Have Game, Will Play: Rollers of the Realm

When I think of an RPG with pinball mechanics or a pinball game with RPG elements the only game that comes to mind is Pinball RPG for the Nes. I suspect that Rollers of the Realm developer Phantom Compass has staff members who are fans of that game. Rollers tells the tale about 3 powerful beings that are kidnapped/hidden by a witch causing any number of people to attempt power grabs by purporting to be one of the three. A young rogue with a dog is traveling and engaging in thievery after escaping her town destroyed by war started by a supposed one of the three.

Rollers of the Realm has a map screen allowing you to select environments with paths. Each location on the map is its own pinball table. The rogue is not alone for very long as she links up with a drunken knight, a healer and others. Characters have their own balls and attributes. The Knight is a
larger ball that can deal more damage. The rogue is quick and gets more gold from enemies and people she bounces off of and reviving fallen characters is the healer’s specialty. There are many characters that can be in your party in addition to temporary party members.

The flippers are essentially your character’s health. Characters share a blue mana bar and when full at certain points you can use their special ability. Hitting and bouncing off of many objects on the tables builds mana. Blocking the drain, a dog or birds as multiballs and reviving characters are just
some examples of special abilities. One drawback I can see people getting hung up on is combat. You hit enemies to damage them however your flippers typically are only affected by enemies with projectiles like arrows. I am not good at pinball games so just keeping the ball out of the drain was enough of challenge for me but people might become bored by hitting enemies who pose no real threat and are often stationary. As the game progresses it does ramp up the difficulty by forcing you to hit certain enemies on a multi-screen table.

The story nor the voice acting will win any awards but I found them both to be more than adequate. Phantom Compass took a big risk by making a game that clearly won’t satisfy people who are really into either genre. As someone doesn’t have a particular affinity for either, I had fun with Rollers of the Realms and think that the asking price is fair.

Recommendation: Worth a buy – if you want to try something a little different and aren’t expecting the best of both genres.
Full Disclosure: The PS4/Vita version of this game was provided to GameEnthus by the publisher.
Genre: RPG pinball game
Developer: Phantom Compass
Publisher: Atlus
Platform(s): PS4, Vita, Steam
Price: $9.99

Links
http://www.phantomcompass.com/rollers-of-the-realm/
http://GameEnthus.com
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/gameenthus-podcast-video-games/id286435007?mt=2

Scale:
Worth a buy – paying full price for fans of the series or genre makes sense – often includes a caveat
Worth a buy on sale – not quite full price worthy but close, – often includes a caveat
No – borrow it if you must play it
Please no – Don’t waste any time and/or money on it