Rock of Ages III: Make & Break

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Rock of Ages III: Make & Break Game Poster Image
Humorous historical racer promotes social, creative play.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Solo play encourages strategic thinking. Multiplayer and Make modes promote social, creative, competitive gaming experiences.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Human characters appearing in scripted narrative sequences don't exhibit much intelligence, forethought, or caution, but at least they're tenacious.

Ease of Play

Objectives and controls are fairly straightforward, and object descriptions in menus are brief but informative. Tutorials lead players through the basics of the Make mode and each new game type in Break mode.

Violence

Players control boulders that flatten and crush animated paper cutouts of people. They also set up a variety of tower-like automated defenses, from catapults to charging bulls, that attack opponents' boulders. The action is meant to be comedic and shows neither blood nor gore.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

This is the latest game in the Rock of Ages franchise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Rock of Ages III: Make & Break is a humorous multiplayer mashup of marble racing, tower defense, and map creation for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PCs. This is the latest title in the Rock of Ages franchise. Players steer various types of balls through obstacle-laden maps and put up defenses -- catapults, walls, animals -- to attack and slow down their opponents. Little paper cutout people are often shown getting flattened or crushed (death implied), but there's no blood or gore, and the presentation is clearly meant to be comical rather than graphic or shocking. Solo play rewards strategic thinking, and the competitive multiplayer (local or online) and creative Make modes encourage a friendly social gaming experience.

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What's it about?

ROCK OF AGES III: MAKE & BREAK is the latest entry in the quirky historical racing and tower defense series in which players control boulders that are sent hurtling down narrow courses filled with obstacles. Play is broken into a variety of modes and game types. In some levels, the player's objective is simply to pick a boulder type -- anything from a smooth round rock to an inflated cow -- and try to steer it to the bottom of the course as quickly as possible. In other modes, players will need to construct defenses such as walls and catapults to try to attack and slow down opponents. Still others have players trying to smash down castle gates or crash into target signs for points before launching over a ramp into a Skee-Ball-style landing zone that multiplies their score. Outside of the story and multiplayer modes, players can try their hand at creating courses of their own, choosing between game types such as Obstacle Course and War, before sharing what they've made with the rest of the game's community. Regardless of mode, Rock of Ages III is filled with a comedic art style that draws from historical paintings, statues, and architecture, often bringing static objects to life through whimsical two-dimensional animations.

Is it any good?

It suffers a little from being stretched in too many directions, but there's so much to choose from that it's hard to imagine players won't find something to enjoy in this odd mashup of game genres. Rock of Ages III: Make & Break quickly draws players in with its sense of humor, which marries the sort of paper cutout animations made popular by Monty Python's Terry Gilliam with historical figures, art, and architecture. Expect lots of silly PG violence (rocks falling on people and animals) and goofy grunts and groans. Beyond the comedy, the franchise's signature racing physics remain a blast. Controlling rolling balls with different properties -- like a sphere of sheep tied together or a heavy square boulder that hardly rolls at all but is very destructive -- is as fun as ever. Story mode levels are short and sweet, encouraging players to quickly blast through them as they progress up the timeline to the modern era, and then go back and revisit previous levels with an aim to master them to earn more stars to unlock more content.

The new Make mode can be a lot of fun as well, tempting players to see if they can come up with levels as compelling as those made by the developer. Even if you don't enjoy making, the virtually limitless creations shared by others should help ensure that there will never be a lack of new content for players to discover. Where things tend to fail is in the tower defense mechanics. Setting up defenses is like taking shots in the dark, especially early in the story mode when you don't fully understand how to properly use the various towers at your disposal or see if they're effective because you're rolling down the course at the same time as your opponent. It makes sense after a while, but chances are most players will prefer rolling down obstacle courses over setting them up. Rock of Ages III: Make & Break is the logical next step for the series, and ought to prove good fun for anyone looking for a laugh mixed with a little friendly competition.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about screen time. Rock of Ages III: Make & Break is broken into very short levels, allowing players to try several in a single play session. How many levels do you like to play before taking a break or moving on to a new activity?

  • Do you enjoy learning about the myths, fables, and religions of ancient people? How do early mythologies and modern religions differ?

Game details

  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
  • Price: $29.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: ACE Team
  • Release date: July 21, 2020
  • Genre: Racing
  • Topics: History
  • ESRB rating: T for Cartoon Violence, Mild Blood
  • Last updated: August 26, 2020

Our editors recommend

For kids who love history

Themes & Topics

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