Features & Use
If you’re wondering why we dropped the buzz word 'adventure‘ as often as we did in the teaser, it’s because Romance of Rome is a game of the almost-extinct point-and-click variety. In other words, the gameplay is quite different to what you might be used to from Angry Birds or Doodle Jump—more mature gamers may get a wee bit nostalgic because this type of gameplay has been around for a while, though as mentioned it’s become rare these days.
Because the gameplay is so different to what’s popular these days, it would be nice if a free trial version of the game were available for the Android platform (a trial version exists in the Apple App Store…). The current situation is that you install it and then have a 15 minute time window during which you can try the game out, but we found that this wasn’t enough time to get a proper feel for it, especially considering that it takes time to download and install the data.
This concern aside, is Romance of Rome worth your time?
My take: yes, absolutely. It’s a brilliant game that makes one realize that mobile gaming is more than car racing and slinging birds across the display.
The game’s story is a nice starting point: a little boy sets off from home towards Rome and a series of events ensues throughout which he continuously helps out others and thus climbs the social ladder. You can help the little guy along by finding the hidden items and obtaining more gold.
For each level there’s a map of some thrilling Roman location, and the objective is to find the hidden items, some of which you can take with you and use in key moments. For instance, in the first level you must use the rock you collected to ward off crows trying to steel a beautiful young lady’s earrings. If ever you’re not sure which item to use, hit the clue button and you will see which one is your best bet.
The game is lots of fun thanks to the great locations, the excitement of finding items and solving riddles… but there are also a few points that could still be improved on.
Firstly, the game strikes me as having been created for a larger screen and just isn’t as much fund when confined to a mere 3,7 inches.
More importantly, it would be great to see to increase the level of difficulty. Adding a limit to how many times a user can hit the clue button, or adding a timer to a level spring to mind as options to make the whole thing a bit more challenging.
Romance of Rome is a true must-have for adventure fans. The story is fun and goes above and beyond what many other games have to offer. Old-timers will appreciate the nostalgia factor and everyone should be happy with the amount of levels and great graphics.
A trial version of the game would be a great bonus, as would having the option to change the level of difficulty. Lastly I again want to point out that the game is much more enjoyable when played on a tablet than on a smartphone.
Screen & Controls
The graphics for Romance of Rome are very nice, the animations are cute and the whole thing is kept in a lovely cartoon-like aesthetic.
Controls are just as good, very easy and fun.
Speed & Stability
Romance of Rome is still somewhat of a bumpy ride. We experienced two screen blackouts on both the HTC Sensation and HTC Desire. There was also some delayed responses. The game runs smoothly on the tablet so it’s a bit of a shame that it doesn’t do as well on smartphones.
Aside from these glitches the app runs smoothly and hasn’t crashed.
Romance of Rome is available for EUR1,54 from the Market. There are no ad banners.