ReviewsReview: Roombo: First Blood

Review: Roombo: First Blood

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I’m always amazed at what weird and wonderful ideas grow out of the brains of indie game developers. There is something for everyone, and every genre imaginable is covered. I thought I had seen it all. Then along came Samurai Punk and their creation Roombo: First Blood. From the name alone, I knew that this was a team and a game that wasn’t taking itself too seriously. I couldn’t wait to try the game and hoped that I wouldn’t be left disappointed.

Not to jump to the conclusion, but I wasn’t let down at all. Roombo is a fun filled, gory blood bath that is laced with dark humour, and violence galore. You control a robotic vacuum cleaner (RVC), yep you read that correctly a vacuum cleaner! It’s Christmas time, and the owner of the house has gone out for the evening. You are left on charge when a smash of glass wakes you. Your quiet suburban life is rocked, your house is going to be burgled, and you are its only form of defence.

How very 1990s Home alone.

You will face 6 levels of murderous tests en route to guarding your home. 3 bonus levels are also chucked in for good measure, which is very generous of Samurai Punk. The main aim is to defend the valuables left strewn around each room. Each stage has a set number of burglars, 1 for the first, rising to 6 for the last. One object of value is placed for each of these thieves of the night, and you must do whatever it takes to stop them. 

Run and clean, run and clean.

Luckily, the RVC is no ordinary household appliance; he can hack other electrical appliances. This skill comes in very handy as it allows you to lay traps to take down the intruders. You will; set off sprinklers, charge sockets, drop ceiling fans, blow up tv’s, control showers, and more. It takes little thought process to win a stage, but this is one of its main selling points, its mindless gratuitous violence. 

Once you’ve done killing, you must do what a vacuum does best!

After you’ve finished being chased by the would-be burglars, and you’ve taught them all a lesson, you must eliminate their bodies and clean up the mess. And by god, it’s an almighty horrendous sight to behold. After you hacked the bodies to pieces a la lawn mower style, you must hoover up the chunks of meat and all the blood. A clean house is a high scoring house, and depending on how accurate you were with the traps, you’ll be graded between S+ and F. 

This is Roombo: First Blood in a nutshell. It’s a brilliant, casual experience that requires no skill level. You will roll around, planning your attack and hacking everything in sight. It’s a short endeavour, but it encompasses everything that makes an indie title great. Yes, there are a few tweaks that would improve longevity and replay factor, but in its current state, it’s an enjoyable and mindless action game that will have you chuckling with delight.

So much blood, and only one robot.

It reminded me of the Untitled Goose Game.

The absurd nature of the gameplay and the visual presentation reminded me of another humorous indie title, Untitled Goose Game. The bird’s-eye perspective and simple cartoon style made for a straightforward, yet delightful game to observe. Though each level was identical, I never tired of how it was set up. The opposing colours that represented real life, and the hacking screen made it easy to follow the action. A golden hue surrounded any usable items, making it easy to plan your approach. The well designed levels were easy to navigate, and my only gripe was the lack of a rotating camera angle. It wasn’t entirely necessary, but it would have been nice to have the choice to alter your view.

An upbeat, yet seedy audio plays alongside all the action. The music adds suspense to the situation, and works perfectly as you sneak about hiding under the furniture, avoiding detection. This combined with the amusing sound effects of sockets popping, and ceiling fans cracking skulls will make you chuckle with delight. It’s evil, disgusting, but above all else, it’s great. Samurai Punk are a twisted bunch that has created a dark and messed up game.

2 control systems, both as easy as the other.

One of the great things about this is the simplicity of the controls. You are given the chance to choose between 2 methods, both are easy to master, and neither will cause an issue. The opening level acts as a tutorial, but within 2 minutes of playing you will be up and rolling like a pro. It was a pleasant change to get a game that could be played instantly with no care about how to play it.

That’s right, hiding in plain sight works wonders in this game.

Because of its short nature, the replay element is impacted. A small achievement list can be unlocked in no time, and all the levels can be completed in around an hour. But don’t let this put you off. A tiny price tag of around £4 still makes this good value for money, and murdering burglars with a vacuum cleaner is amusing no matter the body count. An area which the developers overlooked was skill development or customisation. If this had been used alongside small tasks during each stage, then the desire to return would have been vastly increased.

An indie title worthy of a download.

Because of its casual nature, and limited game time, this is ideal to play between major sessions. Whether you decide to ram the thieves, or round them all up to shock them to death, it doesn’t get old. Watching their bodies fly around, and the blood splatter shows you are keeping the house safe, and fills you with a warm sense of success. Do I recommend it? I do, so buy it here! Put your sensible brain to one side and get this downloaded. Mindless violence and traps galore await you in this modern version of Home alone.

SUMMARY

Roombo: First Blood is a short, yet fun game that will make you grin from ear to ear. Gloriously violent, and clever with its traps. You will laugh all the way to victory as you leave bodies in your wake.

+ A simple concept, well delivered.
+ Nice graphics presented from a good perspective.
+ The audio sets the scene.
+ Easy controls.
+ Simple 1000 Gamerscore.
- I wanted more depth to the action.
- Not enough replay value.

(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on PC, Mac, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation.)
Daniel Waite
Former editor and reviewer for www.bonusstage.co.uk, I've now found a new home to write my reviews, and get my opinion out to the masses. Still the lead admin for Xboxseriesfans on Facebook and Instagram. I love the gaming world, and writing about it. I can be contacted at [email protected] for gaming reviews.

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