While Rock of Ages' absurd sense of humour and weird style do make it intensely enjoyable on a sheer smile-factor, however, the underlying game isn't without fault, with the biggest issue being how flat the game starts to feel after a while.
Ace Team rolls out new units and fortifications gradually, with ball power-ups also unveiled over the course of the many campaign levels, but most are redundant once you've learned the ropes. While defensive units are occasionally handy, and the cash-generating mines are a must in later levels, Rock of Ages is more about speed than strategic complexity; whoever goes fastest, wins.
This means that the difficulty curve is really more of a challenge plateau, with the vast majority of levels easily bested on the first attempt and even the eccentric bosses barely doing any harm. However, while we burned through at rollercoaster pace, averaging around eight minutes per level, we weren't quick to fatigue of Ace Team's random wit. In fact, never knowing what laughs might be coming up next was mainly what kept us playing.
Meanwhile, for those who lack the appropriate drivers for their Humour Hardware, there are a few other modes that can substitute as a palate-cleanser should the singleplayer campaign prove too one-tone for you. The one which will likely provide the most longevity of these is the War mode; a basic multiplayer option that offers the singleplayer structure for two players, either online or in split-screen.
What piqued our interest more than this bally deathmatch, however, were the remaining two modes - Skee Boulder and Time Trial. Both are exactly what they sound like; Time Trial is a flat-out race to the bottom that plays close to Rock of Ages' unusual racer feel. Meanwhile, Skee Boulder is an adaptation of skee ball - players have to race down a slope hitting as many items as possible before launching themselves into a scoring grid.
Both the Skee Boulder and Time Trial modes are available as a singleplayer option too, even though all you've got to chase are your own high scores.
Rock of Ages Gameplay Trailer
Customisation options further round out Rock of Ages' package, with players able to select which paper character they want to represent them, as well as boulder decorations, which range from stone fists through to simple happy faces.
While these multiplayer modes and customisation options, which we imagine will be quickly padded out with easily-inserted DLC, provide a nice distraction though - it's the bizarre comedic bent that remains Rock of Ages' major draw. It's a game so irreverent and off-the-wall that it becomes incredibly memorable and immediately stands out in a season that's just ramping up for a string of blockbusters.
Rock of Ages has faults - it's samey and repetitive in long-play sessions, for example, and if the trailers don't tickle you then there's little chance the full game will impress. However, considering the low price and artistic spark that lies at the heart of the game, Rock of Ages becomes a difficult game to turn down, even if the mechanical side of the experience doesn't quite rival the creative side, and there are occasional glitches with the physics of enemy AI.