By: Matthew Striplen
Got some robots that need saving? Have a maze filled with mines, flame throwers and bottomless pits? Who doesn’t? So boot up your copy of Robot Rescue Revolution and guide your asymmetrically-eyed automatons to freedom!
Unlike most modern games, Robot Rescue‘s gameplay is driven primarily by the control scheme. The robots are free to move in the four cardinal directions, but with a catch. If there is more than one robot on screen, which there almost always is, the player is forced to control all robots simultaneously. I’ll elaborate more later, but the controls are easy to use and responsive.
Robot Rescue may not be the prettiest game on the market, but it’s far from the worst. Each level is preceded with a quick overview of the level. It appears that the designers used a slightly different engine to create the cut scenes than the actual game, as the cut scenes look slightly better. Also, the graphical style is caught between realistic and cartoonish, which left me wondering which one they were aiming for.
Combined with the gameplay style, the game feels like an HD remake of an older title. To sum it up, the graphics are not bad enough to detract from the overall experience but not good enough to merit praise. The soundtrack is roughly on par with the graphic performance: not noteworthy in either a positive or negative sense. It’s also entirely possible to play the game on mute without any significant loss.
As I mentioned previously, Robot Rescue Revolution is puzzler primarily driven by a control gimmick, and I use the word in a positive sense. The fact that it’s impossible to manipulate the robots individually means each move must take every robot into consideration. A move that may open a door with one robot may simultaneously incinerate another. Mastering this mass control method is half the challenge. For instance, sending a robot into the exit as soon as it is able to reach it may be tempting, but without it, the player may not be able to manipulate the necessary switches for the others to also escape.
Robot Rescue Revolution drops you into the game without much story, but it doesn’t really need one. The first few tutorial levels effectively teach the player the mechanics and strategies. The basic premise is to get your robots from Point A to Point B without any getting blown up, dematerialized or crushed. Any number of robots will be placed in a maze-like environment, full of the aforementioned hazards but also a variety of helpful devices. Door switches, teleporters and hazard controls are all essential to completing your rescue. Once you get a handle on the basic functions of the hazards and robot control, the game is fairly straightforward, but certainly not easy. Robot Rescue Revolution has a relatively smooth learning curve and nothing feels impossible to complete.
A two-player mode allows for two types of multiplayer games: co-op and duel. The goals are still the same, just slightly tweaked to accommodate the second person. The last game mode has the most potential. A level editor allows players to create original content and then upload it to the server. Others can then download and complete these user-generated levels. I’ve already seen some pretty creative stuff out there, and it should only improve as more players join in.
Robot Rescue Revolution also features a leaderboard to compare scores worldwide on individual levels and overall ranking. Scores are calculated by measuring the time elapsed and number of moves taken. The less time and moves, the higher the score. Additionally, your top score and the world record are displayed underneath your latest score after each completed level. This definitely adds some replay value as it encourages players to improve their score, though without it there would be little reason to ever replay anything.
While Robot Rescue Revolution is fun and challenging, I feel like I’ve played the game before. Too many elements are recycled from other games. Despite these negatives, the game leaves plenty of room for player creativity, something which is lacking in many games, with the inclusion of the level editor.