Rock 'n' Risk
It's a fact! Game reviewers love to define games that are difficult to categorize in terms of two or more other, familiar games. So with that in mind, I ask: What is Rock 'n' Risk? It's Mario combined with Simon...no wait. It's Sonic the Hedgehog meets Guitar Hero...no that's not it either. MegaMan and Breakout? Fancy Pants and Sveerz?
Let's try this: in Rock 'n' Risk, you control your stick-figure avatar to jump on upwardly moving colored platforms. A sort of JumboTron in the background tells you which color to jump on next, and you earn more points if you can complete longer sequences without error, before jumping off to the side to claim your jackpot. So Simon meets platformer is not a bad way of thinking about it, though there is quite a bit more to it.
A rather lengthy and detailed tutorial will instruct you on the particulars. You control your stick figure guy entirely with the mouse. His motions follow your mouse-based motions, and he will jump with a click. He'll also bounce off of any platforms you stomp on. You can double-click to move to a location with rocket-like speed, or hold the mouse to deploy your parachute, slowing your motion to a gentle hover. These maneuvers take up energy, so be conservative with the fancy moves.
The idea, as mentioned, is to earn points by correctly stomping on the colors indicated in long, accurate, unbroken chains, all within a certain time limit. Before each stage, you can add challenges, like more colors, or a faster time limit, that give you more "career points" to let you access further stages.
Energy is the operative word for Rock 'n' Risk. The whole thing is built like an action game show, with cheering crowds and an upbeat, "dude" commentator praising your every excellent move. A cool soundtrack and zippy stick-figure design and animation help to keep the energy up. All this supports the lively heart of the game. At it's best, the gameplay gets you into a Guitar-Hero-like zen-state. Once you adjust to the mouse-only controls, hopping from one appropriately colored platform to the next becomes an act of serenity and grace, and you feel like you're dancing.
So call it Super-Color-Breakout-Simon-Hero-Brothers, or whatever you like. Rock 'n' Risk is an energetic, animated experience that, in the end, is purely its own animal.