Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break
Developer: ACE Team
Publisher: Modus Games / 3Goo
Genre: Action, Indie, Racing, Strategy
Platform: Steam PC
Age Rating: PEGI 12
Release Date: 21/07/2020
A code was provided for review purposes.
A Smashing Success?
Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break is ACE Team’s third game in their tower defence/arcade hybrid series. As a fan of the sequel, I was very eager to review Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break. Does this third entry into the series build upon the previous games?
If you’ve never played or heard of this series before then, the goal of the game may need some explaining as the gameplay is very unique.
As the game is from the tower defence genre, you will, of course, need to defend your tower. Both you and the enemy have a castle with a limited amount of health. The player who destroys the enemies tower first (and knocks over the character standing inside) is the winner.
The main mode, which plays after a cutscene, works in two acts.
Firstly, with a limited budget, obstacles must be placed on the road reaching your castle. The obstacles, which I found to have a large amount of variety, are used to damage the enemy’s boulder. Some of my favourite obstacles include a lion attached to a balloon which could slow down the enemy and springboards which launched the enemy off the map.
While the obstacles are being placed, your boulder prepares for battle. Depending on the selected boulder, it takes a certain amount of time for the rock to be ready. When the boulder is ready to be deployed, there is an alert, and the 2nd act begins.
You’ll then have control of moving the boulder across the enemy’s path to reach the castle. I love this part the most, weaving around dangerous enemies and bashing into obstacles that stood in my way. Eventually, I reached the enemy castle, damaging the enemies entrance to the castle. After a few goes at this, the gate crumbled, and victory was declared!
Monty Python Meets Monkey Ball
The story is complete nonsense, and it’s perfect. I’m a big fan of Monty Python’s animation, and the overall design and humour are reminiscent of Terry Gilliam’s illustrations.
Due to an unfortunate event involving a Greek God, it’s up to you, a boulder, to travel across time to return home. This means that across the campaign, you’ll encounter a variety of characters from different time periods. Each period features a small yet hilarious cutscene portrayed in the 2d Monty Python style. If you do not enjoy the animations of Python, then these won’t change your views, but if you’re already a fan, then Rock of Ages 3 will provide a lot of laughs. There were many times when I audibly laughed due to the sheer madness of what was happening on-screen.
The Many Modes
I’ve already explained the main castle-defence, but the game offers other modes, many that are new to this instalment. These modes are scattered across the world map. Such favourites include the time trial, obstacle courses and even a Humpty-dumpty mode. The Humpty-dumpty mode is particularly a highlight as it changes the game into a platformer. With floating platforms and an egg that can double jump, it offers a unique spin on the classic formula.
To progress to the next area, a set number of stars have to be collected. The inclusion of the different modes makes the progression fun. I didn’t enjoy playing the avalanche mode (which features a wave system of a dozen boulders trying to attack my castle). Instead, I focused on getting high scores on the modes I did enjoy, such as the time trials, giving me the required number of stars. The option of being able to skip unliked modes is an aspect I much appreciated and gave me a surprising level of choice.
Throughout most of the modes, I had many options to how I approached the level. There are over twenty different boulders to unlock, all offering a unique gameplay mechanic. My most-used boulder was “the globe” which featured a small orbiting moon. It allowed me to destroy obstacles such as towers. However, it also caused the TNT barrels to explode, making me lose lots of damage.
Additionally, a limited number of units can be taken into battle. Depending on the map, I saw myself choosing different obstacles.
This customisation allows a unique experience across the levels and due to both the customisation and different modes, the campaign, which took me around ten hours to complete, rarely felt repetitive.
Do It Yourself
New to the third game is a level editor. I found the editor to be very well rounded. I could place units, change the overall theme and choose from three different modes. Although I preferred to play other creations rather than create, I was able to make a level with platforms of different altitudes very easily. I can’t wait to see what levels the community will design.
Levels can be shared and played in both local and online multiplayer. However, my early review copy meant that I was unable to try the multiplayer aspect.
Between a Rock And a Hard Place
Although I found most of the game very enjoyable, there were many times when my boulder became trapped between different platforms, making it impossible to move. There was no way to reset to the last checkpoint, so I had to restart the whole level. This loss of progress was very annoying. There was one time when I was just about to finish the level but became impossibly trapped. A simple “press x key to restart from checkpoint” would be appreciated.
I’m coming to the end of my word count for the review and I haven’t been able to touch on the incredible rock remixes of classical music. Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break is an excellent game. With its gameplay variety, genuinely funny humour and Monty Python-esque design, the game rocks!
Rapid Reviews Rating
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