If you told the GamesRadar staff that an army of alien robots was invading, we’d probably defend ourselves by handing everyone can openers and a bucket of water. But smarter folk like the lovable geek you play in real-time strategy game Robocalypse would create their own army of robots, some of which are programmed with the personalities of World War II veterans. Yeah, we guess that makes sense. It makes a better game, anyway.
This being a DS game, don’t expect giant battles between hundreds of units. But what you can look forward to are nice, medium-scale battles and a unique control scheme we’re confident you’ll either love or hate. Basically, you give commands to your mechanized butt-stompers by placing flags around the battlefield. Your ‘bots will then patrol the area around the flag. Near your own base, your boys will go into protect mode and defend the area and its structures. Near unfriendly robots or an enemy base, your forces will roll in with guns blazing and try to blast everything apart.
This system of control works pretty well, though it can make the player feel somewhat detached from the action. If that’s the case, you can get your hands dirty by directly guiding the efforts of the more unique “hero” units. They’re the ones with the minds of WWII vets and the source of much of the game’s considerable humor – though your interaction with characters like a sizzling hot babe, an FBI agent, and a talking toaster add a lot too.
At least, we think so: Robocalypse’s script was written by two of the writers for Spongebob Squarepants, and though it’s darker and sexier, it has that same kind of wacky tone that won’t work for some players. It works for us, but you may be stuffier.
The visual designs look sharp and move nicely, the cheesy cut scenes just add to the style, and there’s even a versus mode for up to four players. In fact, the only real weakness in Robocalypse is the fact that the actual onscreen action isn’t terribly innovative or revolutionary. You collect scrap, use it to build robots that smash other robots, collect the resulting scraps, and repeat.
In fact, as well as it works, even the control scheme will be familiar to some. It’s very like a tower defense-style game, except you’re placing flags to guide mobile units rather than placing stationary units themselves. But everything here is still solidly done, funnier than almost any other game, and holds a unique place in the DS library. You really should start up your own Robocalypse.
Dec 5, 2008