Everyone dreams of having their very own robot, right? We all want that cute Wall-E type ‘bot. And although the lead character in A10.com’s RBots (Out Now, $0.99) isn’t as irresistibly charming or emotional as Pixar’s much-loved protagonist, he’s still pretty gosh-darn adorable. Or at least his head is!
RBots is being pushed as a platformer, but it comes across as more of a puzzler to me. Your main objective here is to get your disembodied robot bonce to the finish mark of each level by rolling it or sending it flying to your goal.
In order to do so, you simply tap anywhere on the screen to move your robo-head forwards into magnetic fields radiating from magnets located on the ground. The fields act like a conveyor belt and, depending on how long you hold your finger down on the screen, dictate how far and high your head moves. The arrows point whichever way you’re currently heading (pun intended) and you need to avoid the saws that will rip you to shreds if you land on them. En route to the end of the stage, you collect a number of metal nuts; the more you collect and the faster your completion time is, the better your 3 star rating at the end is. You need these stars in order to unlock the next world and set of levels.
In order to add variety to the game, there are 2 other types of game modes available. “Energy” requires you to make it to the finish line without exhausting all your energy. Thankfully there is a battery or two in the level for you to recharge your head and finish the level. In “Speed” mode, you need to turn the magnets on and off in order to get to the end. There is a star somewhere in each level of these modes for you to collect, which helps in unlocking those other worlds. The addition of the modes is a nice touch to a game that could get stale pretty quick and the modes are far more challenging than the standard game mode.
Visually the game has a fun and cute art style and the worlds are varied and colorful. The smiley robot is — as previously mentioned — adorable, which makes you feel awful when he’s sliced open by a saw. Level design is somewhat repetitive. The backgrounds and the worlds themselves change, but the design of the levels seem to be the same and the difficulty doesn’t really ramp up as you progress through them. Everything just seems familiar as you continue through the game. There’s not much to talk about when it comes to sound. The soundtrack itself is fine, but certainly not anything special and the only sound to really talk about is when your poor robot head gets cut up by one of the saws. The robot makes no noise when rolling around the ground — or even when it becomes airborne. Likewise, the magnets are also silent, which is a shame because some mechanical sound effects would’ve added a nice touch.
The controls work very well in the game. Your robot head responds well to the amount of time and pressure that you place on your touchscreen and I had minimal problems sending it where I wanted it to go. It’s strange that a robot head can float so gracefully and that sort of throws the physics off. You’d think that you would need more pressure in order to generate enough momentum to elevate a piece of metal up high over a saw, but it actually doesn’t take all that much.
iFanzine Verdict: RBots is a cute game with a neat concept, however it might not hold your attention for long. The three different modes add variety to the game, but you’ll likely tire of the levels being so similar to one another. It’s a fun game to play for a bit but I don’t see this being a mainstay on many people’s devices.