colors, you've won.
Analysis: The Gravity Maze is the Web-based incarnation of an established mobile games franchise published by Gimme5Games' parent company, Eidos. The game shines with the same kind of consistency and polish you would expect from a publisher-supported title, and it also has character and a pretty clever execution. You can see the circular structure that the diamond-shaped maze is embedded in, and you can see bearings on its corners rolling along this hoola-hoop, a nice touch. Then there's the difference between the weight of the balls, it gives enough of a delta to squirm your way out of awkward situations, though there could be a bigger difference to make this process go smoother. The banter between Wiz and Waz does a great job of getting you familiar with the game, and lends a touch of humanity to an otherwise abstract dynamic.
So, go for a spin and become a Sola Rola.