Developer: Wandake
Price: $7.99
Version: 1.1
App Reviewed on: iPad

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

It’s clear that a lot of care and attention to detail has gone into the aesthetic of Robokill – Rescue Titan Prime, one of the latest dual-stick shooters to hit the App Store. It includes 13 missions and well over 400 rooms to explore within, but is it worth the hefty price tag of $7.99?

Enemy troops gathered on a cramped gangway

The action takes places in an assortment of expansive rooms and narrow gangways, some having large barricades to act as cover and some completely open. Happily, each room fits neatly onto the screen with plenty of room for the controls at the bottom; they are all accessed by doors that slam shut whenever there’s a swarm of enemies. Some doors require single-use key cards to open them, which often means that you’ll be visiting every room on the map just to make sure you didn’t miss one.

Backtracking is made easier with the map system that allows you to teleport to certain previously visited rooms that have a teleportation device installed within. Therefore, exploration tends to be on the fast side and so the emphasis can go on the extensive weapon scheme and battling waves of mechanical creeps. Enemies include light, fast crawling bombs, mechanical warriors of a similar design to your robot, light aircraft and large stationary gun turrets, with new types steadily introduced as you progress through the game. More often than not they will appear in the room immediately, but other rooms include spawn points through which an unlimited number of units can be brought forth. Other rooms may look deserted when first entering but trigger an ambush once you’ve ventured into the room a little further.

Unlike many iPhone dual stick shooters, Robokill on the iPad has enough room to display the controls on an area that doesn’t obscure the action; twin sticks are familiar enough, but you also have quick access to the map and inventory screens with the dedicated buttons at the bottom. You’ll be making use of the map fairly often just to keep track of all the rooms that you’ve visited, and you can teleport to a new location from this screen. The inventory gives you an opportunity to change your weapons; four slots can be customised with the right configuration of weapons for the enemies you’re facing, plus four item slots allow you to enhance your warrior with other abilities, such as giving your shields a boost upon clearing the room.

The graphics are extremely impressive, especially nearing the end of the game when you can equip laser powered weapons. Some slowdown occurred on rooms with many enemies but this only happened once or twice and didn’t disturb the otherwise enjoyable experience.

Unfortunately, Robokill suffers from a very repetitive structure: shoot enemies, traverse the environment for keys, unlock new rooms, shoot some more, level up, get better weapons and traverse the environment once more. Levels quickly become sprawling networks with multiple paths through, and without environmental puzzles you feel like you’re doing the same thing over and over. It is also unfortunate that the game doesn’t have a soundtrack during the missions, only in the menu screens.

In conclusion, Robokill provides an enjoyable experience if played in small doses. When played for longer periods you start noticing repetitive environments and enemy configurations, predictable ambushes and AI that simply follows you around rather than using strategical manoeuvres. If you’ve enjoyed dual stick shooters, try the Lite version to make sure the game is the right fit for you.

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