Developer: Qubic Games
Publisher: Qubic Games
Release Date: 15th September
Price as of Article: $14.99 USD, £13.49 GBP
A Robonaut is a humanoid robotic development project made at NASA and I am sure the designers of this drew inspiration from it for this game as you can see from the below!
This game starts off with a charming cut scene in which we see an adorable robot who seems to be the cleaner of a spaceship. It stumbles upon the mechroom which it has never seen before in its little robotic life. He jumps into a mean looking machine and starts checking out the planetary systems – as you do. Whether it means to or not, it activates a mission and the mech starts off its rocket launchers. This thing launches the little bot off to a planet and the robot ends up getting out of the capsule. The capsule is investigated by some nasty alien looking creatures and that’s your cue to do a runner lively.
You’re an innocent robot running away and before you end up being an aliens play thing and you come across the bright yellow soldier suit. It’s time to now face these creatures. You’re given a brief tutorial and the game begins!
When playing this game you feel like you are on a clubbing night with electronic techno music. I love the music in this game – a couple of glow sticks and you’re set to party! The music was made by Simon Viklund and it certainly makes the game feel epic. The sound effects are fine, the laser beam sounds like its straight out of a sci-fi.
Visually this game looks great, it’s colourful and vibrant and each of the 12 planets looks different as emphasised by the different colours – ultimately though the template is very much the same mostly and it’s the colour that makes the planets look slightly different from one another.
The creatures are bight and colourful. The weapons all have distinctly different animations from just your notmal lazer beam to the carnage of dropping several missiles all at the same time on your enemies. The game runs as smooth as silk in both handheld and docked mode and even in split screen there was no slow down at all.
This is a simple arcade shooter with a gravity effect in which you can jump from one planet to another. Each planet sees your robot going round in circles shooting everything that breaths and some have platforms for you to jump on. There are two kind of jumps. Normal jump which sees you stay on your current planet but you can jump from ground to platform or platform to platform like in any normal platform game. The other is a planetary jump which turns you upside down. Its like a cat falling from a high place but always landing feet first. Its odd but works really well. You have 12 missions to complete and there is slight variation in what you have to do on each one, activate 4 beams, protect a mechanic or just clear the area type stuff but essentially you’re looking to rid the planets of these insect-like monsters which would like nothing more than to tear you apart. You have some weird robot with a mustache on most of the missions telling you what you need to achieve. The less said about this thing the better!
You use your main weapon which is your laser gun and you’re secondary which is a bomb. Your main bomb turns the floor to flames to slowly kill your foes unless you get a direct hit. As you go around the planets you will pick up random power-ups that will change your weapons and most are stronger but will only have limited ammo before you waste them and you revert to your infinity weapons as I like to call them meaning you will always have infinite ammo with the standard loadout.
You have 2 modes of difficulty and I was playing on hard mode without even realising it. When I got to level 7 I could not get further – the game is that challenging! So I had to switch to casual to get further. The weapons automatically aim to what is in front of you and this is my first criticism of the game. The game is intense with lots of enemies constantly being thrown at you and that’s fine. Whats not fine is when you also incorporate the ability of being able to planet jump. You may have enemies in front of you which need killing but if you get too close to another part of the planet which you can jump to then sometimes the weapon will start to fire at the enemies opposite which is seriously frustrating as you need to move away. It does not happen often but it’s annoying. The other frustration comes in when you die in a mission and have to start again. The missions are quite short but it takes a long time to kill the vast array of enemies and when you are closing in on the finish line and you have to start again it feels like a chore. I certainly enjoyed parts of the campaign and the fact they tried to vary the missions somewhat but it becomes tedious and repetitive very quickly.
It was then that I turned my attention to Co-op and versus mode and this is when the game for me really shone. You can play the missions with a friend in split screen and this is really clever because your friend can basically do what they want on their side while you can go anywhere on your side of the screen. Ultimately you have to work together and it just feels great accomplishing the missions with a friend.
I had the most fun in versus mode, however again the screen is split and you need to compete against your friend in 3 differing modes. The competitive streak comes out in you and it’s fast and furious and if nothing else then for me the game is worth it just to play some competitive fast and frantic matches. The game is optimised for the switch and very polished and having no slowdown in split screen is a very good thing.
At the moment there are a lot of indie games competing for space on your Switch. For a limited time of two weeks, the publisher is cutting the price by 10%. Which means you can pick up the game for $13.49 instead of $14.99. In the UK this equates to £12.14 instead of £13.49. I think in order to compete these prices should stay as they are. Once the game is complete then there is not much replayability other than for those that want to complete the missions quickly as the missions are timed and to get the highest medal possible. Sadly there is no online leaderboard meaning there is no one to compete with other than yourself. If they can implement an online leaderboard then the appeal would be there. However, the value is increased with its great co-op and versus mode.