First Look: The Adventures of Retrobot

This just in: the next project that 6th Planet collaborators Monkube and Ape Entertainment are going full throttle on is none other than The Adventures of Retrobot! This time around Monkube has added the talents of Endeavor Bros., a Canadian indie developer, into the creative mix, and it looks like an exciting arcade shoot ’em up/comic book fusion has resulted. Moreover, we’re getting a strong vibe that Retrobot will pay loving tribute to the classic games all us Gen X-ers and Gen Y-ers grew up with.

Monkube projects are quickly becoming known for starring unlikely – not to mention, incredibly interesting! – protagonists, and Retrobot is no exception. The story goes like this. A robotics genius who’s nevertheless socially handicapped has custom-built one Retrobot for purposes of helping around the house — though it seems Retrobot’s most valued duty is to help his master play online co-op videogames. Not all robots happen to be as friendly as Retrobot, so all those shoot ’em up skills sure come in handy when his master is kidnapped by a mechanized army bent on world domination! Retrobot teams up with Toto, his creator’s pet monkey, to launch a dutiful rescue operation.

We can’t wait for some hands-on time with Retrobot, but the press release screenshots and preview video inform us that Retrobot’s Johnny 5-style treads lend themselves to gameplay reminiscent of the recent Color Bandits. In other words, expect auto-scrolling action in which the player uses a slider to accelerate or decelerate, and some kind of dial instrument to change firing angle. Additional game mechanics include a charge shot and some kind of shielding, but further details, including little Toto’s role, remain mysterious at present. This species of interface certainly worked well in Color Bandits, so we’re on pins and needles while we wait to see how Monkube and team can bring the genre further forward!

True to Monkube’s modus operandi, Retrobot will pack in a full comic book’s worth of story to give the player a periodic breather — and if 6th Planet was any indication, these interludes will be just as engaging and entertaining as all the twitch action. What’s also cool is that this gives Ape Entertainment an excuse to show the game off at this year’s Comic-Con! If you happen to be in San Diego this weekend (July 22 through the 24th), head right on down to Booth #1804 and you’ll be one of the first to experience Retrobot hands-on.

Also of interest in Monkube’s press release is a plan to fund a focus group through Kickstarter, to ensure that Retrobot pokes the highest quality fun at the wider videogame industry it possibly can. Jokes will be revised based on proofreader feedback, and if a participant suggests a new joke that tops the best Monkube and Ape Entertainment can muster, they promise to “go back to the drawing board” to fit it in. Since we’re talking about comic book creators here, it’s easy to guess what that might mean! No word yet on when this will begin or how to apply for a shot at Retrobot‘s writing credits, but we’ll let you know when we hear more. Be sure to keep an eye on for keywords like Retrobot, Monkube, and Ape Entertainment if you’re keen to leave an indelible mark on iOS gaming history!

Well, that wouldn’t be entirely fair — make that iOS, Android, Mac, PC, PSN and Xbox Live Arcade gaming history, because Monkube and co. are taking a wide swath of the industry by storm with this one! It’ll be hard to top 6th Planet, but Retrobot promises an evolution of the game and comic book fusion concept. To help tide your hunger for more info, check out the preview teaser below and scope out a gallery of the imagery that came with Monkube’s press release for the game. The tongue-in-cheek character art on display in the press release bodes rather well for Retrobot‘s humor.

You can bet iFanzine’s surveillance sensors are busily scanning for more info on Retrobot! You can also keep an eye on Monkube’s website for further details, and get a peek at several other projects they’ve got lined up.