Taking the simple premise of guiding your ball towards the goal, Rolling Sky delivers simple arcadey fun. Weaving your way through a colorfully hyperactive course you must activate switches, avoid vicious obstacles, and think faster than you realize you can if you want to emerge victorious from the game’s five stages.
At first glance it’s easy to think that Rolling Sky takes inspiration from the classic Marble Madness. With its squared-off world design, vivid colors, and base premise of getting your ball to the target, there is more than a passing similarity. However, it only takes one panic inducing run to realize that this app has far more in common with a frantically psychedelic Subway Surfers.
The narrow course floats in space and your ball automatically roles upwards along it. Your initially simple task is to just drag your thumb left and right to move the ball past the sea of holes that must be jumped with spring boards, falling sections of course, swinging hammers, and other obstacles that litter the route.
But the challenge rapidly escalates. With five stages of increasing intensity to navigate, you quickly find your muscles taught with unexpected tension due to the unrelenting speed and complexity of courses.
Don't drop the ball
When you finish the first area, and experience that inexplicable rush of success, you will be certain that you have mastered the game: surely there is no way it can get harder. Skip to the fifth stage, however, and you will realize that Rolling Sky's definition of difficult is very different to your own.
Fortunately, tight controls mean that you never feel that Rolling Sky is unfair… unreasonable maybe, but not unfair. Also - with levels shifting through ever changing color, aesthetic, and thumping music – even when you are struggling, it manages to provide a good sense of progress.
Excluding the punishing difficulty, the only real gameplay issue comes from the visual metaphor of the rolling ball. The shifting course has no impact on the orb's momentum,with moving blocks adding no spin making it seem disconnected. This is not odd for the arcade-runner genre this falls into, but it is a missed opportunity for Rolling Sky to differentiate itself.
Have a ball
Rolling Sky is a fast paced game that sucks you in, but you quickly burn through the initial 20 free balls – possibly without even finishing the first area. After that you can pay to unlock limited balls or get more by watching adds. Still, 20 should be more than enough to decide if Rolling Sky’s rapid action and unrelenting challenge are for you.