RobotRiot [99¢] from Glowing Eye Games and Retromite, is a Universal 2D sci-fi platform game with retro graphics where you control an armed, hovering, debt-collecting robot, named SLUG. And frankly, each part of that sentence sounds appealing.
SLUG’s job description involves helping to repossess spaceships when citizens are late with their tax payments. To do this, he must enter each section of a spacecraft to locate and destroy the power generator. Once all sections have been powered-down, the craft is left disabled and defenseless, allowing a tow-ship to easily tow it away for impounding. And you’ll be paid a wee bounty for your efforts, by your boss, Commander Krupp.
There are three ships to disable in this game. The easy ship has two sectors (levels), while the medium and hard ships have five each, making 12 levels in total. This isn’t a lot of levels or duration compared to some other platformers, but the developers are currently working on a new ship for the game with more levels, apparently set in a classy Vegas-style robo-strip joint.
The controls include buttons for moving left and right, jumping and shooting. Each time you shoot, SLUG is repelled backwards a little by the recoil from his weapon. And he’ll need that weapon, as the on-board defense systems of the ships are still active, so the worker bots and autonomous lazer-turrets will try to protect their vessel.
To locate the power generators, you’ll need to fully explore each section, riding on gravity lifts or hover-platforms to move to higher areas and jumping over bubbling pools of plasma. Colored key-passes can be found to unlock doors of the matching color. And there are switches to destroy in order to gain access to new areas, or to disable laser beams. Along the way, you’ll activate doors which act like checkpoints and become your re-spawn point. This prevents you from having to repeat hunks of the level when you die.
Some crates can be destroyed to find pick-ups. This includes spanners (repairs), rapid fire weapons and bubble shields. Alternatively, you can keep the crates intact and use them as cover, or to sneak up on enemies. If you’re lucky, you might also find a 1-UP icon, which grants you an extra life.
Once you complete a section (level), your total score is based on several factors, including the number of power shards collected from around the level, time taken to destroy the power core, number of remaining lives and points scored by collecting jewels. There’s also a special bonus for completing the level perfectly.
Whereas many platform games let you re-play the levels you’ve already beaten, RobotRiot locks each completed ship, until you start over from the very beginning. This may not be the best approach, as it discourages players from replaying levels for higher scores and prevents easy access to earlier levels the player may have enjoyed.
RobotRiot is a nice-looking retro platform game, with a catchy soundtrack, which delivers the standard things you’d expect to see in a platformer. It’s reasonably slow paced, but fun to play, however it doesn’t really deliver anything new or innovative, except the occasional boss fight and debt-collecting storyline.
Mostly, it could do with more content, in terms of levels (some of which are coming). If you’re not sure about buying, there’s also a free Flash version you can try on your computer, which looks and sounds the same as the iOS version.