Original iPhone Game 'Rolando' Returning to App Store

Back in 2008, we wrote about Rolando, a platform-style puzzle game that was one of the first games back when the iPhone and the App Store were both new. At the time, our sister site TouchArcade said it was among "the best games the ‌App Store‌ has to offer."

The original Rolando game is no longer on the ‌App Store‌ because of the 2017 crackdown on 32-bit apps, but Rolando developer HandCircus today announced that a remastered version of the game is coming on April 3rd, which will be good news to fans of the Rolando series.


Rolando: Royal Edition is an overhauled version of the original Rolando game from 2008, with updated graphics, redesigned levels, and new mechanics. HandCircus says that the entire game has been updated with new content.

The award-winning iPhone classic is back and better than ever! This brand-new 'Royal Edition' is a completely remastered Rolando - every interaction, every course, flower, trampoline, bomb, catapult and squirrel has been given a thorough scrub, buff and shine, making this the most gorgeous version yet!
In Rolando, the goal of the game is to guide a gang of Rolandos through traps and puzzles on a quest to save the sages from the Shadow Creatures. With the exception of new mechanics and updates to the design, the original Rolando gameplay appears to be intact.

Rolando: Royal Edition can be pre-ordered from the ‌App Store‌ for $1.99, a 1/3 discount off of the planned launch price. [Direct Link]

Top Rated Comments

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9 months ago

OMG, you’re sad about paying $2-3 again?! How many hours of enjoyment did you get from the original?


The problem is that developers tend to do this type of thing. The app was removed from my purchases after I paid for it and due to licensing issues and a few mergers, the app ended up being pulled from the store, which means I couldn’t download the app again when moving phones. The app was fairly expensive at the time (around 6-7 bucks if I recall correctly) and when it was no longer available, I was extremely sad. This goes back to the idea of ownership. Is the app mine, or am I just paying a licensing fee?

This is the current situation that we are in. I don’t have a firm answer on that, but if a developer chooses to not renew their developer account, and I have purchased their $9.99 app, I should be able to continue to own and install that app on a new device. As it stands, the only way to do that is through... an iTunes backup. Ironically enough, they even removed the ability to manage apps within iTunes.

I have spent thousands of dollars on apps, some of which have gone kaput, such as Rolando. I know it’s a foreign concept in these times, but I remember a time where you bought a piece of software and it was yours forever, and it would likely keep running on a new computer, and even a new operating system.
Rating: 4 Votes
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9 months ago

This brings me so much joy!!! A bit sad about having to pay again, but this was such an awesome game!!!

Probably THE best platformer on iOS.

OMG, you’re sad about paying $2-3 again?! How many hours of enjoyment did you get from the original? I’m sure was pennies per hour. It’s so sad that this is the new normal, people complain about paying a couple bucks for a top quality game/app.
Rating: 3 Votes
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9 months ago
I was just thinking about this game the other day, so happy for it to get a relaunch! Maybe they'll do the same for the sequel "Rolando 2: Quest for the Golden Orchid ('https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolando_2:_Quest_for_the_Golden_Orchid')," and perhaps the cancelled third in the series will see a release.
Rating: 3 Votes
Avatar
9 months ago

The problem is that developers tend to do this type of thing. The app was removed from my purchases after I paid for it and due to licensing issues and a few mergers, the app ended up being pulled from the store, which means I couldn’t download the app again when moving phones. The app was fairly expensive at the time (around 6-7 bucks if I recall correctly) and when it was no longer available, I was extremely sad. This goes back to the idea of ownership. Is the app mine, or am I just paying a licensing fee?

This is the current situation that we are in. I don’t have a firm answer on that, but if a developer chooses to not renew their developer account, and I have purchased their $9.99 app, I should be able to continue to own and install that app on a new device. As it stands, the only way to do that is through... an iTunes backup. Ironically enough, they even removed the ability to manage apps within iTunes.

I have spent thousands of dollars on apps, some of which have gone kaput, such as Rolando. I know it’s a foreign concept in these times, but I remember a time where you bought a piece of software and it was yours forever, and it would likely keep running on a new computer, and even a new operating system.

It’s two bucks dude. You could probably make more than that during the time it took to write those paragraphs. Two whole dollars for a game that supports new device sizes and has some new mechanics and level design. Would you rather they fill it full of ads and in-app purchases? Maybe put some timers that you can bypass with the option to purchase 5000 Rolando Coins for $19.99?

It costs money to do this stuff and $2 is practically nothing. Developers on console charge anywhere from $30-60 for special edition remasters of old games. I’m buying the crap out of this and looking forward to my kids trying it for the first time since they were years away from being born when it launched. Good wholesome simple fun.
Rating: 2 Votes
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9 months ago
Bring back Trism!
Rating: 2 Votes
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9 months ago
I get it.... I have some fond memories of this game, back when it was new, too. One of our kids absolutely loved it at the time, and we all thought it was a well done game.

But yeah, it's not so much about the argument that it's not worth giving the author a few more dollars for it again. It's about the "state of things" with software in general. It used to be, you'd buy a program and could basically just count on being able to use it as much as you liked, for as long as you owned some kind of hardware capable of running it. The proliferation of broadband Internet meant developers could experiment with all of these alternative payment models .... whether it's your game requiring a monthly fee to keep using it, or giving you a false sense of complacency that it's "tied to your login" on some kind of online service -- until it gets removed (for whatever reason) and you find you can't restore it to your machine again. Plenty of games cost what you'd assume is the "full price of ownership", until you discover they keep tempting you to spend more and more as you play, for add-ons and other perks that keep it "fun".

I dunno? All of it's perfectly legal and I see how it came about. But it really does drive home the reality that NO, you DON'T own any of these programs that you "buy". You only pay to use them subject to pages of legalese that nobody wants to read through. At least when you paid for a boxed program on a piece of physical media though, the licensing terms seemed a lot more abstract and unrealistic. (EG. Sure, it SAYS this is only allowed on one computer .... but if my Mac or PC dies and I feel like loading it on a new one, they can't do squat about it. So I'm gonna treat this like I paid to OWN it anyway!) Now, all the the stuff people find kind of unacceptable is actually forced onto you, in many situations.


Probably THE best platformer on iOS.

OMG, you’re sad about paying $2-3 again?! How many hours of enjoyment did you get from the original? I’m sure was pennies per hour. It’s so sad that this is the new normal, people complain about paying a couple bucks for a top quality game/app.

Rating: 2 Votes
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9 months ago
I loved this game... I hope they bring back the Mr. Scruff soundtrack.
Rating: 2 Votes
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9 months ago
Welcome back Rolando. I have fond memories of this game from years ago.
Rating: 1 Votes
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9 months ago

It's software, so yes, you are paying a licensing fee. As for your comment about "developers tend to do this type of thing," the game had to be rewritten from the ground up for 64bit. It's not a case of, he changed a few code pointers and he's selling the exact same thing. On top of that, the game has new graphics and mechanics, all of which also needed play tested.


We are specifically talking about an originally $9.99 app which I did purchase, as well as the thousands more that I have purchased previously. I'm talking about a larger issue where apps are removed from what is supposed to be a 'backup' of the apps and such that you have purchased.

However, I do agree with you that the game does have improved graphics and mechanics, and I have already pre-ordered this app. I'm not making the case that this shouldn't be a paid upgrade, I'm more making the case that removing and re-releasing something that became unavailable after a year is a travesty. I'm not suggesting that there should be no remastered editions ever. To be fair, my initial post was one of emotion, because I was joyed that the app was coming back to the app store, but sad in the manner that they are returning it. I wish that it would have returned to the store in it's original state, but that's not where we are.

It’s two bucks dude. You could probably make more than that during the time it took to write those paragraphs. Two whole dollars for a game that supports new device sizes and has some new mechanics and level design. Would you rather they fill it full of ads and in-app purchases? Maybe put some timers that you can bypass with the option to purchase 5000 Rolando Coins for $19.99?

It costs money to do this stuff and $2 is practically nothing. Developers on console charge anywhere from $30-60 for special edition remasters of old games. I’m buying the crap out of this and looking forward to my kids trying it for the first time since they were years away from being born when it launched. Good wholesome simple fun.


Yes, it's currently 2 bucks, but it's also a matter of principal. Regarding the upgrades, sure, I'm happy to support the developer in that aspect as I mentioned above. I'm talking about a bigger issue than this 1 app, that is happening within the App Store community. I don't understand how my comments are somehow implying that I want a Free-to-Play model, which is actually kinda ironic, because that's exactly what was originally purposed for Rolando 3, which ended up being scrapped. (Likely due to the sale of the company.) Again, my issue isn't with the remastered edition, it's with the fact that the original was removed from my history of purchased apps.

Again, I am happy that this app is returning. For real!
Rating: 1 Votes
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9 months ago

Bring back GeoDefense!

Yes! I spent way too much time working on perfect scores in this game. :)
Rating: 1 Votes
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