App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2
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Abi: A Robot’s Tale is an adorable little adventure game about two robot companions looking for a lost bird. It lacks a bit of substance and it’s not very long, but it’s also beautifully animated and features some really clever twists on traditional adventure game puzzles, making for a short, but pretty sweet, experience.
The odd couple
Abi takes place in a far-flung future where robots of all shapes and sizes are scattered across the land. In this game, you play as two robots, the small but spunky Abi and its lumbering protector, DD. The game starts a bit in media res with Abi having just descended into an underground chamber while looking for a white bird that is apparently DD’s friend.
This small section of the game introduces you to Abi’s mechanics, which are all pretty similar to ones found in traditional point-and-click adventure games. You tap to move around the screen, interact with objects by tapping on icons that appear when you’re close to them, and switch between Abi and DD by tapping a button in the top left corner. For the most part, you’re also solving puzzles that are in line with traditional advenuture games, though Abi does have some more action-oriented sequences than something like The Secret of Monkey Island.
The first thing that sticks out when playing Abi is its visuals. The game has a beautiful 2D art style that animates very smoothly and enhances the super detailed and charming character designs of Abi, DD, and the rest of the cast. Even small things like the ways Abi’s eyes move when reacting to certain situations is full of emotion and character, which helps reel you in to the story immediately.
Abi is also really notable due to its refreshingly nontraditional pacing. Many adventure games like to stick you in areas for long periods of time to solve puzzles, but Abi does almost the opposite. Most of its environments only feature a handful of simple puzzles, while some even have just one or none. Although this might sound disappointing for folks who might generally prefer puzzle-heavy experiences, it gives Abi a unique momentum that puts the main focus on the story rather than its challenges.
As nice as it is for Abi to have some restraint when it comes to puzzles, it also ends up making the game pretty short. A single playthrough of Abi can easily be accomplished in a sitting or two, and there’s no real reason to revisit the game after you’ve seen the credits.
What’s also disappointing is that Abi ends pretty abruptly and leaves things somewhat unresolved. Since the game’s release though, the developers have stated that more chapters will be added to the game in the future, which will hopefully extend the game’s length and story and make them both more satisfying.
The bottom line
The only real problem with Abi is its length. The game is completely beautiful, it’s got a lot of character, and its puzzles—while lite—are pretty neat. Hopefully the addition of more chapters to the game will make it a more compelling package in the future. For now though, Abi is a burst of fun that is gone before you know it.