Google really seem to love themselves a good mini-game, just look at all of the awesome interactive Doodles they’ve created over the years, but they’ve really gone above and beyond with their new experiment, titled ‘Roll It’.
The concept is the beautifully simple one, you go to this web address: g.co/rollit on your desktop and your smartphone, you get a code on the desktop to place on the phone and the two devices are synced for the game session.
A skee-ball table then appears on your desktop for you to fling balls down, however through the use of your phone’s accelerometer it is your smartphone that becomes the controller for the game.
After you have aimed and lined up your shot (by moving an indicator on your smartphone) you swing your phone forward in a very similar motion to that of a wii remote when playing wii bowling.
The game does expect a fairly gentle swing, which is probably good as without a strap your phone could be in danger of flying into your screen, and there were several times that my shots went careening over the top of the skee-ball table. The need for a gentle approach does minimalise the risk of losing your phone.
There are a variety of levels and different types of balls, all with special abilities, to unlock and progress through. This adds a nice bit of longevity to a concept that could run a bit dry after a while. There is also the option to play with friends as the game supports three players who take turns to score points using the same handset.
It is the responsiveness of the whole process that impressed me, as well as the idea of using your smartphone as a controller for a game being played on desktop, however this is not the first time Google have championed this concept, check out their Chrome experiments page for more examples.
I did suffer a bit of lag on the desktop site but I’ll put that down to the less than reliable internet connection in my house rather than a flaw in the game itself.
This may be nothing more than a fun little time consumer if you’re at your desk and want a bit of a break from work but the concept is an interesting one and if they increased the collection of games Google could build a solid gaming platform using nothing but a smartphone and the web.