Friday, October 19, 2012

Review Rewind: Robo5

It's not very often that a game comes along and just completely blows us away, so much so that we're driven to stop everything until we 100% complete that game. Last year, Yuguosoft released such a title; Robo5. Not only did we sink an insane amount of time into this one, but we didn't stop until we completed every single level, unlocked every achievement and, at the time, had the #1 spot on each of the leaderboards. Better yet? It can still be found on both my iPod and iPad. For those of you who aren't familiar with Robo5, it's basically the AppStore's Catherine, minus the sexual innuendos and mature story line. Robo5 does contain a story, but it's more along the lines of 'who am I?' and 'what am I doing here?'. If you're looking for a top notch puzzler, Robo5 is definitely one game you NEED to check out.

**Note: This review was written after playing Version 1.0

Puzzle games have gone in all sorts of different directions since the iPod came out. The openness of the AppStore, coupled with the mind blowing amount of talented developers, and the range of possibilities that the touch screen brings to the table makes for some very interesting games. However, it kind of seems like puzzle games have hit a rough patch. Almost everything entering the AppStore these days is a physics based Angry Birds or Tiki Totems type game. So it was a real surprise when I started up Yuguosoft’s new action puzzler, Robo5. 

In the game, you’ll control a robot who’s trying to find out who he is, and why he is here. You’ll solve a series of box moving puzzles in order to move through the worlds. Each of the levels has 3 stars that you can earn, one for completing the level in a set amount of time, one for collecting all of the items, and one for having under a certain amount of box moves. Every time you earn 20 stars, a Diary, or challenge, level is unlocked. These give you more back-story on Robot Number 5, and the world he lives in, and when you complete the Diary levels, even more is revealed.

The controls in Robo5 are simple enough, tap and swipe. You’ll tap to move to a box, and swipe to grab and move boxes. You can also tap on the box you are already standing on to hang off of the side of it, enabling you to move around piles of boxes that might be in the way. You’ll need to move boxes around opening and creating pathways to get to the top of, and the exit, of the levels. In order for a box to stay in the air, or be held up, it needs to be touching another box on one of it’s 4 bottom edges. There are different types of boxes, expanding the puzzle element quite a bit. Along with the regular boxes, some will crumble after standing on them twice, some will start to count down from 5 and then explode after you step on them, some boxes can float in the air, some give off electricity shocks, and there are some which are shown with a big “?” on them, and these can turn into any type of box after you touch them, so you never really know what you’re going to get with them. Put all of these together, and there’s some pretty wild puzzles that you will need to get Robot Number 5 through in order to make it through the game.

The graphics are amazingly detailed, and some of the best I’ve seen in an iOS game. I would put them up to par with Unreal Engine graphics, even though they did not use Unreal to create the game. The atmospheres are very immersive, and along with the animations for movement, and the music within the game, it creates quite an amazing world. 

With Yuguosoft pricing both the iPod and iPad version at only $0.99, it’s an amazing buy. It’s taken me about 10 hours to get to the last level of the game, which I am currently stumped on, but I still need to go back and get 3 stars in about 25 of the 40 levels, not including the 7 out of 8 Diary levels I have yet to complete. GameCenter integration completes the game adding quite a bit of replay value, even for gamers who manage to get 3 stars on every level. 6 leader boards, one for a combined score in each world, and one for your highest world score, along with 32 achievements, some being very hard to snag. For a puzzle game, Robo5 goes above and beyond the expectations of gamers, and gives them an incredibly immersive, amazingly thoughtful and enriching gameplay experience. I really can not recommend Robo5 enough, to any and all gamers. The difficulty in the later levels is pretty high, but once you get to the end of the levels, the feeling you’ll have is more than enough of a reward. Yuguosoft has definitely created a contender for Game Of The Year, and over the last week has easily moved into my top 5 of 2011, and has set a new standard for action puzzle games of the future.


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