Cheap Shot: Proto

2012 is coming up, which is the end of the Mayan calendar, and in many people’s minds the end of the world. Fear of how it will happen is growing, with the most popular theories involving zombies, but aliens are just as possible. Proto predicts (or just imagines) aliens invading in 2081, wanting one thing alone: sourdough bread. The ugly aliens drop down just outside of San Francisco (a little too close to home for some of us at Slide to Play), and while we could get our bakers working, it’s pretty clear that it is OUR sourdough bread, and like our freedom we shall not give it willingly.

Proto, the robot tasked with defending our bread, is kind of adorable, and has two attacks and one evasive maneuver. The primary attack is a slashing laser punch, and the secondary is the Phazer, freezing enemies for a limited time. Then there is the Samus-esque curl-into-a-ball-and-roll-around move. Unfortunately, Proto is not as graceful as Samus, and the rolling is rather difficult to jump out of in the correct direction. This is made more difficult by Proto’s limited left and right movement.

You can take our robots, but you’ll never take our sourdough!

The game is a basic side-scroller, with clean and inviting animation in the foreground, and simple repeating landscapes in the background. Of course, the aliens aren’t too appealing, nor is watching them vomit blood, but at least they are drawn well. Proto’s objective is not really to get from point A to point B, but rather to kill as many aliens as possible. This is done while listening to thumping techno beats, which are unexpectedly enjoyable and soothing next to the endless fighting. We’ve taken note for the zombie apocalypse.

Sadly, there are only eleven levels in the game, with no saves due to the short length. Also, the high scores only have about five slots and don’t have any online capabilities. For what it is, Proto is a great side-scroller with lots of style, but its very limited scope would hinder it greatly for anything more than $.99. Proto offers some simple, and surprisingly soothing robot fighting action. Now all we have to worry about is the robot apocalypse. Unless it’s already happened, Neo…

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