Playniac – Out now on Playstation 4, Steam and Xbox One (version tested)
Insane Robots is a strategy game that seems to take its inspiration from the old 16-bit era turn based rpg/tactics games. Your character is on a map, and can only move so many spaces each turn. There are several enemy robots on the map too, and in order for you to progress to the next map, you have to defeat the remaining robots. The more you fight, the more money you get. However, the enemy robots also fight each other, too. This means you potentially lose out on some of that sweet fighting cash. As you progress through the game you unlock different types of robot and unlock new modes and challenges. When you come into contact with an enemy robot, this will take you to a battle screen, where it now becomes a strategic card game. Whatever you can do is dictated by the cards you are dealt, and how many moves you have each turn. The basics are attack, defence and bonus skills, as well as various other cards that assist with stats and so on. The higher value of the attack and defence cards, the more damage you can give and take. Your defence cards absorb enemy attacks, but when they are drained, you will then take damage. If the attack isn’t good enough and it doesn’t drain all of your defence however, then you remain unaffected. These battles seem simple enough at first, but the further you progress, the more you have to think out your strategy and plan ahead. Some fights can take mere seconds to win, others can last several minutes. Especially if you miss an opening to attack, or the enemy has tricks up their sleeve.
The reason for all the robot fisticuffs, is that all malfunctioning robots are used for entertainment in fighting arenas. However, the character you control is apparently part of a secret uprising to overthrow the powers that be and put a stop to it. Kind of like a less exciting, mechanical Running Man. The visual style of the game is modern 2D, as in its very similar in looks to a lot of mobile games you get these days. In terms of world building, it does a good job of laying out the arena based land, despite having the video game clichés of jungle, desert and ice levels. It’s got a fairly decent soundtrack, with various genres cropping up, from Rock n Roll, Dance and Electro (the more synthy tracks being my cup of tea). Aside from the main tournament mode, there is a multiplayer too, where you can battle against other people.
Insane Robots is a fun game, especially if you’re a strategy fan, or are into the old turn based rpgs from the 90’s. It’s good to pick up and play, even for a quick blast. Once you get used to card combinations and techniques you will have the battles nailed in no time, however if these games aren’t normally your thing, then there isn’t going to be much of interest for you here, despite the fact it’s robots fighting.