Try to imagine crossing pinball with a brick and paddle (Pong) game, and that’s more or less what you’ll find in Real Arcade’s semi-action title Globey – On the Roll!
The preface of Globey – On the Roll! is the usual hero-rescue story. Dragon’s Land was once a paradise, where dragons had responsibility to care for all living things. Then one day, a band of evil trolls came and captured all of the dragons – that is, all but one. Globey had been taking a nap and missed the commotion, leaving him as the last free dragon. Determined to save his fellow dragons, he sets off to track down the trolls and rescue his kin one by one. As his Fairy Godmother, it’s your job to guide him toward success.
Playing Globey – On the Roll! is a lot like playing pinball. Globey rolls himself into a tight ball, and bounces around the screen breaking blocks and clearing obstacles. But instead of paddles, you use the Fairy Godmother to guide him in the right direction by clicking where you want him to go. You never have complete control over Globey, so don’t expect an easy time. This limitation takes some getting used to.
Holding down the left mouse button can speed up Globey, but the Fairy Godmother also loses energy whenever you do this. If her energy is completely depleted, she is unable to control Globey, and you must wait for her power level to increase again. This can be a bit irritating, but luckily the gauge fills up quickly.
Using the right mouse button stops Globey instantly, but costs the Fairy Godmother 50% of her power, so you can only do this when her power is at least half-full. For the duration of the game, you control Globey by using a combination of these left and right mouse clicks, speeding up and slowing down to navigate your way through increasing difficult obstacle courses and mazes.
The goal for every level is to free a trapped dragon. The dragon will be shown in a cage, which you must hit three times in order to unlock. Once freed, the level is over, and you move on to the next board.
As you play, you can collect gems. For every 250 gem points you collect, you’ll unlock a special bonus round. You are also timed as you play, but the reason for this unclear. Similarly, you earn points for everything you break on the board, though this isn’t displayed anywhere once you’ve cleared the level. It would have been nice to have more incentives as you play, such as expert vs. basic scores.
As you’d expect, there are plenty of challenges to face as you advance through all 100 levels. The boards are like mazes, requiring Globey to navigate ever-more complex turns and obstacles. Drawbridges and gates sometimes block access, and must be lowered by pressing a trigger block. Similarly, there are magnetic blocks that repel Globey and prevent him from entering certain areas, explosives that will clear certain regions and obstacles for Globey, transporter holes that take Globey to different areas of the board, and Escalator tiles that trap Globey into traveling a certain direction.
Perhaps the most trying obstacles are the death blocks. These instantly end your game if hit twice, forcing you to replay the level. Even with all these challenges, the game never quite reaches a difficult level, so those who are action-challenged can still play.
To assist you, there are half a dozen power-ups, which can be earned by breaking up barrels. Most of these aren’t as helpful as you’d expect, so you might choose to ignore them altogether. The power-ups include the angrifier, which destroys all blocks near Globey for a couple seconds, and the enlarger, which makes Globey bigger and more powerful. The multiplier creates three Globey clones to bounce randomly around the screen, and the electrifier makes every hit count as three.
Not all boards are progressively harder. There are very easy boards mixed in with tougher ones, so you get some variety as you play. All in all, you can expect about three to four hours of game play before you complete the game, and there’s not as much replay value as one would like. On the whole, it feels a bit short.
The artwork is nicely done, blending some simple 3D graphics neatly with cartoonish animations. Despite being fairly polished and well-designed, however, Globey – On the Roll! doesn’t really have mass appeal. It’s difficult to pin down an audience, since action fans might be disappointed by it’s relative simplicity, but non-action fans might not have the patience to give it a chance. Nevertheless, it’s one of those games that grows on you the more you play, becoming better as you go along and get to more advanced levels.