Saturday, December 17, 2011

Wind Up Robots - 0.99 (Soma Games)

As I said in our review for the Bulkypix title, Funny Hell, base defense games have gained quite a bit of fans in the AppStore. The iDevice is a prefect platform for the genre, and almost all of them do well in the AppStore, because the genre has such a dedicated following. However, it’s hard to find one that brings something new and original to the table. Here’s where Soma Games (developers of Bok Choy Boy and a favorite of mine, G: Into The Rain) picks up at with their release of Wind Up Robots, a base defense game with a fantastic story, loads of polish, an awesome upgrade system, and great gameplay. You’ll control various robots that have been built by Jack, the grandfather of a young boy named Zach. These robots are used to vanquish the darkness that dwells within the world. You’ll use them to guard Zach of the evil that’s trying to get at him while he sleeps.

In order to do this, you’ll need to equip your robot box with the robots that you want to use for the stage. As you progress through the game, more robots are added to your arsenal. Once you have your set-up, and start the level, each of the robots are shown at the bottom of the screen. To select them, all you need to do is tap on them, and then tap on where you want them to go on the bed where Zach’s sleeping. While you do this, evil creatures will start spawning at the end of the bed, and will be making their way towards you. If you end up placing your robots on the edges of the bed, you might just miss the evil creatures walking in the middle, so it’s best to have them placed more towards the head of the bed, at least at first. With this lay-out, you risk not being able to defeat the creatures before they run into Zach’s head, taking away his “Z’s”. So in the beginning of the game, there is quite a bit of risk/reward, and strategy in where you place your robots. After a couple levels, you can start using the shop to upgrade your robots with the coins that are picked up as you defeat enemies in-game. Here, you can increase their attack, defense, speed, and more, making it easier to place them in various places around the bed, not needing to risk them passing you and running directly into Zach. The money you collect, as well as the upgrades you purchase also carry over to a new game, which is awesome. If the game becomes too difficult, starting over can drastically decrease the challenge depending on how upgraded your robots are. This comes in handy, especially when younger kids are playing.
On top of the Story Mode, there is also a Quick Play Mode, in which you’re able to play through each of the levels which you’ve already been to in the Story Mode, as well as a Survival Level for each of the 4 rooms that you’ll be playing in. This helps bring the replay value up significantly.
The graphics and animations in Wind Up Robots are incredibly well done. They create an atmosphere that totally immerses gamers in to the gameplay. Considering the monsters only come out at night, you will be playing in dark rooms throughout the game, but because of this, the robots bight colors, and the light given off by them while taking care of the creatures, really stands out in a fantastic way. It’s not so dark that you are unable to see the objects found throughout the rooms, which is great, because they really give you the feeling that this is a house with a young boy living in it. Really, the game’s graphics and animations remind me of Disney movies, Toy Story in particular. The music is also a great addition to the atmosphere of the game, bringing the entire gameplay experience around, full-circle, making it an incredibly smooth, polished, fun game to get yourself wrapped up in.
For $0.99, and the game being Universal, it’s a fantastic buy. GameCenter is included, with 4 leaderboards for the Quick Play Survival Levels, adding even more replay value to the game. There are also 22 achievements to try and unlock, which also throws quite a bit of replay value at ya. The gameplay is suited for both adults, and kids, though it can get pretty challenging, which is where the carried over upgrades comes into play. If you’re a fan of base-defense games, and are looking for something new and original, Wind Up Robots is a perfect title to pick up. Soma Games has done an incredibly good job, and I can't wait to see what they have in store for us in the future, both with updates for Wind Up Robots, and for future games they might end up releasing!


Wow - thanks for the glowing review App Shack. We're very glad you liked it. :)
But may I correct one little detail? Wind Up Robots is actually Soma's second game. G:Into the Rain came out way back in 2009 and was a critical success in its day too.
Also, the Sona team also launches games under a second label, Code-Monkeys. So let me suggest you may want to check out Bok Choy Boy (similar game mechanic to WUR) and the soon-to-be released Santa's Giftship. We hope you'll like those too :)
Merry Christmas!

haha... oops. Thank you. I will correct those. Looks like I should double check my research, huh? =oP

And I totally forgot you guys did G: Into the Rain. It's got some wonderful gameplay that's a lot like one of my favorite iOS games, Bombardiers Guild. I've totally gotta throw that into the review - EDITING TIME! =oD

Thank you for such fantastic games! I'll definitely have to check out Bok Choy Boy! =oD

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