ArkanoArena is a new brick-breaker game from Sketch Games. Early this year, iPhone users were given a taste of this steam punk styled brick breaker with a free demo version. It got a lot of great feedback, and produced a little following of excited gamers anticipating the release of the full version. Now it’s here. 50 levels of beautiful brick breaking action. The story adds to the atmosphere of the game as well, as you’re invited to take part in a competition put together by Mr. Arkano, held where “the land meets the sky and the laws of physics do not apply.”
The graphics in ArkanoArena are great. Various environments and, like I’ve said, steam punk style objects, which I’m just a sucker for, make this one of my favorite brick breakers available for the iOS. Animations are great, especially when your platform changes. The explosions are done extremely well, and there’s a lot of polish and professionalism shown with the look and feel of the game. The backgrounds look amazingly beautiful as well, which only helps add more style to this already stylish game. The addition of a store where you can buy weapons, ammo, extra life, and power-ups that you can use to take on the various enemies that can fire missiles at you even more interesting. The controls are like any other brick-breaker, hold under the platform, called the Stinger, here, and move left or right to bounce the ball off of it. To use your weapons, a shotgun, missiles, and a lightning strike, you tap on their icons on the right side of the screen. These icons might look like they’ll get in the way, but become transparent when you move or the ball goes to the right side of the screen. To launch your ball, you double tap in the direction you want to launch it.
There’s 2 different game modes, the Arcade Mode, which you can choose to play on normal or hardcore difficulties, and Survival Mode. In normal difficulty, you get as many retries as you’d like to get through all 50 of the levels, and in hardcore, you get your 3 lives, and when you loose them, it’s game over. In Survival Mode, you get one ball, but all of your weapons are unlocked at the beginning of the game. When you loose your ball, game over. The store is accessible in Arcade Mode, between each level, but not given to you in Survival Mode.
The scoring system is pretty nice, giving you different scores for each of the different blocks, and a time bonus at the end. The block mechanics are pretty interesting, as there’s regular blocks that take one hit to destroy, other blocks with numbers on them that take that amount of hits to destroy, blocks with timers that start when you hit them, and reset the block if you don’t hit it again before the timer gets around the circle in the block, bomb blocks that blow up blocks around them when hit, skull blocks and gold blocks.
The enemies in ArkanoArena are one of the best things about the game. Having them shoot missiles at you really helps bump the challenge up a bit. I would love to see more types of enemies added in the future though, as I think the developers could really do a lot with different enemies, attacks, and attack mechanics. For instance, seeing an enemy that shoots some goo at the Stinger, causing it to slow down for a second or two, or kamikaze enemies that come barreling at you, knocking you half way across the screen on impact would be awesome.
ArkanoArena is one of the best looking brick-breakers in the AppStore, and it’s looking like it’s going to quickly knock Anodia out of the #1 spot on my device. $1.99 for this game is a great price, as it delivers tons of replay, loads of levels, GameCenter leader boards for both difficulties of Arcade Mode, and Survival Mode, and 50 achievements. Aside from more enemies, there’s nothing I can think of that I would like to see changed or added. Sketch Games has done an amazing job with ArkanoArena, and it’s recommended to anyone who’s into the genre, or just loves great looking arcade games.
Up And Up is a new slingshot type adventure platform game from Swift Seven Multimedia, a 2 person outfit located in Sweden. Up And Up is easily one of my favorite games to come out in the last couple months, and the attention it’s getting, or lack of, is pretty surprising. Maybe it shouldn’t be, as there’s quite a few games I feel really deserve a lot more attention then they’ve gotten, but I can almost always understand why. The controls might be a little funky for some people at first, people might have been expecting to get something else, but with Up And Up, it’s a pretty straight forward adventure game that has you stretch and slingshot your character through the beautifully made levels, is made by indie developers, and is made for both casual and hardcore gamers. These types of games usually do pretty well in the AppStore. Then again, most of the games in this genre weren’t released the same week as Jetpack Joyride, Samurai Bloodshow, Frogger Decades and Crimson: Steam Pirates. So here’s hoping I can shed a little bit more light on this great title.
In Up And Up, you’ll play as a bungy monster who’s trying to escape from the rising lava, falling bats, angry frogs, and more, while using objects, tools, and power-ups to help you get to safety. There’s 2 worlds, each with 15 levels to try and make your way through, collecting the 8 pieces of cheese, finding the golden bat, and trying to beat the secret level times for even higher scores and a better star rating.
The controls in Up And Up are great. Tight, responsive, and they work extremely well within the game. To get your bungy monster through each level, you’ll need to tap down on him, pull him back, and fling him towards the next hook, which he attaches to automatically, while if you miss a hook, you can hold down on the screen to activate a sort of helicopter ability, and then move your finger left or right to guide him to a hook. The physics and camera angles come into play quite a bit here, and they’re both great. Physics-wise, the game is awesome, with just enough gravity to have an effect on where you fling your character next, and when you miss, the helicopter ability works perfectly and feels great. The camera angle changes depending on the angle that you pull your character back at, for instance, pulling to the left makes the camera sort of pan in a 3D way to the right so that you can see more clearly what you’re aiming at. It might sound like it would distract from the gameplay, but really, it adds a lot to the game and the overall aesthetic.
The levels are just long enough to stay challenging, and upset you if you die right at the end, but not get frustrating when you have to replay them. The level design is also very, very good, and when you’re playing, you can tell that a lot of thought, effort, and beta testing went into each and every stage, as well as each and every move you can make while going through the stages. 30 levels might not sound like a lot, but it’ll sometimes take you multiple tries to get through most of them, and with the difficulty curve, will take a while to complete. There’s also another world with 15 levels coming in a future update.
The enemies are stylish, and varied, while having a pretty big impact on how you make your way through each of the levels. Sometimes you’ll need to quickly jump from one hook to another to avoid one falling on you, other times you’ll need to wait until it’s safe to move through an area, and sometimes you’ll just avoid spots completely. The objects that help are very well placed, and varied as well. Yellow hooks that let you do a super jump, and jetpacks that run on depleting fuel, which you can also pick up while riding them, can be found scattered throughout the levels, along with green goo to bounce off of on the sides of the walls, moving hooks and more.
The graphics are very nice, and environments are extremely colorful and visually pleasing. The game is also supported by Retina Display and is Universal, so you can experience the game in all it’s visual glory. S7 has certainly done everything right for their first release in order to leave a lasting and very nice mark on the AppStore gaming community, except for leaving out online services. They will be added very soon in an update, but leaving them out in the initial release, along with releasing it the same week as many other big name games, might just be why this game has been knocked to the back of the pack in terms of ‘must buy’ games. I, however, am very, very glad that I have been able to experience this game, as it’s definitely left it’s mark on me. I’m eagerly awaiting GC support, future levels, and whatever S7 has in store for gamers in the future. At $1.99, Up And Up is a must buy game.
Up And Up is getting a score of 9.5 out of 10, and would get a perfect 10/10 if it included online support in this v1.0 release. Once it’s added, this might just be the first review I end up changing the last paragraph of, and re-posting with a 10 out of 10 score after it gets updated.
Space Touch – The Touch Shooter is a new tap/arcade game from Alpha-Tauri Interactive. In it, you’ll be faced with wave after wave of enemies that are made up of 3 different colors, red, green, and blue, and you’ll need to match up the color of your tap to the color of the enemy in order to kill them. You’ll also switch between the tap play and joystick play. Between each wave of enemies, you’re able to control your ship with a joystick, and collect energy and bombs to help you get through the next wave of enemies. At the end of each level, you’ll face a color changing boss along with some side-kick enemies.
Alpha-Tauri Interactive has done a great job meshing the space shooter and tap arcade genres in Space Touch. The switch between gameplay modes is done very well, and the tap gameplay itself feels very good with the user interface that’s set up. You have color switch options in the bottom left corner of the screen, and once you get use to the set-up, you don’t really need to pay too much attention to in the heat of tap-battle. The enemies are varied, and the movement and animations are done extremely well.
Sometimes enemies will hide behind each other, and other times you’ll just need to learn their movement patterns. They can also move around 3 dimensionally, making three quarters of them unreachable for brief seconds of time. If you don’t kill the enemies quick enough, they start to shoot laser beams at you, taking away from your energy. Once your energy is depleted, you’ll need to start the level over again. After the first couple of levels, the action gets pretty intense, and you’ll be tapping away like crazy.
Along with this campaign mode, there’s 3 “classic” game modes. Each is endless, and you score as many points as you can before dying. There’s Asteroid, Out Of Energy, and Kamikaze Modes, each with different types of gameplay. In Asteroid Mode, you’ll control your ship with the joystick, and try to shoot down as many asteroids as you can. If you miss an asteroid, or your ship hits one, you’ll loose energy. In Out Of Energy Mode, you control your ship with your joystick again, but this time, your energy constantly drains, and you’ll need to maneuver around collecting as many energy balls as you can to try and stay alive. If you miss too many energy balls, your energy drains too quick, and it’s game over. In Kamikaze Mode, you’ll be faced with enemies that are not colored, and you’ll need to tap on them before they crash into you. These three extra endless modes add a lot to the replay value and high-score chasing parts of the game.
Space Touch is supported by OpenFeint and GameCenter, and you can select which service you’d like to use in the Profile section of the main menu. There’s leaderboards for each of the three endless modes, as well as for the campaign. There are no achievements, which would be nice, because most games have pretty good options for achievements. Like here, you could get an achievement for killing 500 red enemies, along with green and blue, or an achievement for finishing the campaign, or for collecting 100 bombs or 500 energy balls. Lots of possibilities, though it doesn’t take away too much from the gameplay, just a little from the replay value. The graphics in Space Touch are done very well, and each of the 11 campaign stages are varied in look and feel, and there is a very nice sci-fi atmosphere presented in the game. For $1.99, Space Touch is a very nice, professional looking game that plays great and can get very challenging. There’s plenty of replay value, and the controls are spot on. Aside from the lack of achievements, I really can’t say anything bad about what Alpha-Tauri Interactive has presented to us here, and I’m eagerly awaiting updates, and can’t wait to see what the developers come up with next.
Space Ship Ion is a space shoot-em-up from iniGames. I should mention that shmups are some of my favorite games, ever, and that I’ve got a bullet hell group on Touch Arcade, so it might sound like I’m spoiled when I review this game, because, well, I’m use to playing some of the best bullet hell and shmup games out there.
Now, in SSI, the game relies heavily on the story and weapons shop instead of insane bullet patterns and over-loading you with enemies, which, with an AppStore full of great shmups, is a pretty risky move, but it works well here. The story is well written, and it unfolds pretty nicely. Not to say that there’s not enough action in Space Ship Ion to keep even hardened shmup fans happy, because playing on Very Hard difficulty will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the whole game.
The weapon store also adds quite a bit to the game, as you can buy and equip weapons, holding 6 guns plus a shield on your ship. Items can be bought with points that you collect while going through the game, so there’s no IAPs to worry about. I was, however, hoping for some more interesting weapons. There are a few, but with a game that’s main selling points are the story and shop, I really think the developer could have thrown in quite a bit more weaponry, and definitely more than one shield. There are, however, 2 weapons that unlock when you complete Normal and Hard Modes, and all weapons upgrade while collecting red orbs in the game.
The controls are nice, and the game kind of plays like Super Laser, because you’ve got a missile lock in front of your ship that you’ll constantly be trying to hit enemies with. The controls that are given are relative touch that works along-side tilt controls. If you don’t touch the screen for a couple seconds, the tilt controls take over. There’s also a double tap that you can use to drop a nuke, but this only works if you lift your finger off the screen first. Doubled with the tilt controls, this can cause a lot of un-necessary deaths, having your ship fly up to the top or bottom of the screen while trying to nuke a cluster of enemies.
Online leaderboards are not enabled, so the scoring mechanics are kind of lost within the game, but there are medals to unlock, adding a little bit of extra challenge to the game. The graphics in SSI are good, but not in retina display. That’s generally not a deal-breaker with most shmup fans, as there’s very few retina supported shmups in the AppStore. There’s 22 different enemies, and 8 different bosses, each needing a different strategy to deal with and defeat. The bosses animations and attacks are very well thought out, and should keep you on your toes no matter what difficulty you play on.
In the end, SSI is a decent shmup with a nice story and one of the very few shmups in the AppStore that has a shop. It is a well made shooter that should give any fan of the genre plenty of gameplay, especially for the $1.99 price-tag. Hopefully in the future some online services will be offered, and the shop will be expanded, but as it is now, it is definitely worth checking out. I know I’ll be keeping my eyes open for more games from iniGames in the future as well, because they’ve certainly managed to make their mark in the AppStore.
Waves: Survivor is an endless type game with platformer controls from Renown Entertainment. In it, it’s your job to help Johnny Calm make it as far as he can while in his little boat, collecting coins, and avoiding, jumping on, or smacking enemies, all the while being chased by a huge shark. You’ll also battle huge waves and crazy water movement, sometimes taking on enough water to sink, and be thrown deep under water where you tilt to control your direction, and quickly tap the swim button in the bottom corner to make it back to the surface, and into your boat to travel further.
The graphics in Waves: Survivor are pretty nice, but not retina supported. The controls are nice and responsive, and work very well with the game, and the physics and overall feel of the game is great. Aside from the weird high jumping, the water physics are very nice, and do add to the atmosphere of the game. The sun and moon rising and setting helps as well. Along with the music, the game comes in a very nice neat little package.
GameCenter is not added, so going for high scores doesn’t really drive the game much. However, there are collectibles that you can get while going through the game, which does help. A big part of the game is trying to not take on a bunch of water while waves crash against your boat, and you jump in and out of the water. Tilting your iPod controls the balance of the boat while in the air in in the water, and being able to control the angle of your boat does help with the amount of water you might get in the boat when you land, and while going up and down on the waves. Getting too much water in your boat, shown by a glass bottle around your health meter, thrown you into a mini-game that really disrupts game-play more than enhances it. But that can also mean there’s even more drive not to take on too much water throughout the game.
All-n-all, Waves: Survivor is a decent endless score game with great physics and graphics that could use some polish. But the gameplay really pushes you on, and will have you coming back to the game over and over again. Hopefully, GameCenter or Openfeint will be added in the future so that going for that high-score will drive the replay value up, and bring more players to the game.
Zen Wars is based off a old arcade classic called Rampart which featured multi-phase tower defense gameplay. There are 3 different phases to every one turn you get in the game regardless of the mode. The first, the combat stage is where the player has about 15 seconds to fire on the opposing forces defenses and troops. Then you can rebuild your ramparts and walls to beef up your derisory. The final stage is where you can place down cannons in the available enclosed space. Now the catch is that you cant just put your defenses down wherever you want you have different shapes that are offered up each rebuilding period that you have to fit together to encircle your fortress. In your territory you can have up to three fortress which one of which you have to have completely encircled. The game comes packed with 3 different modes including a campaign mode. In the campaign mode you are put in the middle of certain scenarios that you have to overcome. Then in the survival mode 4 of those levels in the main campaign are available for unlimited play. Then comes the coup de grace the multiplayer mode. A total of 3 players can battle it up over Gamecenter trying to be the last one standing. A interesting feature is that voice chat is included so you can chat with people and make alliances in order to get farther in the round. For example if you want to win a round you can team up with another guy so your chances of winning are improved. Then after hes dead and out you can disband from the team and test your might against your former allie. Its definitely alot more fun against real people but the campaign mode is still good for practicing and developing your strategy’s for online.
Overall this is a great strategy game that is very fun to play and one of the most in depth strategy games for the ipod platform. I highly recommend this game, 4.5/5 stars!
Fatcat Rush is a new side-scrolling runner game from Tomodomo Oy. It’s his first game in the AppStore, and like many of the previous first publishers I’ve reviewed lately, he shows hardly any signs of being a newcomer to the scene. In the game, you play as Tombo, a cat who lives on the peak of a huge tower. Every week his favorite food is shipped to him by a hot-air balloon. But this week, the balloon carrying his delivery was struck by lightning, flinging his food all throughout the pathways of the tower. With his stomach grumbling, he decides to go after it all, making sure to hurry before the food spoils.
There’s 15 levels in Fatcat Rush, each with different environmental hazards. The level scrolls, and spins around, while you climb up the pathways further up the tower. There’s food littering the paths, and some shortcuts full of extra food hidden along the way, so keeping an eye open for kind of harder to reach paths usually pays off. You’re given 3 hearts for each stage, and crashing into a part of the terrain, or an obsticle will bring you down a peg. There’s different kinds of food all over the place, some giving more points than others, for instance; Whipped Cream Taco’s give you 1 point, while PizzaBurgers give you 10, and Ketchup Lollipops give you 3.
There’s also Health Shakes which give you a heart, but you can never have more than 3 hit points at any given time. Fish are all over the place, in a bright blue circle, and impossible to miss. Each one adds to your speed/score multiplier and boost meter, which gradually decreases over time. Running into objects drops your multiplier as well. This means that the more fish you collect in a level, the higher your multiplier will be, and the bigger your final score will end up being.
The controls in Fatcat Rush are simple, and work very well within the game. You have a button for jumping, and a button for dashing while you’re on the ground, and kicking while you’re in the air. Dashing on the ground helps you break open crates that are hiding food, fish, and shakes, but you need to be careful with your timing, because running into one of these crates causes you to loose a heart. While you’re in the air, pressing the dash button makes you dash kick, this is very useful for long jumping, reaching harder to reach places, shortcuts, and long strands of food only accessible by jump kicking.
The graphics are great. Smooth and professional, and the environments are very colorful and vibrant. The user interface is great, very clear, and easy to navigate, as well as the HUD during gameplay. You have your 3 hearts in the top left corner, your level progress in the middle, and then your score. Underneath your score is your speed multiplier, and boost meter, going down the right side of the screen, then your jump button on the bottom left, and dash/kick button on the bottom right, with the pause button in-between the two. The physics are great, not too floaty, and never feeling weighed down, coupled with the speed and flow of the game, it plays wonderfully. The music and effects also fit in the game nicely, and add to the atmosphere and overall feel of the game.
There are no leaderboards for Fatcat Rush, which is a shame, because there’s great scoring mechanics, and it would add a whole lot to the replayability of the game. There are however, in-game achievements, 15 to be exact, along with 4 different outfits you can unlock, including one that makes you look like Mario. This does help add to drive the game, and help with the replayability, but once you get them all unlocked, you might loose a lot of the drive you once had to play. The game is very well done, very cute, and really is a blast to play. Great level design, and wonderful controls and physics, along with great scoring does make it a game that you will want to play through completely. But it does need a little more to make you want to keep it on your device for any extended period of time, an endless or survival mode would go a very long way. It is a very well made game, and the way it’s going now, will end up being one of my favorite runners, especially if the developers end up adding another mode, and online leaderboards. For $1.99, it’s a great deal, and definitely a game you should pick up if you’re a fan of the genre, or cats.
Running. When your pudgy like most adolescent kids these days the sound of that very word strikes fear into your little cheeseburger-loving heart. Fortunately for you this game encaptures the fun that isn’t running and wont make you sweat at all. The gameplay is quite simple, your goal is to run to the goal in the fastest time possible while trying to be speedy around obstacles and enemies. Quick reflexes are the name of the game here but with time even the most pitifully uncoordinated player will be able to play like a pro. The first level is the of course the adjustment level where you get used to the controls and the nuances of the game. After that you are basically on your own to explore and finish all of the levels. Each level is unlocked once you complete the prior level regardless of whatever you scored on it. In each of the levels there are a variety of different paths that you can take some of which net you more or less coins that influence your endgame score. Through a process of trial and error you begin to figure out what works and what doesn’t and how you can begin to improve your time and score. The reason I am really enjoying this game is due to that factor of replayability. No matter how well I finish a level I am always intrigued enough to try it again and try to shave a few seconds off for bragging rights on the leaderboards. At the end of each level you score badges on the various things you did. For example if you found the hidden skull in each level you get a badge, you finish inside the time limit you get a badge as well. I usually don’t enjoy games that have a in-game timer but I’m okay with it in this orientation because speed is this games middle name and being able to see the amount of time your wasting trying to find the skull and increase your panic level. After you die in a level (which will happen often believe me) you are sent back to the start where you can watch as a ghost of your previous attempt runs alongside or ahead of your current effort to not die. You have the option to turn off the ghost respawning and the type of control you use in the blatantly obvious option menu. Another nifty feature in the option menu is the fact you can change your characters look from there. The costumes include a ninja, the atypical purple jogging suit, and a bee. There are 5 worlds in all and to unlock the next one you need to earn a certain number of badges in the previous level. Overall this a extremely addicting game that has you shaving off the seconds in the pursuit of a better score to boast about. With tons of replayablility and hidden objects you will always find new content in Mos Speedrun. I give it a 5/5.
Note: Video Recording has been added in an update.
Fractal Combat is a new aerial combat game from NewType K.K. It’s also their first offering to the AppStore, but it sure doesn’t show in their presentation. Fractal Combat is a very polished, top notch aerial combat game. The fractal graphics are wonderful, the music is great, and the controls are user interface are phenomenal. I really was not expecting what I got out of this game. The animations of the exploding enemies, along with the flaming bits of wreckage you see after the explosion is great. You rarely find this much attention to detail within games like this on the iOS, and seeing that it can be done, and done very well, might make you start to think less of all the other aerial combat games in the AppStore.
You’re given 10 missions throughout each of the 7 different landscapes, that‘s a whopping 70 missions. Each of the missions it’s your job to take out the targets, highlighted in red on the map. While you’re going after the targets, you’ll be bombarded by enemies that show up on the radar as yellow triangles. Each time you blow an enemy up, they leave behind some energy which if collected, gives you some shield. If you have no shield power, your armor, which is pretty much health, gets knocked down with each hit. Once you have no armor, you’re dead, and need to start at the beginning of the mission. If you happen to succeed in the mission, you’re awarded with a rating of 1 to 3 stars, along with credits which you can use to buy better weapons, generators,radars and even new ships in the garage.There’s 5 ships total that you can unlock byprogressing through the game, and then buy. Each has stronger armor, more shield capacity, and a different flight mode, or way of flying. For instance, you start off with a ship that has thrusters for flight, and the next ship up that you can buy uses magnetic rotors, each having drastically different ways of controlling them. There’s 7 different weapons, each with different speed, range, damage, and other attributes. 3 different radars, and 5 different generators. There’s slots in the game to have 6 profiles, so you can play the game on a device that’s shared between friends or family, and not end up playing each others games, or you can just start from scratch, and re-organize how you set up your weapons and which ships you buy.
You are given two choices of control options, a joystick which you can have on the left or right hand side of the screen, or you can use your devices accelerometer, and tilt while you play. You can also set the sensitivity, angle of accelerometer, and put the throttle on the left or right side of the screen. Fire buttons are on both the left and right hand sides of the bottom of the screen if you decide to use tilt controls, and on the opposite side of the screen of the joystick, if you decide to use that control method, enemies are also locked on automatically, so you can pretty much just keep tapping the fire button to blow them up. However, you are not able to change the Y direction, so pressing up on the control pad makes you go down, and pressing down makes you go up. Which is not the case for tilt controls, tilting the top of your iPod towards you makes the ship go up, and away from you to go down.This set up is a tad weird, but manageable if you’re use to default settings in most aerial combat games. You can also change the music and fx volume, which is always a nice option, and there is, of course, a reset to default option, just in case you end up screwing everything up and want to start from scratch. All-n-all, there’s quite a bit of customization going on in the options menu. But I think an option to turn the HUD display on or off would have been a good idea too, as it can seem kind of crowded on the screen, but not in a way that distracts from the gameplay.
The only real thing I think this game is missing is another mode, or a story. I know it’s not easy to create a story for a game, and it’s pretty much pointless to just cram a story into a game just for the hell of it, but if Fractal Combat had a story to go along with the missions, like why you’re fighting these ships, why they’re you’re enemies, something so that you know WHY, it would make this game a lot better. That, along with a survival mode, where you could take your fully equipped ship into a battle that only ended when you got shot down, would make this an even more amazing game. But with what it has now, Fractal Combat is still worthy of 4.5 out of 5 stars, and comes along with a strong recommendation from me. Anyone who’s into aerial combat, flight sims, or just action and arcade games in general should check this out one, it’s a game that you will never regret buying. It’s universal, and only $1.99.
Robot Bros. is the new puzzle platformer from 108km Studio, a small indie studio founded in 2010. The goal of the game is to get all 3 stars in each of the levels, and then make it to the exit. 4 of the 5 robots all have a different ability, while one has no abilities. One can drop a certain number of ice blocks in a stage, another can throw fireballs to get rid of ice blocks, there’s a robot with a rocket pack, and finally, a robot that can make portals. Throughout the levels, youaregiven chances to change which robot you’re controlling, by hitting the robot icons at the top of the screen, kind of playing like Babylon Twins.
One pretty major gripe I have with Robot Bros is the controls. You can’t drag your finger from the left button to the right button and have your robot change directions, it will just keep moving in the direction you were first going. To change directions, you need to pick up your thumb, and press the arrow. Also, if you try and use a power in the air, which you can’t, but pressing the button will bring your robot to a halt, and make him drop straight down. The jump button is sometimes unresponsive as well. There’s some minor animation gripes too, like the rocket pack robot can change directions in the air, but he’ll fly backwards instead of turning around, and it seems like the fireball robot is the only robot that has a decent ability animation, bringing his arms back, and flinging the ball forward does look pretty cool though.
It would have been nice if all of the robots had as much detail as the fireball robot does. The rocket robot seems to fly up backwards when you first take off if you‘re pressing a directional button, and it takes a second for him to start going in the direction you want him to go after that. There were also a couple of levels in the game where some ice blocks would disappear and end up half way across the level, this also happened with my characters twice while playing. It would also be nice if once you got one of your characters to the end of the level, if the game automatically switched to one of the other characters in the level, instead of making you hit one of the robot icons. These are some issues that should be taken care of pretty quickly if you ask me.
The game is not very challenging. You’re able to zoom out in each of the levels, seeing almost the entire level. The objective pretty much stairs you right in the face after you see the whole level, meaning the only challenge is really just making it through the level while struggling with the controls. It took me about an hour and half to make it through all 36 levels. I really think the developers could have done a lot more with the game, especially considering they have a robot that can make portals! Right there should scream extra challenging. But I couldn’t help but feel let down. The graphics aren’t too bad, but could use some polishing up, and I didn’t experience any lag or crashing. There’s no in-game music, except for little clips after you beat a level, orwhen you die, which kind of bothered me, but I’m a sucker for game music.
In Robot Bros, the idea is nice, but it seems like there could have been some more attention to details. Mainly with the controls. But for the companies first platformer game, it does show promise. I’m giving Robot Bros 3 out of 5 stars, with the hopes that some updates can make this a game that controls well, gives it more levels, with more of a challenge, some in-game music, and squashes the bugs. GameCenter or OpenFeint support and some achievements would be a welcome addition as well. If you are a puzzle platformer fan, it’s not too bad of a game to pick up. It did keep my attention throughout most of the game, and it’s only $1.99, and is Universal. There really is a lot of potential here, but it seems that that’s all it has right now.