ReviewsReview: Mekabolt+

Review: Mekabolt+

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Robots are our future! They are supposed to help us with remedial tasks, allowing us the freedom to enjoy life. However, this picture-perfect image rarely happens and the androids usually run amuck. Unsurprisingly, this is the theme of Mekabolt+, a reworking of the well-received 2019 indie title.

Developed by Somepx and published by Ratalaika Games, this is a simple platform title. It focuses heavily on repetitive tasks and small but interesting stages. Furthermore, it completes its retro approach with a pixel art style and shrill synth music. It won’t test veterans of the genre, but it’s fun, easy to pick up, and a completionist’s dream.

Mekabolt+ adds to its solid foundations.

Mekabolt+ has a nonsensical story that has little bearing on the action. However, it’s an amusing tale that complements both the style and gameplay you experience throughout. You control a theme park technician who must repair every robot that has gone haywire. These once helpful machines will shoot at you, slice you with blades, and run you down. Thankfully, though, you are armed with your mekabolt rifle and this will disable or energise any mechanoids you encounter.

The aim of the game is as simple as the plot! You must activate switches, avoid obstacles, climb on arrows, and push around dead robots. When you complete each of these tasks, you’ll reach otherwise unobtainable platforms and you’ll overcome every problem you face. Furthermore, at the end of each stage, you’ll collect a battery that apparently repairs the broken machines. As I said, it makes little sense, but it’s a fun title that takes minimal effort.

Robots and spikes, what else do you have Mekabolt+
Shoot the robot and avoid the spikes.

What makes this different?

If you’ve played the original, you may think, why would I bother with Mekabolt+? With the addition of a new character and 24 extra levels, there is an awful lot more to experience. Effectively, Somepx has added 25% more to this than the original game, and I think that’s a big improvement. So, now you get to experience over 100 robot-filled levels, an array of mechanics, and an interesting challenge mode. If you have a methodical mind, you’ll fly through every stage with little challenge. But, even the brightest of players will struggle with the larger levels. Thankfully, these add depth while combining many elements to test your resolve. Consequently, the latter moments are much harder than first anticipated.

The action revolves around basic platform staples and your mekabolt rifle. Alongside this, you must use crossbow traps to fire bolts to make new platforms and deactivate robots to make steps and activate switches. The array of robots on display adds many layers to the gameplay and you’ll witness a variety of mechanoids. There are basic robots, spiked flying machines, androids with trampolines for heads, floating cubes, and more. Each must be manipulated to overcome puzzles, and in the early stages, it’s very linear and easy to complete. However, as you near the end, you must complete your tasks in a set order, otherwise, you’ll fail your mission.

Its lack of complexity may not rock your world, but this is an enjoyable title that can be played casually. It makes the perfect stop-gap between larger games, or simply an easy way to unwind when time is short.

Mekabolt+ will tease you with its challenge mode.
Can you better every challenge mode level?

Mekabolt+ is wonderfully retro.

With the power of modern machines, you may wonder why I bother with lesser indie titles. I’ll be honest. I have a soft spot for their garish ways and simple charms. Mekabolt+ captures everything I love about retro indie gaming thanks to its basic sprites, in your face colours, and straightforward level design. It wouldn’t push a Sega Mega Drive to its limits, so you imagine how rudimentary the performance is. However, I loved it and was happy to spend plenty of time in its vivid world.

My adoration continues in the sharp and almost obnoxious audio. The dated and old-school approach has leaked into every orifice of this title, and I loved it because of it. Furthermore, the sound effects are so simple that they could have been taken from any arcade game.

Mekabolt+ has some odd mechanics.
Leap on that spring robot.

A baby could play it.

I’m not saying that babies should play computer games, but if they wanted, they could play this with ease! Its simple layout and responsive nature make it a cinch to pick up. With little help, you’ll be overcoming obstacles and collecting every battery you find.

Thanks to its large array of levels and the challenge mode, this is good value for money. It will probably take you between 2 to 3 hours of laid back playing to complete it. Sadly, the developers didn’t add a speedrun mode or an NG+ option. Had either of these been included, then it would have plenty of longevity.

Mekabolt+ scratches that causal itch.

With massive triple-A games being released across the board, it’s nice to have an alternative to play. Mekabolt+ is a causal title that will scratch that itch with ease. Subsequently, it’s a straightforward game that represents a bygone era. I know it won’t be for everyone, but I loved it. Consequently, I recommend that you buy it here! Can you save the day and stop each robot? Overcome the obstacles, shoot your mekabolt rifle, and collect every battery you find.

SUMMARY

Mekabolt+ is a casual puzzle platformer that is infused with retro vibes. It won't test you, but you'll enjoy the colourful worlds and dated audio.

+ Garish colours and interesting stage design.
+ Dated but fun audio.
+ Simple controls.
+ The challenge mode mixes things up.
- No NG+ or speedrun option.

(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on PlayStation.)
Daniel Waite
Daniel Waite
My gaming career started on an Amiga and spans many consoles! Currently, I game using an MSI laptop and Xbox Series X. A fan of every genre, I love to give anything a go. Former editor and reviewer for www.bonusstage.co.uk, I'm loving my new home here at Movies Games and Tech. I can be contacted for gaming reviews on the following email: Daniel@moviesgamesandtech.com

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Review: Mekabolt+Mekabolt+ is a casual puzzle platformer that is infused with retro vibes. It won't test you, but you'll enjoy the colourful worlds and dated audio. <br/> <br/> + Garish colours and interesting stage design. <br/> + Dated but fun audio. <br/> + Simple controls. <br/> + The challenge mode mixes things up. <br/> - No NG+ or speedrun option. <br/> <br/> (Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on PlayStation.) <br/>