We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
PC games software Reviews
15,524 Reviews PC Advisor Recommended

Rock of Ages review

£6.99

Manufacturer: Atlus

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

The history of the world, as told by a Terry Gilliam impersonator and a giant, smiling boulder.


As videogame concepts go, there's little simpler: roll a bally great boulder down a hill and smash into what's waiting at the bottom. This is the latest game from the madmen at ACE Team (formerly known for aburdist animal-punching saga Zeno Clash), however, which means simple isn't good enough. Rock of Ages is totally insane. In all the right ways.


On top of its merrily destructive, instantly appealing concept piles Monty Python-esque stop-motion cartoon art, as you plough your rock through assorted figures from myth and history while they spout puns, pop-cultural quotes and references to bodily functions. Nothing is taken seriously, nothing makes a lick of sense and it's all the better for it.


The challenge creeps its way in via the game's physics. Smash through some temples or towers or civilizans or cows or elephants or whatever else gets in your way and it'll add some money to your bank, the purpose of which I'll come to shortly, but it'll also slow your momentum. You need that momentum to crash into the enemy gate at the end of the leve at the highest speed possible, in order to cause the maximum damage possible.

Meantime, he's trying to do the same to your gate. So your choice, always, is to take your time and try and rack up the cash (plus pursue the hard-to-reach keys that eventually help unlock later levels) but risk your gate getting hammered in the meantime, or concentrate on battering your way to victory as fast as possible.

On top of the temptation to dither are all manner of obstacles - catapults that can ping you off the edge of the course, cows that'll chase your ball down and send you in the wrong direction, elephants that can damage it, and an array of barricades. As the tracks become more and more scattergun - eventually splitting into islands with multiple pathways - it's your job to try and piece together the less disruptive, highest speed route on the hoof. Which is both harder than it sounds, and more entertaining - as the levels fill with mad stuff, the scope for high-comedy defeats grows sharply.

Rock of Ages


To try and counter these slingshots and elephants of outrageous fortune, you spend your cash in a sort of tower defence mingame, wherein you buy obstacles, both architectural and bestial, and one-shot upgrades for your ball. For a mere 700 coins, you can add armoured spikes to it. For 1000, you can transform it into a flaming orb of death. Beyond that are the likes of angel wings to assist its jumping (yes, your giant ball of rock can somehow jump). Again though, in many cases you're better just to roll and keep rolling until the other guy's door is just so many splintered pieces. 


There's two-person multiplayer in there too, which perhaps lacks the purpose of the singleplayer (battle your way through history and be rewarded with ever-changing levels) but does introduce a little more logic into the head-to-head conflict. When you build your structures and animal defenders, you're really trying to muck up the other guy, not simply buy time until you've bashed your way to victory.


After a year of gloriously mad, beautiful trailers, the reality of Rock of Ages is perhaps a little underwhelming. There isn't much to it and it can become frustrating to balance cashflow against momentum. At the same time, it's a mountain of wonderful visual ideas for a tiny price, and an instant shortcut to a disbelieving giggle or twelve. 

Rock of Ages Expert Verdict »
Available on Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC. PC system requirements: OS: Windows XP/Vista/7 Processor: Dual Core 1.6 GHz or better Memory: 1.5 GB or higher Graphics: 256mb video ram or better (GeForce 7 series or higher/Radeon HD3000 series or higher) DirectX®: 9.0c Hard Drive: 1.2 GB Sound: Windows supported Sound Card Internet: Online play requires Broadband Internet Connection
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

This boulder-based tale of destruction and history doesn't entirely live up to its early promise, but it's nonethless a singularly bonkers and good-natured game full of ideas and character you'd be hard pushed to find in anything else.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
  • Quiet PC Zeno NT-H67 Fanless Media PC review

    Quiet PC Zeno NT-H67 Fanless Media PC

    Compact, quiet, powerful and beautiful, the Quiet PC Zeno NT-H67 Fanless Media PC incorporates the best TV capabilities and is everything a Media PC should be. Better gaming performance can be had elsewhere, but not without compromise.

  • Elephant Quest review

    Elephant Quest

    Elephant Quest is a free and addictive browser-based quest involving elephants, lasers, and a hat.

  • Rock Band 2 review

    Rock Band 2

    Like a good sequel should, Rock Band 2 takes everything that made the original title great and improves upon it.

  • Guitar Hero 5 review

    Guitar Hero 5

    The Guitar Hero franchise has been a forerunner in the virtual music genre since 2005, but there's no denying that the series has lost some of its lustre over the years. Can Guitar Hero 5 revive things?

  • Rock Pegasus 680 T8300 review

    Rock Pegasus 680 T8300

    The Rock Pegasus 680 T8300 is a high specification laptop aimed at the demanding gaming market.


IDG UK Sites

7 coolest 3D-printed objects: Body parts, houses, camera lenses and even pizza

IDG UK Sites

iOS 8 review: Hands on with the iOS 8 beta

IDG UK Sites

Thinking robots: The philosophy of artificial intelligence and evolving technology

IDG UK Sites

Sharknado 2 VFX: how The Asylum created CG flying man-eating sharks