Game Corner: Robotek

Every now and then, I happen to stumble upon a game that it so good it makes me wonder why it took so long to discover it. I’ll start playing, everything looks great, the game feels fluid, and then it starts to set in, “oh, this is why more people aren’t talking about it.” Robotek from Hexage falls into that category. For the most part the game is amazing, but there are just a few things that keep me from playing everyday.

Robotek

As of June 7th, 2011, Robotek in the Android Market is on version 1.11, and is 8.5M in size. Robotek is also currently free, and requires Android 2.2 to play. One interesting aspect of the install is that when searching the Market for Robotek, and after install, the icon and name changes. Once installed, Robotek HD appears, which doesn’t exist in the Market.

Gameplay

Much like most Android games, the title screen for Robotek features a list of selections that include start, scores, options, about, help, and a couple other choices unique to Robotek. By pressing start, Robotek takes no time in throwing you into your first battle. A window pops up that says:

Welcome to Robotek!

The goal of each battle is to destroy the enemy mainframe.

After touching the window, you are presented with a short explanation of how the game works, and the tutorial begins.

For the most part, the tutorial is a layout for how the entire game will play. Your character is positioned on the left, and the enemy is on the right. A health bar and special move list for the robots on screen sits below the corresponding player, while a set of seven icons sits above you.

Robotek is a turn based game, where your moves all depend on the luck of the draw, or should I say spin. You can spin for every turn, and choose between three categories, each of which has three possibilities you can land on.

The first three icons are three types of robots, these are what you attack and defend with. There’s a small floating robot that sits above your shoulder known as a Drone. A large Tankbot that hovers in front of your character. And finally a Droid that sits by your feet. Each of these three robots comes in three different initial configurations: normal, advanced, and elite (more on how to obtain the different versions in a moment).

Under the three robot icons are three more icons, that lead to an additional six large icons. The possible robot configurations are selected by default, and you can choose defense or attack as well.

Defense brings up hack (normal, pro, and elite), energy tap (energy leak, energy drain), and firewall shelter (fort, citadel).

Attack brings up shock (double, system), burning laser (particle beam, unmaker omega), and microwave 1.0 (2.0, 3.0).

The last button of the initial seven is a green blinking arrow that begins the spin.

Once you spin, the three large icons begin to change. If you get two of the same icon, you get the second level of whatever that icon is. For example two shocks equal one double shock. If you get three, the pattern continues: three hacks activates hack elite. When you get three of the same symbol, you earn another spin.

Quite lengthy explanation on just how the game is set up, but after you learn this, there isn’t much more to know. Eventually your robots can be upgraded to hero level by staying out long enough, and special moves, which can be upgraded and etc., take a certain amount of turns to activate, indicated by a counter next to the move icons.

As you continue on in the tutorial, you’ll see that the game is pretty easy. Spin for robots, spin to attack, spin for defense, spin for robots again, so on and so fourth. After you beat the tutorial, the original start button now leads to tutorial or campaign. Campaign is where the real action is.

Campaign

THE HUMAINTY
had fallen.

In the great robot uprising,
machines took the planet over.

EMPIRE OF THE MACHINE
is the new world order.

Welcome, human.
It’s time to take your world back.
One node at a time.

You start campaign node on a big map with nodes littered the globe. In the beginning, only certain nodes are able to be played. Nodes are ranked on difficulty, and provide you with more or less experience and charge, or power, points accordingly. Experience allows you to unlock new moves and abilities, accesible from the map in campaign mode. Power allows you to unlock duel mode, and by purchasing (with real world money) power points, you can access the recharger node.

Once you enter a node, a battle ensues that mimics the tutorial. Essentially, this is the game, and as such, is Robotek’s biggest downfall.

You see, with no way to play other than pure luck of the spin, when the game gets harder, the enemy (which is the same enemy the entire game BTW) just gets better spins. Eventually, you’ll watch your robots get hacked right off the bat, you’ll get hit with unmaker omegas, and it becomes incredibly boring.

Scores

The scores section of the game is simple, is just shows global scores.

Options

Options only features two choices, sound control or a button to reset the campaign.

About

Displays information about Hexage, the developer, and the version of Robotek you’re playing.

Help

A strategy guide of sorts if your having trouble with learning the game.

Hexage Symbol

Features links and pictures of other Hexage games.

Facebook Symbol

Allows for Facebook ranking and connection.

Graphics and Performance

The graphics and performance of Robotek is absolute top of the line stuff as far as Android games go. Everything, down to the menus and font, looks incredibly slick and sticks with a robotic futuristic theme. There is a slight glowing look applied to the entire game that looks really stunning on a Super AMOLED display. On my Nexus S, I didn’t experience a single moment of lag or stutter.

Final Word

Because of how smooth and good looking the game is, paired with the price (free), you have to give Robotek a shot. If you wind up feeling let down, like a lot more could have been done with the game, you’re not alone. To download Robotek, use the Market link below.

Android Market Link

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