Where’d Robo go?
No robot should ever be lost in my opinion. I mean, don’t they all have GPS systems? I’m sure they do. One time I threw my old toaster in the bin at the end of my road, and the next day it turned up on my doorstep. Scary.
Lost Robot is a platforming puzzler brought to us by Low Line Lab about a robot who could clearly learn a thing or two from my demon toaster. You play as a robot on a one-wheeled bike who has to find his way home by negotiating various levels by controlling a series of gates and switches.
To be honest, on loading up the game, I was as lost as the robot. There’s no explanation of what’s going on, no tutorial or help menu; you’re just thrown straight into the initial level. In fact, the first bit of advice comes in the second stage, as if the developer wanted to test you before introducing the game proper. There’s a name for that kind of behaviour.
To it’s credit though, it wasn’t long before I figured out what the aim was. Your robot has to get to the portal at the other side of the level by traversing those bridges, switches and gates that are controlled by you, the faithful gamer. The robot moves of his own accord, so your job is to make sure his path is as smooth as a stinging nettle. On second thought, perhaps a little smoother.
You accomplish this with swipes to open or close the gates based on where you want him to go. Each level has three gears to collect which can improve your score and unlock new stages. As you progress, swiping the gears and making it to the portal becomes increasingly trickier. Once you make a bit of headway, conquering each new level involves getting over the initial thought of ‘How the heck do I do this?’, assessing it logically, trial and error, then immense satisfaction in finally figuring it out. It works very well.
Where graphics are concerned, the game looks hazy. It’s as if everything’s been smeared in a layer of animal fat; the kind of effect you sometimes get when an iPhone-only game has been scaled up to x2. I had to double check to make sure my screen hadn’t been dipped in Vaseline.
Turns out it had. (My two year old Godson was visiting), but Lost Robot seems as if it’s struggling for focus. To be clear (insert obvious joke here), it isn’t bad looking by any means – although the backgrounds are terribly bland. But if every game being retina-sharp isn’t an absolute requirement for you, this could be viewed as possessing a kind of dream-like quality. It’s just a bit…greasy.
The sound is also interesting. The MIDI-funky opening theme tune goes from a promising beginning to sounding like the composer couldn’t quite make up his mind up at certain points. It doesn’t grate however, and actually adds a weird kind of charm which seems entirely suitable.
There’s also a feature called Kamcord, which allows you to take replays of your gameplay and post it to Facebook. It’s a great idea, but seems a little out of place in a title like this. As I’ve mentioned in past reviews about games with a similar feature, something like this would be much better suited to a sports game. Which one of your Facebook friends really wants to watch a video of a robot on a unicycle falling to his death?
What do you mean it’s already had 200 likes? Fair enough then, post away.
It’s not something I’d particularly bother with to be honest. There are more urgent things to take care of when you’ve got household appliances ruthlessly stalking you. I need to teach this toaster how to stay lost.
Stalk (see what I did there) to Kevin on Twitter @dreagleg
Lost Robot is available now for £1.49 for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Get it now on the