Arroic is a game that depends far too highly on a gamer’s need to do everything in a game and far too little on a gamer’s desire for compelling mechanics. Trick shots, when most people hear the phrase it conjures images of amazing billiards feats. Arroic is centered around the concept of trick shots, just not in a way one might immediately think. The goal in Arroic is to get one’s ball into the pocket while simultaneously grabbing as many coins as possible. A billiards table is not the locale for the game, rather the levels are labyrinth-esque tables with various obstacles. Some tables have moving obstacles such as blimps, and others have glue like substances (toffee and goo) smeared across various parts of them that serve as traps for the balls. Serving to further remove the game from billiards is the ball choice, my ball of choice being a basketball.
Mechanically, the game is also counter-intuitive to the concept of a trick shot. Instead of just hitting the ball in one direction and watching the scene play out, one gets a set amount of “arrows” or “vectors” to dictate their ball’s movement. For example, I need to get the ball around the corner so I draw one line leading the ball to the corner, and the next line immediately at the corner so that the ball can get around; essentially making an “L” shape with my arrows to fit the shape of the corner. Each vector can be likened to a boost strip from racing games like F-Zero, except for the fact that the friction is so high on the table that unless the ball is on one of the vectors it will hardly move. The high friction and lack of momentum means that balls run out of steam almost immediately after exiting the influence of the arrow, making this more of a game about drawing a series of lines to your destination.
Of course, one can’t simply draw a line to the pocket if he or she wishes to obtain all of the special coins in the level. The simple fact that you have to erase every single vector when resetting the board discourages experimentation enough to where I immediately lost interest in completing the level. This made each level overly simple to me, because the more challenging aspects were not presented in an enjoyable way. To provide a good example of an extra challenge in a level I would cite a hard to reach big coin in New Super Mario bros. Wii; the challenge is there and pursuing it is fun.
Likely the most relevant thing I can impart about Arroic is that I was immediately disappointed by the game’s failure to reach its obvious potential. Playing through the game, it is not hard to think of ways to make it more fun, but instead the need to re-draw vectors and ultimately the need to draw vectors at all turned me off of the game. I always feel bad when games present me a depth of content that I do not want to experience just because getting to that content is a chore and Arroic, for me, is one of those games.