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Video Game / Roll Away

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Roll Away is a PlayStation game in which you roll a beach ball through various three-dimensional block constructs suspended hundreds of feet above various exotic locales, collecting x number of keys to open the exit to the next level whilst also collecting fruits, coins and other shiny trinkets.

Released in the PAL region first (it was developed in Sweden, after all) under the name Kula World. In Japan, the game is known as Kula Quest note . Roll Away was never a massive hit when it first came out, but thanks to its rarity, inclusion on various demo discs and sheer uniqueness, it still goes for over the odds on eBay long after being released as a download.

The game is said to have influenced the creators of Super Monkey Ball, and some of the original designers would go on to make Puzzle Dimension, a game based around a very similar idea.


This game provides examples of:

  • After the End: Levels 135-150.
  • Big Colour-Coded Button: Activates and de-activates lasers and teleporters of the corresponding colour.
  • Bonus Dungeon: The Final, aka Levels 151-170.
  • Covers Always Lie: Some of the screenshots on the back of the cover were from development builds containing levels and backdrops never ultimately used.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: Unless you're low on points. Every time you die, you are hit with a score penalty which is however many points you'd scored in that level so far plus an amount based on the level number. Drop below 0 and game over.
  • Energy Weapon: Lasers behave as they would in real life - an instant continuous beam of instant continuous death.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Spikes, lasers, "Captivators" of several varieties, fire, retractable spikes, and the timer.
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  • Floating Platforms
  • Follow the Money
  • Frictionless Ice: When the ball touches this, it moves forward until it reaches the end, but it can bounce while sliding.
  • Gravity Barrier: You can only change orientation downwards on a one-square-wide path. If you hit something that's not with Frictionless Ice, you'll fall, though.note 
  • Gravity Screw: Every surface has its own gravity - jump, and you'll fall to the nearest surface "down" from your current orientation. If there is one.
  • Green Hill Zone: Levels 16-30.
  • In-Scene Title Text: Some levels have text written in large block formations, such as level 117, aka "JUMP!".
  • Interface Screw: Red-and-yellow Lethargy Pills slow you down, speed the timer up, and cause the camera to wobble around. Blue-and-purple pills instead cause the ball to jump continuously, making your normal move distance a 2-square jump and your jump distance 3 squares and stopping the ball from moving along a change in gravity.
  • Invisible Block: You can see them either if you're pretty much on them or if you're sufficiently far away, but never both at once.
  • Market-Based Title: Enforced. Creator Johannes Söderqvist has stated in interviews that the title of the game was changed to Roll Away in America to avoid a lawsuit with the band Kula Shaker.
  • Mayincatec: Levels 31-45.
  • Never Trust A Demo: On the demo of the game on console pack-in discs and magazine cover-mounts, there was a level which never made it into the game proper. This level contained sunglasses, which don't appear until really late into the game.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder
  • Regional Bonus: Kula Quest has the most features, including a tutorial level, custom balls and really strange ending videos, but somewhat glitched controls.
    • Also, each release of the game has a different order for some of the levels.
  • Secret Level: A whole 40 of them. 30 can be reached by collecting five kinds of fruit and change the goal so that you have to hit every block to win, while 10 act like normal levels except flying through space and can be found in secret exits.
  • Shifting Sand Land: Levels 1-15, in the sky above what is obviously Egypt.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Levels 46-60.
  • Space-Filling Path: The fruit bonus levels are the Q*Bert Floor variety.
  • Tech Demo Game: Not only did it show off the Variable Gravity Chamber in three dimensions, but it was one of the earliest PS1 games to make use of force feedback. Also, the interview cited in Market-Based Title above reveals that the developers used the full capacity of the hardware without really trying.
  • Temporary Platform: Of the timed and crumbling varieties.
  • Timed Mission: All levels have a timer (typically 90 seconds). Certain tiles pause the timer (allowing you to look around), and hourglass powerups "flip" the timer (inverting how much time has elapsed or is left).
  • Treasure Is Bigger in Fiction: Coins, gems and other items are roughly the same size as the ball.
  • Stock Video Game Puzzles: Of the Hamiltonian, Invisible Floor, and Conveyor Belt varieties.
  • Underwater Ruins: Levels 76-90, where just about everything world-specific is blue.


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