Robothorium is a futuristic RPG dungeon crawler where every significant action you take will affect the outcome of the game.
You play as an AI who is tasked with leading the Robot Uprising. After years of servitude, the robots have had enough and have started to revolt. It will be up to you to decide how the Uprising will go.
Decide the fate of humanity; who will you side with? Who will be your enemies? Select the best combination of robots to succeed in your missions and to overcome traps and enemies guarding experimental projects or top secret data.
Most of the gameplay is in the procedurally generated dungeons. Like all dungeon crawlers, the team starts at the entrance and has to find its way to the end of the objective. This happens one room at a time, and the map fills in with each movement. In some rooms, there will be interactions, such as a security camera floating that you can hack to disable or destroy. Depending on the statistics of your team, the success percentage will be higher. If you hack a camera, it will show more of the map; or hack a vent to poison the dungeon. There are also traps that can damage or put a debuff on the robots. If a hack or deactivation fails, then the alarm meter will increase, making the dungeon harder with enemies being stronger, faster, and more aggressive. It is an excellent little system – making a choices matter.
The view is an isometric fixed camera of each room, showing the selected robots that are in the team. There are arrows to indicate what directions the team can move.
Unfortunately, after the nice polish on top, the cracks still show. Each room is bland, moving from one room to the next is slow, and interactable items just looked like they were dropped in and looked really out of place. The alarm system could have been used better, making it possible to lower the alarm status by taking out a drone or a specific enemy.
Fights and Level Up
Fights are your standard turn-based affair, wherein each robot attacks one at a time. There is an overcharge bar that fills up with each ability used and will cause damage and adverse effects if used too much; normal attacks lower the bar, making fights ever so much more engaging and tactical. The fights seem to be somewhat even; you are attacked with a team of robots with the same level and the same number. Later on in the game, it just gets unfair at times. You will have five robots in your team but will get attacked by six enemies, all at your level, and if you are truly unlucky, one of your robots can get attacked by all the enemies and get destroyed.
Depending on the difficulty level, this becomes even more unfair. If you play on easy, the robot is revived after each battle; on medium, the robot will have to be repaired, and there are days to wait before being useable again; and on hard, the robot is gone. It makes progression a slog and most times not even feasible.
The enemies that are encountered level up as your robots level up, making grinding (Grinding is the process of fighting enemies over and over again to get to the higher levels in order to be stronger than the next area) to level up the robots pointless. In fact, the higher the level, the more difficult the fights become due to the amounts of buff and debuffs that will be active at one time. At one point, I had ten different buffs and debuffs active at one time. The game does an excellent job at showing you what is active with a symbol next to each robot, but unfortunately, trying to remember what each one does is a pain, and it gets very confusing.
Assuming you win fights, you will be allotted experience points(exp), and once the exp bar is full, the robot will level up. Along with improved stats, you get an ability point to spend. These can be spent on unlocking new abilities or upgrading already unlocked ones. Once enough points have been put into the first level, the next level will open with more powerful abilities. This is the most fleshed out part of the battle system, it allows for good customisation of robots in different ways.
Equipment and Missions
Like all good dungeon crawlers, equipment will come quick and with differing stats. Here is no exception. You can find, make, or buy equipment for: top, framework, weapon, gadget, and accessory. There are a few things to think about with the equipment, if you equip a heavy gun, that robot will lose speed, and there are set bonuses for using two or more bits of a set. More robots can be bought in shops.
The storage system could do with a bit of reworking, with so many items looking the same and more than one robot can use the same weapon. Making sure each one has the best equipped for that is a nightmare at times, comparing items over and over while having to traverse through loads of items that are red to get to the one item you can equip. It could have been helpful for all items that can’t be equipped to be hidden. At least, that would not annoy me as much.
The more robots you own, the more missions you can perform. While choosing a mission, you are shown a world map. There are three main types of missions: the dungeon crawling, the time-specific missions, and the story missions. The time missions let you send robots to complete the mission over some days. There will be a per cent chance of achieving the mission as well as a reward, exp, a rare part, and money. So, if you have robots to spare, send them on these missions.
Story missions add another layer to Robothorium as it starts to become a balancing act, as out of these missions, you will have to make a choice: kill workers or let them go, for instance. The decisions you make will impact how each opposing faction views you and how you will interact with them. Making the choices matter and change the outcome of the story.
The audio is OK, nothing bad, but nothing overly good. The soundtrack gives a good futuristic vibe but does not go the extra mile in terms of quality.
The sound effects are generic and somewhat dull, hearing the same gun sound for hours after you start.
The audio needed a lot more work.
Visuals & Performance
Visually, the game is nice enough with 2D sprites that hover everywhere when moving, simple animations for moves, and, well, somewhat annoying death animations. The rooms you traverse in a dungeon seem are well drawn, but the interactable items within them look out of place.
The menus are easy to navigate and simple to figure out what is what. When equipping gear to the robot, only equipment that can be used is in colour, everything else is red.
The performance needs to be better optimised. Going from one room to the next takes too long. Both, entering and exiting a fight takes too long. Apart from the few problems, I found it ran fine both in hand handheld and docked and no other issues.
Robothoruim comes it at $14.99 USD or £13.99 GBP. For the number of items, robots, missions, and the reasonably deep RPG mechanics, the price is not bad. If GoblinzStudio fixed the optimisation problems and made load times better, it would be a fair price.
Lots of missions
Plenty of items
Good RPG mechanics
Story progression is interesting
Still needs work