To say developer Rataliaka Games has an extensive catalogue would be an understatement. Perhaps most famous for the popular League of Evil, the studio is responsible for the ports of two titles recently covered by Chit Hot: Crime Opera: The Butterfly Effect and Hellbreachers. Slap the Rocks is one of many original IPs from the studio, and an enjoyable one at that. Yet it falls foul to one key floor.
Slap the Rocks is not an original premise. In fact, it’s almost identical to the Nintendo Entertainment System’s Kickle Cubicle. The player has to create a path from their beginning to the end of the level. To do so, they must move rocks in order to fill in holes. However, a rock can only travel in a straight line. And, once hit, will not stop until it collides with another object. Thusly, the player must ensure that they move the rocks in the correct order to create a safe path to the hole each needs to fill.
Slap the Rocks is not a complicated game, requiring only movement and singular action button. However, the premise does invite opportunities for a great variety of challenges. Mixing into the formula dummy chests, multiple routes, hidden rocks and more makes Slap the Rocks a game of observation and practice. There’s a significant amount of trial-and-error to it’s puzzle solving. Handily every level (and section thereof) does include a reset switch as standard.
So then, while the puzzling action is well designed, there’s one major flaw that can be levelled at it. There simply isn’t enough of it.
The game only offers 30 levels. With the first 20 taking roughly 30-40 minutes to complete for an easy 1,000G in Xbox Achievements or full set of PlayStation Trophies. The latter 10 levels will maybe add another 20 minutes to that tally. For a game hellbent on putting your brain to the test, it feels like it’s over before it’s truly begun.
Slap the Rocks is a wonderfully enjoyable hour. But nothing more. If you’re looking for easy Achievements or Trophies then you’ve come to the right place. And likewise, if you’ve got an hour to waste waiting for a deeper experience to install you could do far worse. But in an era where 40+ hour games are becoming the release schedule highlights, Slap the Rocks may struggle to find it’s audience.