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GDC 2015: ‘Riff the Robot’, a Mashup of Slingshots, Pinball and ‘Peggle’

Today at GDC we sat down with developer Oh So Shiny to look at their first iOS game Riff the Robot. The premise is pretty wacky: You’re a mad scientist who has “lost his marbles" over the years, so you build a time-travelling robot to go back in time and collect them for you. Your robot, Riff, will travel back through the decades of the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and beyond, with each having the appropriate themes and music to fit their respective time periods. Gameplay involves slingshotting a ball to knock out marbles in a pachinko/pinball fashion.

I had a lot of fun playing Riff the Robot, and I’m totally sold on its core elements. The art style and music is fantastic, the slingshotting gameplay is a ton of fun, and the game definitely has a level of polish that you don’t always see from a team of 2.5 people (Two full-timers and a part-timer, not an actual half-a-person). The big question for me will be how much the free to play model affects the rest of the experience. It’s got the typical array of energy timers, consumables and social integration, but Oh So Shiny are keen on not letting the free to play stuff be too restrictive.

Riff the Robot is currently in soft-launch in Australia and New Zealand, and soon in Canada, as they hash out those types of details. If you’re in those regions give it a download, it’s really a cool game, and look for the worldwide release to come sometime later this year.