[#7] Rough Rocks

Review by beast4321 on Sunday, September 10th 2017
Click to play Rough Rocks

Rough Rocks is a game created by articuno360

So this is a Classic Shooter called rough rocks by Articuno360.

Articuno is an interesting member. He's a reviewer, a game maker, and a pioneer in new concepts. He has seven features out of his nine made games, a total of which is pretty impressive. Too be honest, I haven't played many of his games before, but his previous records sets expectations high, and the thumbnail has a unique look to it on the featured page, so this'll be interesting.

I will now analyses this game before answering the all important question; should this be featured?


There is no story to Rough Rocks. It's a short shooter mini game with no back story and no character motivation. The title brings to mind a stormy sea on a rocky beach to me, although there is no expansion on what's happening in game. A story would be nice. I mean, not all games do need stories. Some games are high quality in other brackets so don't need a reason, and as this is just a mini game, it isn't necessary here. Dragging down a five minute game with a ten minute story would be pretty ridiculous, although perhaps just a little header as to where the character is at the very least would be nice. it wouldn't be too hard to just scribble something into the description, but I won't judge him too harshly for not having done so. This is pretty good anyway.



Level design and Placement:

The placement is pretty good in Rough Rocks. It features a wide range of almost every enemy in the classic shooter; turrets, missile launchers, cruisers, light cruisers, heavy cruisers, millipedes, etc. and almost all of them are used in a clever way. For example, there was a very clever sequence in this game which was clearly tested to perfection. There is heavy cruiser blocking a path to a crystal. The path is completely blocked by the heavy cruiser. Instead of mindlessly charging at the enemy, guns blazing, you can pull back and watch as the heavy cruiser backs into a different corridor, allowing you to get to the crystal with no combat. This was incredibly clever and encourages the player to think carefully about what fights to fight and what fights to run away from; sometimes its easy to forget that shooting everything takes no skill, but strategy does, and this is welcome reminder of that. Enemies are clearly carefully placed and Articuno must've spent a fair bit of time with it. The double use of teleporters was also well done.

Level design is less impressive.

All the walls are madly shaped, with random cuts and shapes carved into them all for a bit of texturing. This is very effective and gives the game a really unique feel, however it has some draw backs. I remember one sequence right at the start where a mortar can direct fire at the player unless he closes in and shoots it. However, if you accidentally fly into a wall, you can get stuck there and have to struggle to escape while the mortar lays down withering damage. I'm not sure if this was deliberate or not, but whatever it was, it was just cheap. There was also another moment where I got stuck in a teleporter. I was on nearly full health but I ended up dying because of that. It is questionable whether the same effort Articuno put into the start of the game is present at the end, as there are a couple of simple mistake like that that only take a minute to fix.

Having said all of that though, overall it is pretty impressive. Those were the only level design mistakes I could find in game, which is pretty good. This is an impressive start to a review.

Puzzles and Traps:

I have already analyzed the use of the heavy cruiser in the corridor. There are no other puzzles or traps, but that was impressive, so I don't mind.

Difficulty and level progression:

The difficulty was very well done in Rough Rocks. It is clear a lot of testing went into this. This was done in such a way that you always had just enough health to beat one more action sequence, just enough to sprint towards that oh so close health, just enough to take one more barrages of fire. The action was very close, and I had too many moments in this game where I only just killed the last in enemy in time. This is very intense. I always had an eye on the health bar. No matter how good you get at this, even if you finish a few sequences on high health, you'll know that this gets harder, and still be mindful about health. The difficulty curve is very good. It starts of with some pretty easy to beat enemies: turrets, light cruisers, the occasional guards; later on there were rocket turrets, electricepedes and more enemies than I was entirely happy with. Its well done so that the first time you play this, the first sequence will seem hard. Then as you get better at the game it becomes easy, but the later sequence remain hard, and so on. Credit to Articuno for getting this so well.


the Gameplay, overall, was pretty decent. There were a couple of game traps but you know, I can look past that. Enemies were placed well, actions sequences highly exhilarating. There was a lot of strategy beyond this, something which doesn't appear nearly enough. Just about every sequence could be played in a clever way to avoid taking much damage, like for example, with the spider key battles you could go round and kill the turrets before starting on the key, instead of taking on everything at once. The teleporter tricks were clever as well. The actual sequences weren't anything special, but there was something about how it was all put together that just made this game feel like a classic, and made every moment a joy to play through. I can't really ask for more with this.



The scenery was just... smexy. That really is the only word for it. The map was designed with jagged edges and ridges for effect and streaks of ice, mud and fire ran everywhere, creating a powerful effect of something natural. The background was a light browny orange and fit the game perfectly. All the colors set a brilliant contrast. It was such a brilliantly unique and different approach to scenery. I loved it.


Story: N.A

Placement and level design: __.5/_____

Puzzles and Traps: ____/_____

Difficulty and level progression: ____/_____

Gameplay: ___.5/_____

Scenery: ____.5/_____

Overall: ____/_____


Rough Rocks is pretty good. It has some beautiful visuals with some pretty well down gameplay, and a great atmosphere to it. If I was asked if it was feature worthy, I would have to think pretty carefully before I answered. Generally I say that a feature worthy game needs good gameplay, scenery and level design; it fails in the last bracket, but you know, the rest of it is just so good that I think I'll overlook that and say that yes it is feature worthy. Articuno, you clearly have a lot of skill, and I look forward to your future games. I would also be interested in a collab project... I don't suppose you're interested?

And that's the end.