Plenty of developers are using the Unreal Engine to create amazing games for iOS, and we imagine there’s probably a learning curve for any game creators not used to the tools. In the case of Dawn Patrol Games, their first release with the engine feels very much like a learning experience or test of concept rather than a whole game. The game is a pretty simple turret-based shooter, with some interesting ideas, but doesn’t quite mesh as a whole.
In Robotanika, players take the role of Peaches, the lone survivor of her robot species who is left to defend her home world from alien robots. It seems the aliens come every hundred years to suck the planet’s considerable resources away. Their last trip resulted in the genocide of Peaches’ species and now the spunky little bot has armed up for revenge.
Time to replace that tile floor.
To exact this mechanized vengeance requires surviving 100 rounds of painfully hard and repetitive shooting. Peaches is essentially a turret gun, so she can’t move. Instead, she can sweep the battlefield with laser fire, rockets, and other weapons that must be bought through in-game currency. To shoot her main lasers, the player simply slides a finger back and forth on the radar ribbon at the bottom of the screen.
This is an interesting control mechanism and generally works, but frequently your finger ends up blocking your view of the radar. Since Peaches sits on the far left side of the screen looking out into the landscape to the right, the perspective just feels a little odd, which makes precise aiming more difficult. Eighteen different robot types are introduced throughout the game, and some require heavy fire power to dispatch.
Shields up, please.
Larger enemies frequently shoot rockets as well, which can’t be shot down. This requires the use of a rechargeable shield, which will need to be quickly upgraded in order to even survive. Heavier weapons are also a necessity as the action heats up, so there are a lot of nearly mandatory upgrades to perform with limited resources.
Robotanika uses the Unreal Engine to dump up to 15 enemies on screen at once, but the overall visual quality of the game is incredibly lacking. The alien landscape is downright ugly and unrefined. Enemies are blocky as well, and the game reminded us of a ’90s-era console game.
For those who love a challenge, Robotanika provides some truly difficult shooting action. Unfortunately, there’s little to recommend the game beyond that. The visuals are subpar and the action just never varies. The harsh difficulty level will likely be a turn off for most gamers, leaving poor Peaches to almost certainly fend for herself.