Rock of Ages
What does art history have to do with smashing fortresses with rocks? Very little, but ACE Team's Rock of Ages aims to change that by combining tower defense, giant rocks, and various art styles into one delicious whole. Insert rock pun here. The Escapist's Sarah LeBoeuf got a chance to play the game on the floor.
Read Sarah's full preview of Rock of Ages here. The game will be available sometime this year for PC, XBLA, and PSN.
At first glance, Rock of Ages seems almost too easy. The core gameplay is simple: roll giant boulders towards your enemy's gate until it's destroyed. No problem, right? When you factor in the different boulder upgrades you can purchase, like a spiked boulder that can take more damage, Rock of Ages seems like a no-brainer. Of course, while your soldiers are preparing a new rock, your enemy will be rolling his own toward your gate. In between rolls, you can set up various defensive stations along the course, which is often windy and full of natural obstacles.
I started out by playing the first tutorial, which explained these simple concepts to me. Before each level is a short cut scene that highlights the art style of that particular section, which adds even more charm to Rock of Ages. After quickly finishing off the tutorial and patting myself on the back for being so good, I jumped ahead to an early level in the main game.
In this level, I found an actual challenge, and discovered that Rock of Ages wasn't as easy as I thought. Clumsily rolling boulders towards the gate and haphazardly placing towers in a hasty attempt at defense is not going to get you very far in this game. There is some strategy involved, but you also need to think on your toes, because your foe is always moving, always building, always ready to roll. While you're trying to decide how to spend your coins, there could be a giant, flaming boulder on its way to your gate.