Roll in the Hole is a PlayStation Mobile game that's been brought to the Vita by mobile game developer Chillingo. Does this bite-sized adventure in physics and gluttony have what it takes to be a memorable game on Sony's portable device? Or should we roll past it and look for better titles?

Roll in the Hole is a simple physics puzzler that puts you in control of a rotund panda bar. The premise is that the panda bear wakes up next to his fridge only to find that a gorilla has the ice pops out of his freezer, and he has disappeared into a cosmic portal. What's a poor panda to do? Why, he goes rolling around looking for answers and retribution, of course!

There are three different worlds with 24 levels each. You'll have to roll your way around and battle inertia in order to successfully collect the three ice pops located in each level and make it to the cosmic portal exit. The first world is the Valley, the second one is Ice and the final world is located in the Stars.

Each level has a set of platforms you can roll onto that act as a sort of maze. If you roll onto one too fast, you might end up going off a cliff and into the unknown abyss below. This is why it's very important for the game to have tight controls.

And for the most part, the controls are only okay. You can either choose to use the L and R buttons on the shoulders of the Vita to roll left or right, or you can pick the tilt controls and see how accurate you can be while leaning your machine this way and that.

In my experience, using the shoulder buttons is a lot more accurate and allows for better fine-tuning of rolls and setting up accurate drops. If you just want to edge yourself closer to the end of a platform, you simply have to give the corresponding shoulder button the slightest of taps. Otherwise, you might find yourself flying off into the lower ends of the screen.

Different features in the levels help mix things up, but they're not enough to really keep the game interesting. You'll have some levels where balloons are scattered throughout to help you bounce around in attempt to add another layer of challenge, but they're easily bypassed.

Another obstacle example are little snowballs that block your path in the Ice world. You can roll on top of them, but chances are that they'll force you to roll off an edge and to your doom. Again, it's not a huge game-changer, but at least it's something.

All in all, Roll in the Hole isn't a bad game. It just doesn't do anything to excite the player. It's a slow-paced pursuit that should only be undertaken when you're really tired and just need something to do before you fall asleep. Playing it while you're alert and active is the equivalent of taking a quaalude.

Perhaps my biggest complaint, besides how lackluster Roll in the Hole feels, is that the music is incredibly annoying. What's worse is that it sounds almost exactly like the Nintendo eShop theme being looped infinitely.

Unless you're having trouble zenning out, then your best bet would be to skip this game altogether and wait for more exciting mobile games to grace the PlayStation Vita.


5.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating