Crashbots – A convoluted auto-runner that lacks fun and polish

Nov 23, 2017

If Crashbots didn’t involve the relentless punishment of a robot, it would seem as though a machine had designed the game to bring about human misery. It’s a convoluted, unimaginative, and irritating experience.

The game unwisely shuns the successful auto-runner formula, where the player is given one or two basic moves to use through increasingly tricky level design. Crashbots gets this backwards: it presents the player with an array of moves very early on to use in its uninspired, plodding level layouts. Controlling the robot feels awkward and imprecise, and the physics can prove immensely irritating when the character bounces back into a previously encountered hazard. The game lacks the engaging qualities of the best titles in this genre, and the player’s patience will be depleted as quickly as the robot’s battery.

The robot can move laterally, perform a slide, hover using a jetpack, or fire an energy weapon. It’s just overcomplicated. And the game is further convoluted through its inclusion of resource management. Using the robot’s moves draws from the same battery as its health, so you’re basically penalised whether you hit an obstacle or avoid it. That’s just not fun. There are energy pickups along the way, but the battery mechanic discourages the user from experimenting with the robot’s abilities. It’s like the designers wanted to shoehorn all their ideas in; it’s a game throttled through over-design.

The player’s patience will be depleted as quickly as the robot’s battery.

On the other hand, there’s an unwillingness to try and innovate with the level design. The hazards include spiky pendulous things (think deadly car wash), circular saws, spikes coming up from the ground, laser fences, giant mallets. Yawn. You plod from one to the next, the same hazards repeat, and the levels don’t provide clever or imaginative tests of the robot’s abilities. Level design can make an auto-runner addictive, but Crashbots is found wanting in this area.

READ  Plunder fallen star systems with Salvage Robot

You can choose to play either World Mode, which contains levels with a finish line, or the ironically-named Endless Mode, which often ends quickly because of the robot’s annoying battery. For those happy to endure the punishment of Crashbots, the player can save collected coins to upgrade the robot’s abilities and improve its energy consumption. And the game provides plenty of challenges: there are missions, achievements, leaderboards and regular timed rewards. You can also unlock robot parts to create playable characters. Although the robot ‘Toy-42’ looks like the artist slaved over it for all of two long minutes.

The graphics and electronic soundtrack of Crashbots are pretty generic, and the game really lacks polish. There are some cosmetic bugs here and there, but the choppy framerate is the biggest issue. Even when High Quality mode is disabled in the settings, the animation doesn’t feel smooth. This hinders the experience not only from an aesthetic perspective, but also dents the player’s confidence in the game’s responsiveness. This is unforgivable in a game that aims to test the player’s reflexes.

Crashbots is awful. If it were a machine it would be recalled to the factory or sent to the scrapyard. If there ever is a nightmarish robot uprising, forcing a human to play this game would be a good way to break them. God help us all.

Price: Free+
Developer: Appsolute Games
Price: Free+
Search for more

Home Apps Games