There’s a saying that goes something along the lines of, “If you think it’s a good idea, it’s been done before”. Well, I have to say that Phantom Compass is onto something really special with their pinball-RPG game Rollers of the Realm. Best of all, I’m pretty damn sure no one has ever tried anything quite like this.

Defining itself as a pinball puzzle-rpg, Rollers of the Realm is definitely a unique concept. While it is essentially a pinball game at heart, there’s a lot more to the experience than flippers, bells, and flashing lights. An intriguing storyline with fun and memorable characters is a major element to the game. Unlike traditional pinball games, players aren’t simply trying to beat the high score. Each stage serves a purpose in propelling the storyline forward, while at the same time providing the player with new, varying environments to play within. These environments are unique and beautifully rendered, much like the rest of the game. The character portraits, dialogue, and the pinball stages themselves all work together to bridge the gap between “pinball game” and “roleplaying game”.

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Rollers of the Realm isn’t just about the high score. You have to draw your sword and fight as well!

One thing that is definitely worth mentioning is that Rollers of the Realm is not a pinball simulator. While the physics feel accurate and the traditional contraptions typically found in pinball machines such as flappers and bouncers all work well, the game is more about using the roleplaying elements of the game to your advantage as opposed to just “making the shot”.

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Going to have to pull out the Knight for this bout.

The characters in the game are lovingly depicted as the pinballs themselves, and each have unique characteristics. For instance, while the rogue is small and nimble enough to squeeze into tight spaces, it doesn’t carry the weight and momentum that the Knight does. Therefore, when you need to knock down a wall or crush a few crates, using the Knight will be more effective than trying to use the smaller, lighter rogue. Hardcore pinballers will appreciate the need to be accurate and concise in the puzzle areas however, as placing your shot just right is a must when trying to navigate through the densely-packed streets.  Moreover, combat situations require precision shots as well, so there’s still a lot of skill required for you pinball purists out there!

I am really excited to see developers finding new ways to bridge existing genres together in interesting and fun ways. I can confidently say that Rollers of the Realm is a game that everyone should be following. They’re on to something really special.

Features:

  • Incorporates physics puzzle play with a unique nudge mechanic and innovative flipper mechanics.
  • Cast of hot-swappable characters (represented by balls) in your adventure party, each providing a different strategic role in all areas of play.
  • Combat a variety of enemies and bosses.
  • Gold and treasure collection supporting character and party upgrades.
  • Story mode and arcade mode.
  • iPad version to follow PC version — Mac, Linux and other platforms are also likely!
  • Controller support on PC.

Although Rollers of the Realm is still early in development, the alpha version already felt polished and well executed. There’s a lot to love about this game, so do yourself a favour and head over to Steam Greenlight and give it a thumbs up! You’ll be happy you did.

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