Things I love: putting the kettle on for a nice cuppa; going for a nice walk in the park with my dog; checking out the latest blockbuster movie at the cinema. Things I hate: waiting for iOS games to load; broken iOS games with ten-second soundtracks on a loop; having to delay my review of a game because I struggle to play the damn thing. Fortunately, in the past week I have been able do all the things I love while waiting for Fruit Roll to get out of bed, put its slippers on and hurry up with the damn game I am meant to be playing.
The game is developed by MoboTap, for Chillingo Ltd., names that I am unlikely to forget in a hurry, due to the fact that I have stared at the loading credit screens for more hours than I have spent actually playing Fruit Roll. This is one of those “Endless” games that have no checkpoints or different levels that you can save and load. You simply go right back to the start of the game, and play it again and again every time to try and get a better score, or to unlock all the achievements and added extras the game has to offer.
So after owning the game for three days, and having up ‘til that point being unable to play it, I finally got around to playing a few run throughs. To my surprise you play as various items of fruit and must roll from one side of the screen to the other, across a multitude of levels, collecting stars and squashing enemies and obstacles that lie in your path. You begin as a plain, boring, nameless fruit, I’d guess a guava, but can collect one of four other, different fruit power ups that allow you to have greater ease at steamrolling the various creepy-crawlies and living dead and vine-swinging monkeys that are littered throughout the level.
Each enemy is colour coded with a fruit. If you roll over a lemon power up, and decide to turn yourself into a lemon, you will be able to roll over the little yellow caterpillars that crawl up to you in a vain attempt to spoil your game. If you are British and therefore allergic to fruit, you will be completely out of your depth when it comes to the other fruit power ups. The closest I ever get to a grape is a bottle of Shiraz. And what the heck is a Durian when it’s at home? Anyway, as you roll through your five-a-day, you have the option to collect three fruits at a time on a little menu on the left side of the screen. If you can collect three of the same fruit in this little sidebar, you will Super-Transform your fruit into a demolition ball of vitamin C, rolling through stars and obstacles with ease. Just imagine if a giant, tumbling pomegranate, chased Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark and you’re along the right lines.
Beautifully designed and colourful backgrounds fly past, and each game will see different levels appear in a different order, so it feels a little bit different every time. Once the game gets faster, as levels progress, I was concerned about slow-down and lag, but Fruit Roll just kept on rolling with no problems whatsoever. The further you get, and the more achievements you unlock, the faster the high scores rack up. You can use the Game Center and Crystal Network integration to keep track of how you’re doing on the worldwide playing scene.
Casual gamers will love this game and will play it for hours on end to keep your little fruit friend rolling on and on. There are a couple of added features to unlock, and I am sure there may be further additions made to this game in the future. However, what is unforgivable is that ludicrous loading issue when trying to start the game. Several times, when going back to play Fruit Roll, I had to sit my iPhone to one side while I waited around for the menu to appear. Shutting down and reloading my game was the only way I could make anything happen, so I hope that a patch or fix will be made in an update to sort this out. If the game had come without this problem, I probably wouldn’t have knocked off the extra points. That being said, after a while, the fun factor wears off a little bit, but it’s the achievements that kept me going for the most part.
MLG Rating: 8/10
Platform: iOS Release Date: 01/09/2011
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a digital copy of Fruit Roll for review purposes by the promoter. The title was reviewed over the course of one week on an iPhone. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.