Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad 1, iPod touch 4
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Game Controls Rating:
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RobotRiot is an action-platformer that takes a lot of its inspiration from the early 1990's. Players raid three ships, taking on enemies and bosses across a dozen levels. Levels are short, but this is not a trial platformer like Commander Pixman or League of Evil. The hardest levels may take several minutes to beat, and have deadly traps and enemies in place as well. The levels also often have side paths with inconviently-placed extra lives and powerups. The player can jump and fire, and minus special weapon powerups that can be found, that's it. Enemies and boss fights must be taken on with what amounts to a pea shooter that has recoil as well.
This retro-inspired platformer is very detailed, and looks great on either the Retina Display or the iPad. There's the requisite chiptune soundtrack as well. This is a great blend between having levels with actual substance, that one doesn't feel rushed to complete as quickly as possible, while keeping them short enough for short-form gaming. Some of the bosses appear to take some influence from classic Sonic the Hedgehog bosses, which is just a nice nostalgic touch. The game is non-linear, allowing for players to play the easy, medium, or hard ships in whichever order they choose. Why would anyone want to start off on the hardest ship? Well...
The game's setup of either being able to continue with the score at zero, or to submit the high score and reset progress, just seems out of touch with modern times. When I got near the end of the hardest ship, I decided to submit my score instead of continuing, which was a good call...I had the number two score in the world! Still, it seems like it's silly that this choice has to be made. It also actively discourages people from actually, well, beating the game. The game is universal, but the button placement isn't very comfortable on the iPad. Also, the jump button should be on the outside, not the inside! That's just blasphemous!
RobotRiot's a bit refreshing when many other platformers are going to the hyper-short route, and the level design that extends out vertically as well as horizontally is well-done as well. It feels a bit stiff at times, but is a solid experience overall.