Roboto is proof positive that the latest iPhones and iPads are up to the task of creating a compelling side-scroller. Normally the territory of console systems, impressive platformers have shown up a few times on Apple’s platforms, and Roboto definitely deserves to be on this short list. Using traditional side-scrolling action with a dash of hover-boarding, the game is fun, great-looking, and challenging.
The premise is reminiscent of Disney’s WALL-E. Players take control of Roboto, a boxy little robot who spies the robot girl of his dreams while hover-boarding through a futuristic city. Unfortunately for him, his dream bot is off-world bound. So, of course, he decides to hop the next rocket out in pursuit of her.
To achieve this romantic goal, Roboto must brave 30 platforming levels full of perilous jumps, reversing gravity, dangerous bots, bosses, and plenty of power-ups and secrets to discover. Roboto uses a traditional console two-button layout. You can jump and shoot, and control his left and right movements with a virtual D-pad on the left side of the screen.
So much detail, it hurts your eyes.
For the most part, the controls work well, so long as you can get used to the floaty nature of the hover board. The board isn’t a precision device and requires the player to almost constantly compensate for their momentum. After a few levels you start to get used to it, but the game absolutely has a learning curve. One problem that does persist is occasional unresponsiveness when changing direction. Again, it’s not a killer issue, but there’s room for refinement.
Roboto has sharp, colorful, and detailed graphics. The robot characters lean toward the cute and boxy side, but are detailed and well animated. The levels look great as well. The punk-rock soundtrack is amusing and sound effects are nicely suited to the action. It’s important to note that the game is designed only for the latest hardware however. So, while it’s a universal app and runs great on an iPad, it requires at least a forth generation iPhone to run on the go.
If you’ve got the hardware, Roboto is definitely a game worth checking out. Despite a few nagging control issues, the gameplay is entertaining and the visuals are impressive. For fans of side-scrollers, this is an excellent addition to the collection.