Reviews

Robotanika Review

Tinned Peaches

‘Peaches’ isn’t your average name for a robot. Robots are normally called things like ‘Crusher’, ‘Destroyer’ or a boring combination of letters and numbers. They’re certainly not usually named after a soft fruit with slightly unnerving fuzz. Just to clarify, I’m not scared of peaches, I just find the hair a bit weird.

The Peaches of ‘Robotanika’ is in a pickle (not a recommended combination of foods by the way), every hundred years, the Robits (yes, ‘bits’, not ‘bots’. I can’t decide if it’s intended, or a typo by the developers in the App Store ) violently harvest her home planet for KA, it’s ubiquitous energy source. That’s not to be confused with KA, the popular soft drink, or a Ford KA; there’s no way that car would last 100 years, you’d be lucky to get six months out of one.  After an embarrassing attempt at resistance, Peaches kin are destroyed, leaving her as the only survivor. She takes matters into her own hands and lies in wait for the Robits to return so she can exact her revenge. Yes, she waits a full 100 years by herself. Revenge is a dish best served lonely.

With a kind-of isometric 3D perspective, she’s locked to the left hand side of the screen while the invading Robits do their invading thing that invading Robits do. Peaches can’t move save for rotating to aim at her attackers, so she is in effect, a turret. The phrase ‘Come at me bro’ springs to mind.

So as Robits of various shapes and sizes bear down on her, you repel them with your cannons by sliding your finger across a radar at the bottom which also shows you the proximity of your enemies. It’s not as odd as it sounds, is intuitive, and actually works well. You’re also equipped with a basic shield and up to three rechargeable weapons which add a bit of punch to proceedings. They allow you to focus blast enemies, send out a wide charge of firepower, or fire a ray which freezes the Robits for a few seconds allowing you to shoot unobstructed or much more handily, take photos of them.

The KA you collect serves as money in an in-game shop. (So that’s what this whole thing is about, the Robits want hard cash). Abuse your your cannons and they’ll overheat, so it’s straight to the shop to upgrade – which are permanent improvements to your equipment, or boost – which are temporary, as well as purchasing improvements to your other weapons.  And it feels as though you’re in that shop every two minutes because ‘Robotanika’ quickly gets to the almost impossible point where you ain’t going any further unless you splash out.

Unfortunately after a while you may not be bothered to upgrade any longer because as well as getting very hard very quickly, it’s also fairly repetitive. Once you’ve shot down one Robit, you’ve shot them all and the basic premise doesn’t change much. Once you’ve shot down one Robit, you’ve shot them all and the basic premise doesn’t change much. There’s a point I’m trying to make there.

This isn’t helped by the earnest, but bland graphics. When you hear the term ‘Unreal Engine’ where iOS is concerned, you’d expect a game that makes your eyes bleed, but ‘Robotanika’,  unfortunately more resembles a PS1 title. The graphics are garish without being colourful, with uninspired environments and feel stuck in an era three or four times removed. It’s clearly the developer’ s  first attempt with the engine, so it seems as if they’re still experimenting.

The sound is pretty decent with headphones. Bass booms and the effects are deliberately blippy (and trippy), although stuff like old-school sound of pressed buttons  are a little grating after a while. I can’t believe I put up with those same noises twenty years ago.

‘Robotanika’ isn’t a bad title, but disappointing visuals and gameplay that loses it’s luster a little too quickly means that before long, this set of peaches might get the can.

Get yo’ peachy little behind on Twitter and follow Kevin @KevThePen

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Robotanika is available for $2.99 on iPad. Get it now on the Robotanika - Dawn Patrol Games

 

 

 

 

 

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