Insane Robots is a robot battling arena game that utilises card gaming in one-to-one duels. One that I was really interested in giving a go. So, how does it work out in my Insane Robots review?
Well, there is a good game here somewhere, but the gameplay might not work for you. The game features robot cartoon characters in turn-based battles across a series of isometric arenas duking it out with random card game combat.
Attack, block and hack your way through robot battle encounters to overthrow the robot overlord and fight for the rebellion. Quite the concept, but personally I couldn’t get into it. Find out why in my full review below.
How does Insane Robots play?
Insane Robots plays like a generic mobile phone or tablet game. All of the actions would typically fit into the touchscreen, grab and drop controls.
The basis of the game can be watered down into 3 simple gameplay steps. Move across a hexagonal grid searching for other robots.
Attack robot you encounter with a random set of battle cards (attack, defend and hack). Destroy robot, repeat over and over again unlocking more robots and in-game currency which you can then spend in shops to open more cards.
Insane Robots plays like a robot game of roulette. The insanity factor doesn’t really appear in the gameplay apart from the chaotic voice acting.
The robots don’t go insane. You go slowly go insane by the repetitive gameplay.
There’s apparently 15 hours or more gameplay in the campaign. I found my attention and interest faltering after a few hours. The strategy is typically scissors, paper, stone mechanic.
After a while, the game becomes quite repetitive and bland without sufficient variation to inspire you to continue. Occasionally you get given a search and find style quest which typically means you explore more tiles during your movement across the arenas but it doesn’t add to the repetition.
Presentation and Graphics
The game looks like it belongs on a mobile phone or a tablet or most likely a browser game on a website. The art style of the game has some likeness to a children’s robot TV show or a cereal packet.
This game could have its own TV show, magazine and collection of marketed products. The game interface works but I can’t help feeling that it was designed for a touchscreen device instead of for controller use.
The art style is reminiscent of the whole Skylanders characters era of the 90’s but with robots. There are less than 50 robots that you can use each with their own dialogue and voice acting.
The battle menus have a simplistic control scheme that probably even a three-year-old could understand and use effectively. Each of the design of the arenas has some variation from different biome design from jungle to moonscape.
The single player campaign features 50+ hours of battling across arenas with 46 robots to unlock. The goal of the game is to defeat the guard AI robots and progress onto the overseer.
The battles are typically 5-10 minutes each depending on the size of the gridded arena and how long it takes to traverse and find your opponents. The AI battles are very simplistic at the start and I got a distinct feeling that I almost couldn’t lose at the beginning.
The difficulty does gradually increase and you need to ensure that you augment your robots and unlock items at the shop to combat the slow difficulty increase.
The AI does a good job of battling against you, however, the lack of variation of the rock, paper, scissors battles soon gets dull and once you work out how to play there’s not much else you need to do.
Not hitting the right buttons
The random elements of assembling your robots circuits from the card deck that is revealed each turn utilise attacks, defence and hacks to attack your opponents. The game delivers a simple single player experience if you can survive the repetition.
There’s nothing overly wrong with Insane Robots as a game, however, as a random card-based battle game there are probably better one-on-one battle games out there which offer a much more varied experience.
I really wanted to enjoy Insane Robots, it quirky cute art and design appealed to me. But the gameplay as much as I tried to like it just didn’t quite hit the buttons. I really wanted this game to be as memorable for all the right reason.
Should You Play Insane Robots?
Insane Robots is a mediocre and simple game that isn’t brilliant or terrible. It has its appeals (which will no doubt have its target audience) which will probably be tabletop card gamers.
If you enjoy online card battle games you might enjoy Insane Robots but as it currently stands the multiplayer online experience is something that I just can’t comment on.
Round up table:
|The Good||The Bad||The Bugs|
|Easy to play||Lack of variation||None noticed during the review|
|Wide age-related appeal||Limited AI|
|Appealing characters and storylines||Repetition|
What do you think?
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About This Insane Robots Review
Game Reviewed: Insane Robots digital edition, provided by the publisher.
Review Format: Xbox One
PEGI Rating: 7