Genre Arcade Platform Played Samsung Galaxy S4
Despite the free-to-play mobile release being downloaded by millions of players daily, few have been able to strike a strong balance between providing a casual gaming experience alongside hardcore sensibilities. SIEDI, a three man development studio based in Finland, is the latest studio to try and strike a harmony between these difficult aspects.
Roska isn’t only the title of SIEDI’s debut title, but it is also the name of the character you will control throughout the game. Roska is a small trash bag that has been sent to the trash disposal; it must use its wings to avoid dangerous obstacles, and try and survive its own demise. Though the plot set-up of a garbage bag looking to survive this dangerous location seems interesting, the narrative is mainly an avenue to create the location Roska takes place and is never explored.
Though Roska is essentially a Flappy Bird-like title, there are enough unique variations from the original release to allow Roska to stand apart from crowd of clones available on mobile devices. Unlike Flappy Bird, merely making your way through the level as long as possible won’t net you points; collecting golden stars as you traverse will see your score rise. Collect five in a row, and you will be offered bonus points to increase your overall total. Roska also doesn’t permit instant-death for simply touching any of the environment. Sure, blades and saws will deal a lethal blow, but touching the floor or boxes will see Roska survive.
Adding variation to the Flappy Bird aesthetic, Roska requires players to press four buttons rather than simply pressing the screen. All four buttons will light up randomly, and players must strike the highlighted button in order to flap Roska’s wings and gain altitude. Though the mechanic certainly adds difficulty, the difficulty comes from the challenge of trying to press the correct button while also trying to see where the golden stars are located. It doesn’t feel challenging for providing a hard task; it simply feels challenging because both require focus at once, and your eyes simply cannot do it. Alongside this issue, the buttons themselves wouldn’t instantly light up from time to time, meaning that Roska would start falling to its death without me personally making a mistake.
Roska only delivers one location for players to traverse, which features randomly generated obstacles. Each section of the garbage-disposal location has its own theme, which is randomly generated, but these themes will not randomly generate out of order. For instance, the beginning section features saws and boxes, while the next section doesn’t deliver lethal objects; instead, it deliver tight areas of movement to navigate.
Being a garbage disposal, the location itself lacks vibrant colours, as does Roska. It’s disappointing that a more vibrant colour palette wasn’t utilised to provide some better visuals to experience while playing, despite the fact that the bland colour palette does match the location well. When your character is a garbage bag with wings, breaking realism to provide more colour doesn’t seem like a bad idea.
Roska does offer a world 100 leaderboard and achievements to provide incentive to keep playing. After each attempt at Roska, players are also able to share their high score to social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook, which is a simple yet nice touch to brag about a noteworthy score.
Roska is a quick time-waster that offers variation on the exorbitant amount of Flappy Bird clones on the mobile market, though some variations tend to complicate the basic formula. Roska’s main problem is it presents a difficult and bland experience for casual gamers, but also offers frustrating and unrewarding experience for hardcore gamers. Unfortunately, Roska meanders in-between hardcore and casual experiences, which ultimately provides an average experience. But hey, least it doesn’t cost anything.
- Variation on the Flappy Bird gameplay style
- Bland environment
- Flapping buttons wouldn’t respond fast enough
- Flapping and collecting at once is extremely difficult with one pair of eyes
The Score: 5.5