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Rolando is a puzzle-adventure video game developed by studio HandCircus and published by ngmoco. It was released for iOS on December 18, 2008, and uses the Box2D game engine.

Rolando art.png
Game logo
  • Simon Oliver (game)
  • Mikko Walamies (art)
  • December 18, 2008
  • Royal Edition
  • April 3, 2019
Genre(s)Adventure, puzzle

Rolando's gameplay revolves around navigation of "Rolandos", small ball-like creatures, throughout a fictional world known as "Rolandoland". Rolando has received generally positive reviews by the video game community, and a sequel, Rolando 2: Quest for the Golden Orchid, was released in 2009. A third game was announced and later cancelled.

After being unplayable on the latest devices for years, Rolando was later re-released in the form of a remake, Rolando: Royal Edition, on April 3, 2019.[4]



The goal of the game is to save Rolandoland from an invasion of little shadow creatures. The inhabitants of Rolandoland are the Rolandos, which are little ball-shaped creatures. Rolandos must be directed to safety by tilting the iPhone or iPod Touch and using different bonus items like conveyor belts and elevators.

The Rolandos proceed through a series of worlds before eventually finding and defeating the leader of the shadow creatures.


Rolando gameplay

Each stage has a required number of Rolandos that must escape if the player wants to advance to the next stage. Players can manipulate objects in the world and can tilt an iPhone or iPod Touch to move the Rolandos through the stage. The player rolls the Rolandos either one at a time or in groups, selected by drawing boxes over the intended Rolandos. By swiping one's finger up, the selected Rolandos jump. The player gets help from the Rolando commandos, an elite group of sticky balls who grip surfaces and defy gravity. Contrary to normal Rolandos, these creatures can also stick to the ceiling. This game also features tutorial levels in the first world, which explain the controls and how to play. One may be very familiar with the controls, but it will take a long time to master them.[5]

Music and artEdit

The soundtrack for Rolando is largely from the discography of Mr. Scruff, a British DJ who lent many of his songs to the game. Such songs include "Spandex Man" (from Keep It Unreal), "Shrimp", "Ug" (from Trouser Jazz), "Donkey Ride", "Kalimba", "Stockport Carnival" (from Ninja Tuna), and "Mice At The Organ" (from the Large Pies EP).[6] Simon Oliver, Rolando's creator, called Mr. Scruff's contribution "icing on the cake" for the game.[7]

All of the art for the game was created by Mikko Walamies, an illustrator based in Finland. Oliver sent Walamies videos, level layouts, and other development media without ever meeting the illustrator in person. However, Oliver described the relationship positively, saying that their "ideas always seem to be in sync."[8] Walamies made available high-resolution art from Rolando on his website in February 2009.[9]


Aggregate score
Review scores
Slide To Play4/4[13]
Pocket Gamer10/10[14]
TouchArcade(Royal Edition)      [15]

IGN gave the game a 9.5 out of 10 rating. The game was voted as Best iPhone Game of 2008 by the Boston Herald, VentureBeat, and 148Apps and is winner of Pocket Gamer's Platinum Award.[5] Edge Online gave Rolando a 7 out of 10 rating, criticizing the game for using graphics and ideas similar to LocoRoco.[11]

Version historyEdit

Version 1.1 of the game was released on March 16, 2009 and includes five secret levels with the Honeycup Meadows theme.[16][17]

Version 1.2 of the game was released on April 21, 2009 and added two more secret levels based on the Fire Canyon theme, and reveals the remaining secret levels as locked icons, bringing the final level count to fifty-six levels. The game was updated weekly with more levels until the release of Rolando 2: Quest for the Golden Orchid.[18][19]

Rolando Lite was released February 4, 2009 and includes the first eight levels in Honey Cup Meadows, and later, one secret level in the Rolando Lite 1.1 update.

In Autumn of 2017, Rolando became unavailable on iOS devices using iOS 11 or later due to its 32-bit nature.[20]


Rolando 2: Quest for the Golden OrchidEdit

In February 2009, ngmoco announced two sequels to Rolando. Rolando 2: Quest for the Golden Orchid is similar to its predecessor in that it is a puzzle-based platformer, however, new characters and settings allow new types of movement and some offensive action against the antagonists. The focus of this quest is to cure the two sages of the kingdom of a disease using the mysterious "Golden Orchid".

Also new to Rolando 2 are "Golden Idols" which, when acquired, will allow a player to skip some of the more challenging puzzles. Golden Idols are found throughout the levels of Rolando 2.


  1. ^ "About HandCircus". HandCircus. Retrieved 2009-04-17.
  2. ^ "iPhone port of Box2D Testbed now available". HandCircus. 2009-01-15. Archived from the original on 2013-01-25. Retrieved 2009-04-17.
  3. ^ "@unity3d has been amazing for us bringing the game back for this remastered edition..." Twitter. 2019-03-22. Retrieved 2019-04-03.
  4. ^ Webster, Andrew (April 4, 2019). "The triumphant return of Rolando, one of the first hit iPhone games". Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  5. ^ a b c Buchanan, Levi (2008-12-12). "Rolando iPhone Review". IGN. Retrieved 2009-04-17.
  6. ^ "Rolando Music...?". Mr. Scruff. 2009-02-23. Retrieved 2009-04-17.
  7. ^ Schramm, Mike (2008-12-18). "TUAW Interview: Rolando's Simon Oliver is ready for release". TUAW. Retrieved 2009-04-17.
  8. ^ Jordan, Jon (2009-04-02). "The making of Rolando: iPhone's first 10/10 game". PocketGamer. Retrieved 2009-04-17.
  9. ^ Walamies, Mikko (2009-02-08). "Game Design: Rolando". MW82. Archived from the original on February 21, 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-17.
  10. ^ "Rolando for iOS (iPhone/iPad)". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2019-04-03.
  11. ^ a b "Review: Rolando". Edge Online. 2009-01-15. Archived from the original on 2011-10-22. Retrieved 2009-04-17.
  12. ^ Bramwell, Tom (2009-01-19). "Rolando Review". EuroGamer. Retrieved 2009-04-17.
  13. ^ Palley, Steve (2009-03-16). "Rolando Review". Slide to Play. Retrieved 2009-04-17.
  14. ^ Erickson, Tracy. "Rolando: Look What Rolled In". PocketGamer. Retrieved 2009-04-17.
  15. ^ Funnell, Rob (2019-04-05). "'Rolando: Royal Edition' Review – Keep on Rollin', Baby". TouchArcade. Retrieved 2019-04-07.
  16. ^ "App Store Updates: The Story behind Rolando 1.1". ngmoco. 2009-03-16. Archived from the original on 2009-03-21. Retrieved 2009-04-17.
  17. ^ "Spring is in the air". HandCircus. 2009-03-20. Archived from the original on 2009-03-27. Retrieved 2009-04-17.
  18. ^ "Announcing Rolando 2". HandCircus. 2009-03-23. Archived from the original on 2009-04-06. Retrieved 2009-04-18.
  19. ^ "More Rolando Secret Levels". HandCircus. 2009-04-20. Retrieved 2009-04-21.
  20. ^ "Apple's iOS 11 kills old 32-bit iPhone and iPad apps". BBC. 2017-09-19. Retrieved 2019-01-24.

External linksEdit