iPhone Robokill Review

Robokill is a top-down mech shooter that just received an update that introduced a new survival mode. It is a direct port of a flash game that was introduced years back, a flash game that I had once enjoyed. With great success, the port is extremely smooth and gameplay experience is as fun as ever. Blasting and destroying enemy robots never had been so fun and addictive, even more so with some other touches such as RPG elements and robot customizations implemented within the game. For the price tag of $0.99, how does the game fair?

Robokill has two main game modes to choose from, a campaign mode and a survival mode. The campaign mode offers players a chance to go through a rather poorly written story line, blasting through levels after levels containing many different rooms. Yes, the storyline makes no impact and impression at all, but that aside, the gameplay is rather solid. You play as a human within a mech suit, trying to clear up a space station filled with other crazy ass robots. You do so by entering different rooms within a particular level, and within each of these rooms offer you a chance to blast your guns away. As you destroy and clear each room filled with robots, you have the chance of picking up loot, cash and gaining experience points along the way. These different items that you acquire are extremely important to your survival in the game. They all lead to one main result, a really powerful mech that will and should dominate all other enemies present.

The game implements some elements of a standard Role Playing Game. Although these implementations are extremely shallow, they do give a sense of progress especially seeing the more powerful guns blasting away. There is this experience points system whereby after accumulating a certain amount of points you get to level up. As soon as you level up, the damage done by your mech and its health is increased. Furthermore, each new level your mech gains would allow you to equip an even more powerful weapon on your mech. It does make sense to go through each individual room just for that. However, should you choose to simply speed run through each level, the only problem that you might face is the higher difficulty level. It is still manageable, but I don’t really recommend it. Take your time to enjoy destroying the enemies, I mean just look at them explode! And of course not forgetting the loot and moolah that you can pick up.

There are 2 main types of equipments that are available: Weapons and item boosters. Weapons are further divided into different types of guns, e.g shotgun, rocket, pulse and laser etc. All of which, however, sum up to almost similar stats giving no major advantage or disadvantage over one another. Within these different types of weapons, you have different levels for them. Higher level weapons give better stats but require you to be of higher level. For example, the sub-machine gun fires at a faster rate but offers lesser damage whereas the shotgun fires at a slower rate but offers more damage. Do your simple mathematics calculation and you’ll realize that everything almost nearly adds up. It all comes down the personal preference. Then there are these item boosters, some of which that you will be using mostly early on would be the shield generators. They simply offer you shield generation of a certain amount after you clear each level. There are also other items to increase your front end defense and so on. You are given 4 slots for each type of equipment. It isn’t so much to choose wisely, but it is more of to just following your interest and pick what you prefer as all items equipped will certainly help you one way or another, and the results don’t deviate much. Of course choosing the higher leveled items over the lower ones will allow you to significantly have an advantage over your enemies. What I mean is when comparing similar level items, just choose what you like especially the in terms of the weapons.

That sums up the only noticeable flaw within the game, the lack of depth within the features they offer. Yes it is nice to see yourself leveling up, nice to see different kinds of weapons but the main question is, so what? It does impacts the game but is not significant enough to make much of a difference. Different weapon types etc perhaps can adapt a different control scheme, making players adapt a certain play style. There is the presence of such items such as the grenade launchers or something. The problem is, they fire at the same time together with the other weapons so how am I to actually control it specifically. More often then enough such weapons with say extremely slow fire rate but high damage miss, making me choose those of higher fire rate. Perhaps some form of controlling the weapons or something to allow different gaming play styles to take place? (As of now I’m simply just holding on and blasting away for each and every type of weapon I equip my mech with) Other form of depth can include some way of weapon upgrading, fixing items to the weapon or your mech or even stat based equipments (which means stat allocation upon leveling or different mech types) etc. The possibility are limitless, but as of the current state, there just isn’t enough to bring the shooter to a level above the rest.

Nonetheless, this doesn’t take away the awesome shooting experience that you will come to enjoy as you blast your way through each level. Controls work flawlessly, with two touch based sticks to control movement and your shooting, you will often find yourself constantly moving and shooting in order to dodge the incoming bullets, rockets, lasers etc etc. The only minor problem I have is that my thumbs sometimes block out some vision of the room as I use the sticks to control my mech. Not so much a problem, unless  there are rooms filled with enemies or rooms that have many holes that you can fall through. Yes, this isn’t your every day type of game whereby you have invisible walls that prevent you from jumping down. If you see a hole, please do yourself a favour and not walk over it as you’ll just simply drop and die. Enemies work well enough to keep you on the move, constantly finding ways to eliminate you. The AI isn’t so bad, and the variety in how each enemy performs also allows a deeper strategic playing style when facing the different enemies.

The campaign can be easily completed within a weekend of average playing time, offering decent enough challenge especially in the final few levels. There isn’t so much of an incentive to try completing it again. The story isn’t deep at all and the campaign mode is very structured and linear. Not much is there for you to explore or any bonus stuff to be discovered. However, the developers have kindly introduced a survival mode recently that allows you to compete for the highest ranking on the high score boards. It is a great little mode to play in bursts or whenever you’re bored. You can simply go on and on destroying waves after waves, seeing that high score go ever so high. You will also see your mech getting even stronger but that also means the wave will get tougher. The main problem I have is, why not have a resume/save feature similar to that in the campaign mode. Once say you have survived an hour worth of waves of enemies and you wanted to take a break. Should you accidentally exit the mode you are totally gone. You have to start all over again from square one. Just something that maybe needs a bit of rectifying.

Graphics of the game is fine. Level design offers variety, sufficient enough to keep people interested to explore rooms after rooms. What I liked most are the colourful graphical effects of the different bullets blasted out from the weapons of both your mech and the enemies. The different coloured and styled projectiles flying all over the room simply drives your adrenaline and intensifies the already tensed battlefield atmosphere of the game. The sound effects, however, is much of a letdown as you have not much of any background music of any sort (other than the main menu) or any other sound effects other than that of the sound of weapon fires (which you will hear most of the time and probably get tired of it).

Overall the game is a solid top down shooter for the price of $0.99. If you are looking for a game filled with action and shooting, Robokill will not disappoint you. If you are a fan of robots and stuff like that, Robokill will also probably please you. It is simply a great game to pick up and play, even more so with the introduction of the survival mode. While the game has some flaws, the main shooting gameplay that drives the game is enough to allow it to move forward and bring fun and happiness to gamers.

iTunes App Store Link: Robokill ($0.99)

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