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RoboBlitz

Score: 75%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Naked Sky
Developer: Naked Sky
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action/ Puzzle/ Third Person Shooter

Graphics & Sound:

Even though RoboBlitz is a Live Arcade game, it was built with the Unreal 3 engine, the same engine behind Gears of War. As a result, RoboBlitz is easily one of the best looking games on the Marketplace and even manages to stand alongside some retail releases.

The entire game has an industrial look, which means a lot of metal textures. However, the amount of depth and detail is amazing. There are all kinds of lighting effects and, when coupled with the physics engine, the entire game has a lively look. The industrial look blends well with the cartoon look of Blitz and the other robots youíll encounter while on the station. Even more impressive is that Naked Sky was able to cram it all into a 50 MB file size.

Music is everything I like about game music; it is catchy when you want to hear it, but doesnít fight for your attention. When you want to think, you wonít know its there most of the time. Thatís probably something most sound guys donít want to hear, but it is a good thing.


Gameplay:

You are Blitz, a robot worker on a space station that is under attack by a group of space pirates. Your only hope for survival is to get the stationís giant cannon operational. This requires you to travel to the six different parts of the station and get each of the cannonís parts primed and ready.

RoboBlitz is a combination of puzzles and action. Each of the gameís six levels is split into three smaller sections, each with a specific goal in mind. Sections tend to be small, interconnected spaces where youíll need to collect metal, realign mirrors and replace gears. While a majority of the puzzles are built on mechanics found in countless platformers, some of the more interesting ones make use of the gameís physics engine. However, even with hints turned off, puzzles arenít that challenging and once you know what to do, it wonít take you very long.

Most of the challenge comes from combat with the pirateís scout forces. Youíll also have to face a boss robot at the end of each level, many of which require a combination of puzzle and shooting skills.

As you go through levels, you can collect Upgradium which you give to your buddy Karl in return for new weapons. Blitz starts out with a weak EMP blaster, but can soon unlock rocket launchers, a plasma rifle and an odd tether-cord like device that binds two objects together.

RoboBlitz is a short game with little replay value. There are no unlockable extras or multiplayer support. Unless you want to play the game on a higher difficulty level and snag additional achievements, there isnít much reason to go back and play.


Difficulty:

RoboBlitz is a player friendly experience. There are plenty of options available offering some small dose of customization. Hints can be toggled on or off, adding more challenge to puzzles and some boss encounters. You can also choose to respawn right where you left off or at the beginning of a level. Choosing the latter actually makes the game more difficult.

Combat is tricky, but not all that difficult once you start to earn upgrades. The starting EMP blaster is enough to short out an enemy for a short period of time, but it isnít enough. Later weapons are more powerful, but nearly every boss requires some kind of trick to defeat, so you aren't just blasting away.


Game Mechanics:

Controls are awkward and slippery. The set-up is okay, though the button placement for some of the functions takes some time to learn. When the grabber arms are equipped, it usually takes a few tries before you are able to pick up objects. Since this is something you do a lot of, it becomes frustrating.

The game features a realistic physics model that is fun to play with, but hurts the gameplay in a few areas. Youíll frequently run into ramps that you canít easily roll over or bounce off walls. Blitz will even go crashing into objects, sending them scattering across the floor Ė making the already nerve-working task of picking up objects that much harder.

Even with the small technical problems, RoboBlitzís biggest problem is price. At 1200 points (which is about $15), there isnít enough gameplay here to justify the price. It almost feels like youíre paying more for the Unreal 3 powered visuals rather than the gameplay. Still, if you are looking for a short, fun puzzle game, RoboBlitz is worth a trial download at least.


-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker

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