Originally released on Xbox One and PC in 2016, Steamroll has rolled onto the Switch eShop and PS4 with some enhancements. Dubbed Steamroll: Rustless Edition, the developers tweaked the lighting system, remade the Trophy requirements, and implemented a better aiming system over the original release.
At its core, this puzzle game is still essentially steampunk mini golf presented through one of those giant balls from American Gladiators. Trapped inside a collapsing mine, the player takes control of a sphere that is powered by steam. The ultimate goal is to reach the end of the stage but there are traps and hazards in the way. Docking stations act as both checkpoints to refuel the steam gauge but each one also presents a puzzle. When docked, the player can shoot smaller balls to solve these puzzles, adjusting the power and angle of each shot with the triggers and analog stick. For example, if rubble is in the way, switch to the bomb balls to clear a path, just don’t blow yourself up in the process. Need to hit that switch over there but can’t hit it from this angle? Activate the wall ball to create a ricocheting path. Typical obstacles, like red barrels that explode or ramps that transition to higher platforms, are all here too.
There is a narrative but the short dialog scenes only get in the way of the top-down puzzling action; the text is also too small to read anyway. The entire game takes place in a cave but the visuals are always dark and sometimes can be difficult to decipher. Using a limited amount of steam to reach the next docking station also seems a little forced. The meat of the game is shooting the balls from these checkpoints to solve a puzzle so the rolly ball can transverse to the next area, almost making these manually controlled areas moot. Even though it only lasts a couple hours, its brevity isn’t a mark against it as it doesn’t have a chance to outstay its welcome with repetition.
Steamroll might not be the best puzzle game out there but it is still is an entertaining playthrough that offers something a little different. Most Trophies are easy to obtain so Trophy hunters should put this game on their radar and leaderboards are there for the dedicated players that want to finish each stage in the most efficient way possible. Others might just want to play a round of mini golf instead.
Also available on PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.
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