Slap the Rocks (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, X/S)

I love it when games describe what you do in their title.  “Don’t Die!” “Jump on Things.”  Well, anyway, here’s one: “Slap the Rocks.”  You know those Zelda dungeon puzzles where you have to push sliding blocks that move until they hit something, and you have to figure out the best paths to push them in?  Yeah this whole game is that.  In this one, you’re a dude with a sword out to collect treasure, but there are rocks, bushes, and holes in your way. Use your sword to chop down bushes and hit rocks so they slide into holes to create a path for the treasure.  This top-down viewed action puzzler is available on most current consoles, but reviewed on PS4 here.

There are 30 levels in all, and they have different backgrounds like forest, desert, or snow.  But there are no differences between them other than cosmetically.  You can choose which level to tackle, which is nice.  You move around in four directions and press the button to swing your sword.  If you are in front of a bush, you’ll chop it down.  But if you are in front of a rock, it’ll slide in that direction until it hits something.  Use bushes and other rocks to make a path so you can fill holes to reach the treasure in every level.  There are signposts that can give you clues or instructions, and signs with an arrow symbol on them will reset the level if you hit it.

The only main problem I had with this one is that puzzles often fill multiple screens, but you can only scroll to each one and can’t see the whole level, which can be frustrating sometimes.  Also, while I like this game’s retro styled graphics, other games like this on the NES usually had nearly double the levels.  But if you enjoyed playing ‘Sokoban’ puzzle games like Adventures of Lolo, then you may want to check this one out.

Kid Factor:

Even though you have a sword, you only use it to cut bushes and move rocks, so nothing here is violent or objectionable.  Reading skill is helpful for some of the text, and younger gamers may have trouble with the tougher puzzles.  Slap the Rocks is rated E for Everyone.

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