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The seemingly blissful union of Adult Swim and developer Pik Pok has resulted in some wonderfully weird iOS affairs, including Robot Unicorn Attack 2, Monsters Ate My Condo, and Extinction Squad – and Giant Boulder of Death only continues that trend. Kicking off with the titular stone seeing its beloved counterpart carved into a statue of a military dictator, the game finds you indiscriminately rolling forth for vengeance through soldiers, spiked barricades, and innocent wildlife alike.
Built like an endless runner with a dash of Katamari Damacy for good measure, the game requires only tilts of your iOS device to alter the boulder's path, along with the occasional tap to leap over a hazard. Points are earned for each creature or item crushed, while an ever-growing score multiplier amplifies your total, plus you'll occasionally trigger a short-lived Invinciboulder attack that lets you smash through even harmful enemy armaments with ease. It's all joyfully bizarre in tone, thanks to little dialogue bursts from the enemy forces and a woman excitedly yodeling "Game Over" when your boulder finally meets its demise. Luckily, it's an endearing kind of inanity.
Rather than offer multiple missions to tackle at once (like most runners), Giant Boulder of Death serves up just one at any given time – like hitting a target score in a run, or smashing a certain number of an object across multiple attempts – and clearing that objective unlocks a new item or creature in the world, which only makes for slightly more diverse runs with a higher score potential over time. The fact that most of the unlockable upgrades in the game pertain to single-use boosts that are only available via a slot machine spin allowed every 10 minutes (unless you spend scarce gems, which can be purchased in packs) drains a bit of the long-term appeal of pumping extended hours into the game, however.
Giant Boulder of Death didn't grab us quite like some other top endless affairs, but it's the kind of game that you can enjoy intently for a couple of days, even if that's the extent of it. For any free game, that's a very welcome feat.
The bottom line. In true Adult Swim fashion, Giant Boulder of Death's oddball tone and gameplay are equally entertaining – in small doses.
iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch running iOS 6.0 or later
Goofy concept with entertaining execution. Completed missions add new objects and creatures into the game world.
Most upgrades pertain to single-use boosts available only through time-limited slot machine spin, unless you spend gems (which are very rare).