Review: The Trouble With Robots – a side-scrolling customisable card game

Review: The Trouble With Robots – a side-scrolling customisable card game
3.5

Platforms:

Windows PC

Game Name:

The Trouble with Robots

Publisher(s):

Digital Chestnut

Developer(s):

Digital Chestnut

Genre(s):

Strategy

Release Date:

August 23rd, 2012

Developer Summary:

The Trouble With Robots is a side-scrolling customisable card game. Set in a fantasy world invaded by robots, you build decks, cast spells, summon powerful creatures (or hordes of angry peasants), and defeat legions of robots.

The game contains a wide selection of cards supporting many different strategies. All of them are included in the game and unlocked as you play.

The Trouble With Robots will include 18 story levels and 4 challenge levels. Players travel through a variety of locations and meet increasingly powerful robots as the humorous story evolves. Finally, there is a special ‘limited mode’ for extended play.

What We Think:

You live in a land of fantasy, full of elves, trolls, dwarves, and dragons. All of which can be troublesome to you and the other peasants, but you’ve learned to get along. Then they came. Metal contraptions from the sky, belching smoke and fire, building…Mega Malls???

The Trouble with Robots is one of the best mixings of thematic genres I’ve seen in quite some time. It builds the perfect level of cute while letting the absurd fly uninhibited. Creatures are all done in that simple line-drawing style, with the black button eyes, that has become so popular as of late, while the robots are given a riveted-together look reminiscent of old Flash Gordon serials – or at least their comic strip equivalent.

The Trouble with Robots Screenshot 1

Mechanics-wise, it’s a tactical strategy, somewhat in the Plants vs. Zombies ideal. Your fantasy side lines up and smashes headlong into the robots while you control only a bit of the action via the few cards you’ve selected for an encounter. Three are drawn out for you, at random, from the seven or so you’ve chosen, before each wave. Cards include area attacks, heals, and calls for reinforcements. Your strategy doesn’t revolve around the effective use of these cards as much as which ones you select before the encounter begins. It’s really simple, but a lot of fun.

The Trouble with Robots Screenshot 2

Here’s where game reviewing is sometimes harder than reviewing for any other medium. Not only do I have to consider the content, but also its platform and price. Here, I think, the developers at Digital Chestnut have got it all wrong. The Trouble with Robots is tailor made for the mobile platform. It’s easily consumed in small bites; tt has a simple click interface, it’s got that cute and colorful casual game feel and at one or two dollars on any app store I’d say to pick it up, in a heartbeat.

The Trouble with Robots Screenshot 3

As a PC game? Well, you’ll only spend a few hours before you’ve completed everything and, unlike mobile where you’ll be happy to replay a level to kill time in a doctor’s office, on the bus, or even while watching a little TV, you probably leave it to collect dust on your PC. And $18.99? $4.99 would be pushing it. Frankly a PC version of this sort of game belongs as free content on Chrome apps or Newgrounds.

The Trouble with Robots Screenshot 4

I’ve spent more hours trying to pad out this review than I did playing the game. What do you say about a game so simple in both premise and execution? My advice to Digital Chestnut is to make yourself a Kickstarter campaign, give the PC version away to anyone who donates, and pay someone to quickly port this to iOS and Android. I beg you, no, the game begs you. As a PC game The Trouble with Robots maybe rates a 2. As a mobile game, it’d be a 4, maybe 4.5. For now, I’ll say 3.5 and hope.

Download a free demo or purchase The Trouble With Robots at The Official Site

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Patrick Bartholomew

Patrick is a freelance multimedia developer specializing in Flash development and animation. He has been programming and making games as a hobby since the age of 7 and has been an avid pen and paper role-player for at least as long.

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