Good Robot (PC) Review

By Brandon (Michael) Howard 27.04.2016

Review for Good Robot on PC

Good Robot is another title from indie developer Pyrodactyl Games, but it's a significant departure from its previous, more role-playing centric titles. In the inevitable downfall of humanity at the hands of its own creations, the last remaining good robot has one simple task: to destroy all the other robots that ended humankind's existence. The resulting product is a fast-paced shoot 'em up that breaks the screen-locked confines that the genre is usually limited to, creating an entirely unique experience.

Aside from the typical gameplay expected from a 2D shooter, Good Robot blends in elements from the roguelike genre, creating an experience that changes on every playthrough. Navigating the abandoned ruins of the below-ground civilisation once home to the last remnants of humans, one robot takes on dozens of varieties of robots, each with their own unique patterns, weapons, and strategies.

While the enemy robots tend to be pretty binary in their positioning and attacks early on, they grow in complexity as the robot progresses throughout the non-linear stages. Some are content to simply attack alone, while others wait in groups to swarm all at once. Reaction time is heavily tested here, and it's easy to be completely overwhelmed by the bullets coming from every possible direction onscreen. While the action does slowly ramp up over time, it's not long before the term "bullet hell" becomes applicable.

Screenshot for Good Robot on PC

To fight back, there's a large variety of weapons to equip, all with various features ranging from spreading shots, to powerful explosions. Along with a subweapon, there are a lot of options to fit divergent playstyles, and it's genuinely exciting to find a new one to pick up. Enemy robots and in-game stores sell them, so there are many chances to try out different combos.

Each level contains stores at the beginning and end of each level. Hat stores, interestingly enough, sell hats, which provide one-time damage prevention at a low cost. Stores at the end either sell weapons and health restoration, or upgrades such as improved shields and weapon power. Due to the randomised nature of the levels, it can be difficult to find that one perfect upgrade at exactly the right time, which, while frustrating, does add a level of suspense between pit stops.

Screenshot for Good Robot on PC

True to its roguelike roots, each death in-game is permanent, so managing health levels and staying out of harm's way is very important. While foes do drop money for upgrades, sometimes it can be more worthwhile to skirt around the edge of combat slowly picking them off, as opposed to charging in, guns blazing. While some encounters don't always give that choice, prudence in picking fights will save many a playthrough in the long run.

In addition to the smaller robots that populate each stage, larger bosses appear every few levels, and they're a real treat. They definitely switch up the pace, and make for a much more confrontational fight, requiring a more head-on approach to conquer. They're certainly a shining point, and they make for a good way to break up the sometimes pedestrian pace of the regular levels.

The bosses, weapons, and hats all have unique and clever blurbs attached that do a lot to add to the immersion, but without ramming it in obnoxiously. The music also adds a lot of atmosphere, and with the bright visuals against a subdued background, it's a surprisingly relaxing, while still extremely engaging, experience.

Screenshot for Good Robot on PC

The controls are a bit less well executed, though they are, at the very least, responsive. While using a controller is by far and away the more comfortable option, aiming weapons is a lot less precise using the right joystick than, say, the mouse. While the keyboard and mouse combo is still an excellent option, and still feels very fluid to control, it's a lot harder on the hands during long sessions, given the amount of on-the-fly moves that are often required.

The screen is also on the small side, and while it can be enlarged, it doesn't change the area that the mouse can move over, resulting in some odd interactions with menus. It's still possible to navigate using the other keys, but it's another awkward spot in the systems. While the controls are overall spot-on, there are a couple of issues that probably could have used a second look.

Screenshot for Good Robot on PC

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Despite some minor flaws in its controls and systems, Good Robot is still an immensely enjoyable experience. The visuals and sounds all play together harmoniously, and it manages to blend two very different genres in a way that's not only fun, but completely approachable for newcomers. Easy to pick up and hard to put down, it's definitely worth a look.

Developer

Pyrodactyl

Publisher

Pyrodactyl

Genre

Action

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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