The Rolandos are back in Rolando: Royal Edition

Back in 2008, a little iOS game came out called Rolando. It was a critically acclaimed puzzle adventure game that featured small, ball-like creatures called Rolandos, who had to help roll their royal Rolando King to a portal on each level, before escaping through the portal themselves to move on to the next stage.

Rolando was a treasure among iOS games, and it eventually came out with a sequel in 2009. A third game was planned but never came to fruition after it was canceled with much disappointment. People loved Rolando because it was cute, charming, and clever. At the time, Rolando was definitely a game that set the standards for how mobile games should be.

However, in the past few years, the original Rolando games have been unplayable on devices running iOS 11 or later due to the game being 32-bit. But Rolando fans need not worry anymore, as Rolando: Royal Edition has arrived and is the best Rolando yet!

Graphics and music

Rolando: Royal Edition spikey commando captives

With Rolando: Royal Edition, you're getting a modern, remastered version of the original game. When Rolando first came out, the graphics were nice for what our iPhones were capable of back then. But our iPhones and iPads are so much more advanced now, and Rolando: Royal Edition comes with stunning and beautiful graphics that are incredibly polished. The animations in the game are smooth, everything is bright and colorful, and the environments are lush with fine detail.

The soundtrack for Rolando: Royal Edition is also upbeat, quirky, and definitely catchy. It adds a layer of personality to the game, just like the original, and it'll have you dancing along to the rhythm, even just on the level select screen. The Rolandos themselves all have their own unique personality traits, behaviors, and sound effects, like the sleepy Rolando King and the always-rolling Prince Rolando.

Controls and mechanics

Rolando: Royal Edition finger activated fan

The controls for Rolando involve all kinds of inputs. The basic Rolandos require you to draw a box with your finger around the Rolandos that you want to control, and then you tilt your device to make them move left and right on the screen. Swiping up makes them jump, and sometimes you'll need to roll and build momentum to jump and reach higher spots. You can tap anywhere on the screen to de-select those Rolandos and change up your strategy. You can pan the camera on the stage with two fingers.

As you progress through the stages, you'll learn about special controls for certain Rolandos. The sleeping King can roll without the help of other Rolandos, but only if you tilt and rotate your device to change gravity. There is also the Spike Commander Rolando, who can stick onto any surface that isn't covered in oil, and you can jump by swiping in the direction you want to jump in. Certain yellow obstacles on a map can be rotated or moved by dragging on them.

The game does a pretty good job of introducing you to each mechanic as you go, so you never feel overwhelmed or confused. There are also three medals to earn on every level (Completion, Collect All Gems, and Finish in Challenge Time), so if you miss something, you can always go back and try again. If you're a perfectionist, no doubt you'll be replaying some stages a few times to get everything.

Love Rolando?

I only spent a little bit of time with the original Rolando, but I remember it was a delight to play. This remastered Rolando: Royal Edition is a true gem reborn, and it's a great time for anyone to get exposed to the cute and charming world of Rolando, especially newcomers. The App Store needs more premium gaming experiences like this, rather than freemium pay-to-win titles, in all honesty.

Christine Chan

Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.

When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.