Ginger Roll: 3D Platformer is quite a bad game. Characters look like lifeless wooden puppets from the Polar Express, cutscenes seem to be made by a 6-year old on PowerPoint that uses way too many unnecessary effects, and the gameplay feels as though it were QA’d by just one person. Ginger Roll: 3D Platformer is a really bad game.
The title follows the story of Saif, who overthrows the evil child lord Iblis and gets sent by him to a parallel dimension. There, he must run through platforms inside a hamster ball and avoid obstacles in order to stop Iblis from somehow dominating the world. The story doesn’t make any real sense, as Iblis throws Saif into the alternate dimension after being defeated, and the game never explains why the platforms or the giant hamster ball exist. Even worse, basic concepts like the ability to access different dimensions and Saif’s ability to endlessly run inside a hamster ball without eating or pooping are never explained. As a result, the game’s “story” feel like an afterthought, thrown in simply to try and force an emotional connection to the creepy ginger character.
The gameplay itself is remarkably simplistic, consisting of two degrees of freedom in the ability to move forward, backwards and sideways. All levels consist of navigating a floating piece of scenery as fast as possible without falling off the edges or coming into contact with any enemy or obstacles -- you can’t jump or use abilities and there are no puzzles to be solved, making the game less of a “3D platformer” and more of a non-endless non-runner without any jumping.
What really ruins the gameplay, though, are the details. I find the default tilt controls inconvenient, so I elected to use the screen joystick -- both have a very noticeable deadzone and a very slim granular implementation, making controls feel slightly unresponsive. The camera is forever stuck in a shallower angle than it should be, making it unnecessarily hard to see the level in front of you -- on a game built about speed and dodging, the ability to see more than a few feet in front of you is essential. When you inevitably don't see an obstacle and crash into it, you instantly fail the level -- there is no feedback, no animation, no sort of delay; you immediately get a popup saying “You Lose” the instant you touch an object or enemy. It feels extremely cheap and unpolished, and it unfortunately reflects the production values of the whole game.
The title is very reminiscent of the quality found on Steam Greenlight games; the pre-alpha versions that are pitched before real work properly begins. The cutscene art is cute, but the 3D models are uncannily creepy -- characters look like dumb puppets, with lifeless eyes and an idiotic expression plastered upon their faces, and the sound effects are nonexistent except for a single stock coin-collecting sound. The music is extremely annoying, with the same four compasses repeating endlessly on a loop and an overabundance of treble that proved torturous as I listened to it for the purposes of this review. The game does get points for allowing you to adjust the tempo of the music (wrongly referred to in the settings as “pitch”), but that doesn’t change the fact the music is terribly, obnoxiously bad.
The annoying gameplay coupled with abysmal graphics makes for a most unenjoyable experience, and Ginger Roll: 3D Platformer has some of the worst production values I’ve ever seen in a mobile game -- you can see where the skybox loops on itself, something game developers have learned how to fix since the early nineties. The game fails to justify its £0.60 premium price, and makes matters worse with the shameful decision of offering in-app purchases in premium games -- always a despicable act. I cannot recommend Ginger Roll to anyone, and I urge all to stay quite clear from it.
Ginger Roll: 3D Platformer (Reviewed on Android)
The game is unenjoyable, but it works.
With bad gameplay, abysmal graphics, and seriously disturbing art design, Ginger Roll: 3D Platformer serves as an example of bad production values and unenjoyable gameplay.