Updated: Robot Unicorn Attack Review

Good news, everyone. The psychotic, psychedelic platformer Robot Unicorn Attack has been updated with OpenFeint integration, giving players leaderboards and achievements to show off to their friends.

The cornerstone of any high score game is online leaderboards, so we’re glad to see this essential feature added to an excellent game. What we’re not so glad to see is how bad we are compared to the rest of the players.

All too often people underestimate the appeal of the double jump. A staple of many platformers of old, the double jump has fallen somewhat out of favor of late. It’s noticeably absent from single-button micro-games like Canabalt and The Impossible Game. So we’re pleased to see that Robot Unicorn Attack brings it back in a big way.

More noticeable, though, is that it brings back weirdness in a big way. We’re talking psychedelic mushroom-eating, acid-dropping weirdness. In other words, it’s an average product from Adult Swim, the network that hijacks the Cartoon Network every night starting at 10. Robot Unicorn Attack is a port of one of their popular Flash games, which you can play here for free.

Always, I want to be with you.

In this game, the titular robot unicorn runs to the right on its own, gradually increasing its speed the longer you stay alive. You have two buttons: jump and dash. All you have to do is navigate the treacherous terrain for as long as possible before you inevitably fall down a pit or crash into something. The level is randomly created on the fly, and it continues forever. The goal is to rack up as many points as you can by collecting fairies and dashing through star blockades.

Unfortunately, the game lacks an online leaderboard, something we’ve come to expect in high-score games. All you can do is post your score to Facebook and annoy your friends, or compare your scores to your own previous attempts.

Decapitation is your punishment.

But the graphics are smoothly animated and the music, by a band called Erasure, will break through any defenses you put up against it– it’s that endearing. Also great are the controls. All you ever do is jump, double jump, and dash through star barriers, but everything feels spot-on. The only problem is that you can jump so high that the ground dips offscreen, so it’s easy to fall into a pit when you come back down.

The weird-for-the-sake-of-weird atmosphere of Robot Unicorn Attack would be worth the price of admission alone if the game were $0.99. At three bucks and without leaderboards it’s a tougher sell, particularly when you can play the game for free in your web browser. Regardless, this is a highly entertaining game, with platforming mechanics that feel more satisfying than most of its competition. Wanna get weird?

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