Super Sami Roll (PC) – Review
Vivid, colorful world
Quality Replay value
Cool wearable accessories and secrets
Unadjustable camera angel in some levels
Need a little more details in tutorials and on-screen tips
When Sami and his friend Vera were chilling on the beach, Vera got abducted by the evil lord Albert VII, thus Sami embarks on the rescue mission to save the damsel in distress in this precision 3D platformer.
Our protagonist Sami is a biped lizard with the ability to roll like Sonic. If you roll enough to build momentum, Sami could reach very distant places. Like most platformers, you have the basic jump button (A), but instead of a double jump Sami can bounce when you press B while in the air. You won’t be able to do that on some surfaces, but it won’t be an issue because you have another signature move up your sleeves. As a lizard, Sami can use his long tongue to stick on the object and grapple. Whenever you have gone off the rail, tap X to use your tongue and make your way back up. I think it’s a very cool and eccentric feature of this game. Not only it can save your life, but it’s also the best tool to do speed running since you can skip a lot of steps if you can find a way to combine high jump and grappling.
The controls sound simple but it takes a few levels to master. Especially with grappling, it can be hard to aim in your preferred direction with the camera angle can go awkward sometimes. Even with the semi-auto camera option, it’s best to constantly adjust the angle with the right stick. There are only two difficulty options: normal and advance. The only difference they have is that normal mode has checkpoints and advance mode doesn’t. It seems insignificant at first but it becomes harder to pass a level without dying at least a handful of times so having checkpoints is a relief.
Each stage must be completed within a time limit but it can be extended by collecting coins on the way. A second will be added to the remaining time for every coin collected. In addition to the coins, raspberries can also be collected but only one available in a level. They are mostly hidden and you have to go out of your way to collect them. Trade coins and raspberries for decorative items from the shop such as paint and wearable accessories. Speaking of accessories, during normal gameplay, the graphical quality suddenly became low and pixelated. At first, I thought it was some kind of error in the system but turned out I was wearing pixel glasses from the shop and it made the game look more retro by adding that low image quality effect. If it wasn’t for the responsive developers on the Discord channel, I wouldn’t have realized this 4th wall break.
Not to mention its well-crafted level designs and high-spirited world, it has 4 stages in total and each stage has its defining theme, challenging barriers, and various environmental objects such as speeding ramp, springs, and portals. There are also boss fights at the end of every stage, but the first three share the same location and dynamic where you have to climb the tower and face off with Albert VII in his war machines, only for him to escape to the next stage after being defeated. Some players might not like that fixed camera angle featured in the boss fights and a few certain levels, which makes it harder than it should to navigate the area.
Also, the fact that additional modes can be purchased using coins is clever. The game won’t allow you to stray away from the main content until you get a hold of it. Super Sami Roll is fun, easy to pick up but hard to master and a balance between challenging and rewarding.