Ever hear of an XBLA title called Rotastic? It's an endless game by Dancing Dots and Focus Interactive. It had a cool premise and an awesome swinging mechanic, but unfortunately didn't find footing on its platform. Lucky for us, the duo has decided to try again, except on iOS instead with a game called Knights of the Round Cable [99¢]. If you’ve played the original Rotastic, you’ll notice the similarities -- right down to the art style and core mechanics. This can be distracting at times, but Round Cable does manage to nail its touch interface and has been tweaked to make it more friendly. It's a better game for these changes, and it feels at home on iOS.
In the game, you do two things: grapple and swing. Every play area is dotted with pegs, each of which is surrounded by shiny gems and jewels. Touch a peg to swing to it and collect the gems. With your momentum, you can swing wildly around the environment to pegs with pricier gems. The more gems you collect, the higher your point value. If you miss, you always have a shot at returning for the rest of the gems for more points as long have the time. Where the little bits of plot and level structure were imbued into Rotastic, Round Cable is more casual feeling with the endless nature of a, say, Jetpack Joyride.
Once you finish one level, adorable chickens launch you right into the next castle where things get harder. More enemies like crows and ghosts and new objectives like rescuing a princess come into play, making it tougher to get all those gems. Speaking of those, new patterns will elevate you to think when to grapple and how to get around certain elements to make sure you get all the jewels for bonuses.
Where Rotastic felt like a slugfest, Round Cable feels like a breeze. Round Cable is split into levels, each seamlessly feeding into the previous. Collect enough gems, and then you'll be whisked away to a new environment with new enemies, more loot, and maybe even a princess or two to save. This progression is endless, snappy, and nice for pick-up-and-play. The pacing is ideal, too. Rotastic tended to get too slow, as it was bogged down by its own traditional structure.
As with most games, there's a touch of free-to-play in Round Cable. As you play, you earn in-game dough that can be used for upgrades to your hook or health or to purchase consumable items. You earn what feels like enough cash by just straight-up playing the game, but of course, you can buy the game's fake money with real money. Your choice, but note that it's totally optional.
Knights of the Round Cable brings aspects of Dancing Dots’ former IGF finalist but re-works the gameplay to work in a more casual tone. It pays off for the better, allowing for an experience that feels better on a mobile platform. Instead of berating you with things that you must collect in order to achieve the best, you have a couple objectives to fulfill and it feels great for those short intervals but will still make you want to play just one more game.
For another look at Knights of the Round Cable, check out: TA Plays: 'Knights of the Round Cable' - A Physics-based Swinging Game