I’m sure everyone remembers the circus where animals would be used for acts, where were meant to do tricks that they really shouldn’t do, and then everything goes wrong like animals getting way out of control and attacks the members and the audience, and that’s why in the UK and some states in America, wild animals (apparently not domestic animals) have been banned from circuses.
What if an elephant was in the circus and he thought, “screw this” and escapes into the jungle to find his friends, well that’s the game I’m playing today, Rolo to the Rescue, developed by Vectordean and published by EA, yep, this was the time where they could not anger you of DRM, but anger you because of different sized cartridges, but their region free carts were the dog’s nuts.
So yes, you’re Rolo the elephant, who is sick and tired of being in the circus, being life-threatening and all. So he decides to escape, find his friends being locked up and stop the ringleader twins from catching him and the rest of his friends and find his mother.
At the start of the game you have a map, but it’s blank except for a puzzle piece where Rolo is, complete more levels and you unlock more levels in the form of puzzle pieces. The main objective is to find one of the enemies, jump on him and retrieve the key from him. Once you collect the key unlock the cages and set the other animals free, they will follow you to the goal.
But hold on, you might find this a bit repetitive, but the levels can change drastically, you can use rescued animals to do things Rolo can’t do, for example, can’t cross a path, like a river, get the Beaver and he’ll walk on water, he’ll find a float and get on it, it’ll move to Rolo, he’ll jump on it, it’ll move to the other side, got the Squirrel, he can jump up walls like an uncoordinated Spider-Man, Rabbit to jump high and a badger to dig through walls.
Levels like this can either be easy or frustratingly difficult, you have to use your brains to complete a level. You see I looked at the cover thinking that this was a children’s game and I could complete it in half an hour like the World of Illusion game, it was £4.99 at a second hand game shop and I just wanted to collect Sega Mega Drive games.
However I felt very stupid for judging it before actually playing as I could not beat it at all because I got stuck, you got over 70 levels to complete and no save state, meaning you have to beat this game in a day or waist electricity so you can leave it overnight and play it the next day, but make sure this process doesn’t burn your house down and this is the game’s downfall, no one has the patience to finish this unless you use an emulator, which I recommend because at least you get a save state.
Graphically, as a children’s game it’s very colourful and very appealing to children but not to older gamers, when you look at the cover, it’s got cute looking animals, appealing art, so it’s appealing to the target demographic.
The controls is ok, it depends which level you’re in with it’s precise platforming, yep, precise platforming in a children’s game. Anyway, control pad to move, you can jump, run, and when you collect a bottle of water, you can shoot water at enemies, whilst it’s not the weapon you’ll always use, it’s useful but you won’t see that bottle of water in all the levels.
Now I want to talk about the endings, I don’t want to spoil it for you so all I’m going to say is there are two endings, one good and one very dark for a children’s game and even I was blown away by it in a surprising way.
Overall, this is a challenging game, I do not recommend getting this for your child, with high difficulty and no save state, it’s going to be unplayable for the new generation, but there are much better retro games for children.
The level design is colourful, the levels are great, the music is cutesy as heck and it’s going to take you a day or more to beat it. I hate the fact that there is no save states, I know it’s the retro years but this is ridiculous, I’d recommend playing it on an emulator as you can save your progress that way.
I’m not surprised why game developers never take risks of making kids games hard as nails, most Disney games and other games based on the films nowadays are very easy, but then again, if they did have challenge to it, they’d probably be good games.
You can get it for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis.