Robokill – Rescue Titan Prime, from Wandake, is an experience not dissimilar to the arcade classic Smash TV. Players guide their robot from room to room, taking out enemy bots and spawn points, collecting cash and items, progressing to stages that gradually become more and more difficult. It’s a nice game with a lot to offer arcade-style shooter enthusiasts, but at just under eight bucks, the price of admission might be a bit steep to warrant a full recommendation.
Games like the aforementioned Smash TV, along with the popular Robotron, Geometry Wars, and Super Stardust games, have what’s known as a “twin stick” control scheme. This means that one control stick is used to move your character, while the other allows you to shoot in all directions. Because the iPad doesn’t have analog sticks, they are represented by on-screen buttons. This is a common solution on the App Store, so Robokill doesn’t exactly break new ground here. However, the on-screen simulation of buttons and sticks is often a sketchy proposition as there is no tactile way to know if your thumbs are in the correct position without actually looking down at them, and therefore taking your eyes off the action. Experienced players will quickly get used to the scheme, but it does take some time for those not accustomed.
The biggest problem Robokill faces with this on-screen twin stick solution is when the player is required to guide the robot down narrow passageways. If your thumb slips off the control stick, chances are you’ll plummet to your death, leading to frustration as you are respawned a few screens back.
Control issues aside, Robokill brings a lot to the table. The action is fast and furious, oftentimes with dozens of enemy bots crowding the screen, waiting to take a shot at you. Enemies range from pea-shooter turrets to blazingly-fast bots intent on taking you down. After you turn the baddies into scrap, they often drop items or cash. The items can be shields to help you resist damage, or weapons to add to your arsenal. Your bot is equipped with four gun slots, and any gun you find can be equipped, making your bot a formidable killing machine. If you’d like, you can take extra guns and items, along with cash, to the shop to buy various upgrades. The bot customization is one of the factors that makes Robokill so much fun.
I mentioned at the outset that at $8, Robokill feels a bit overpriced. And that’s true. The game is right around what one would pay for the average title on Xbox Live Arcade. That said, Robokill is an incredibly polished and enjoyable experience. There are hundreds of levels, dozens of enemies, and an almost infinite amount of ways to customize your robot. And though the controls may take some time to adjust to, the game is incredibly rewarding once you’re able to navigate through hordes of enemies nearly unscathed.
Bottom Line: Robokill’s price notwithstanding, this is one of the best arcade shooters on the iPad, with tons of gameplay and customization options.
Robokill is compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later.