App Review Roboto [Video]

There really aren’t enough platform games on Android that aren’t just one-button sidescrolling platformers. It’s a genre that’s sadly a casualty of the poor precision you get with the lack of physical buttons, but some games bravely tread in the touchscreen world, there’s Cordy, Meganoid and now: Roboto.

There really aren’t enough platform games on Android that aren’t just one-button sidescrolling platformers. It’s a genre that’s sadly a casualty of the poor precision you get with the lack of physical buttons, but some games bravely tread in the touchscreen world, there’s Cordy, Meganoid and now: Roboto. You take control of Roboto himself, a hoverboarding robot searching for his girl. The story starts off with a cut scene but you won’t see much else story over the game’s thirty levels, just lots of jumping and shooting across some rather bizarre levels.


There are three worlds to glide through each with its style and they’re not just in full 3D but they also animate, with dishes turning and ships flying around, which comes together to give Roboto a great and interesting art style. Roboto himself is very expressive and is rarely not animating a new facial expression or pulling a handstand, he actually animates so much that he walks the line of animating ‘too much’ with his bulging eyes and constant gestures (as if that’s the strangest thing about a hoverboarding robot). Sometimes this level of detail comes at a cost, when the speed of the action becomes less than ideal and things don’t move as smoothly as perhaps they should in some places. The style of graphics and pace of the action match well to the liberal use of electronic sounds and electric guitar. The music sounds great and is one of the most memorable parts of the game along with the visual style, but it’s unfortunate that the loops on the tunes are rather sloppy, leaving some rather obvious jumps when the track repeats.


The platforming in Roboto has the same traps as you’d see in a classic platformer: moving platforms, jumping on enemies heads, collectibles, but there’s also a few extra tricks to help keep you in the action should the controls take the better of you. Roboto has both the ability to hover and to perform a kind of wall-jump, which are both invaluable. Both these tricks and your weapon can’t be used continuously without picking up more energy, which is found around the levels along with other items that can be used to purchase better weapons and improve your score. Keeping yourself well charged and armed is crucial, particularly in the later levels when the difficulty really begins to ramp up. Earlier levels quickly introduce you to being frequently spun upside down and platforming on the ceiling and then gradually introducing other hazards to you, but by the time you reach the last set of ten levels things become quite tricky as you’re trying to avoid being shot from several different directions while the platform underneath you crumbles away. Fortunately the reload times aren’t too severe and each level does have a checkpoint, which might be enough if you don’t let frustration get the better of you. While the levels do become challenging, earlier levels are often uninteresting, without much to do beyond jump between some static platforms, when things come together in some of the crazier levels it can be memorable, but otherwise many of the levels lack anything creative in them to make them fun.


Despite a slow start, Roboto is an enjoyable quirky platformer with a lot of heart.

               

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