There are only a few words that I fear. Yet, physics-based and platformer combined to bring me out in a cold sweat. Some time ago, I looked at Struggling, and this scarred me for life. Consequently, when Robotry! landed on my desk, I winced instantly. I knew I’d been a bad person in a previous life if I was to be punished this harshly. However, I sucked it up and got on with my job.
Developed and published by Lockpickle, this is an indie platformer with physics-based mechanics. What’s more, this annoyingly brutal game can be “enjoyed” solo or with 3 other sadomasochistic gamers. Subsequently, you can all have fun with the harsh gameplay and deceptively simple approach.
Robotry! hurts your soul!
Every moment with Robotry! is torture. The game loves to humiliate you while pushing you to your limits. Yet, this harsh approach makes it addictive, and oh-so rewarding. Though success is fleeting, it also makes your heart skip a beat. Accordingly, it drove me insane, and I didn’t want to put it down.
You control a juvenile robot who has no legs. Thankfully, a kind scientist fixes this problem. As he embarks on a journey, the robot must learn new skills, collect secret items, and open new areas in the central hub. All the while, he’ll become comfortable with his new form as he progressively becomes stronger and more acrobatic.
Failure is par for the course.
Certain games all but assure you that failure is its core goal. Super Meat Boy, OkunoKA Madness, and Struggling are, to name but a few. Well, Robotry! is added to that list. Subsequently, if you beat any stage, you should wear it as a badge of honour. Now, you may think the action is complex or overbearing, but it isn’t. Instead, the idea is very simple. Move from point A to B without dying. Unfairly, it is the bit in between that’ll make you scream out loud.
The robot must use its gangly legs to move across each surface. Each of its extremities is controlled by your analogue sticks, and unsurprisingly, they rarely do as instructed. Accordingly, the results are rage-inducing and will make you want to quit. Yet, if you can master the basics, the developers upped the ante quite nicely. Therefore, you’ll learn to jump, swing, climb, and activate switches. What’s more, you’ll operate cranks, move platforms and make new bridges.
If you get to grips with all of that, you may wish to find the hidden collectable on each stage. By exploring every level thoroughly, you’ll find a mystery item that is used to open locked doors in the central hub. Word of warning, though, it isn’t easy and only the best and most patient Robotry! players will succeed.
Robotry! has a basic but varied look.
If you can get over the maddening action, you’ll enjoy a colourful and varied art style. With some clever contrasting images, it is easy to identify the traps, enemies, and obstacles. What’s more, interactive items have a distinct look, and this helps further still. What was also great was the varied stage design. Each of the worlds has its own style to keep things fresh. Alongside this, the janky movement of the arms was both hilarious and annoying, but mainly hilarious.
Another fine element to this zany title was the folksy and humorous music. Throughout each level, a simple blend of songs plays on a loop. Now, this may seem tedious, but the inoffensive soundtrack adds some much-needed lighthearted relief. Alongside the music were some strange sound effects. These out-of-this-world noises add to the humour and allow you to smile while you fail.
The controls will drive you nuts.
One of the big downsides to physics-based games is the floppy controls. No matter how good you are at the game, you never truly feel in control. Yet, when things come together, the result is euphoric. As such, there is a genuine sense of achievement when you master each skill.
I’ve alluded to the 4 player action. Yet, I’ve failed to discuss how insane it is! Each player uses a limb of their robot. By working together, you’ll leap chasms, swing like a monkey, and solve each problem. But unsurprisingly, all the mirth comes at a cost. Arguments are guaranteed as you all pull in the wrong direction. Subsequently, it is maddening but gloriously annoying.
Robotry! drove me mad, but I loved it, nonetheless.
The developers got the difficulty just right. Though I cursed them, myself, and everything else, I couldn’t put it down. Its simplicity screams, “just one more try”, and its rage-inducing ways will make you yell. Better still, you can make your friends and family feel the pain as well. Consequently, I cherished its cruelty and I recommend you buy it here! Can you finish your adventure and master each skill? Probably not, but you’ll have fun trying.