The Girl and the Robot (PlayStation 4) Review

By Thom Compton 14.08.2017

Review for The Girl and the Robot on PlayStation 4

Previously reviewed on PC, The Girl and the Robot is a stylish title that feels equal parts Ico and Mark of the Kri. A 3D puzzle platformer that mixes combat in, at the very least, this game is charming. It's so frustrating to see, then, all that charm end up buried under the rubble of bad controls.

As the opening cinematic plays, you might reckon you've been here before. The titular girl is locked away in a tower, and inexplicably set free. As she aims to escape, she befriends a robot, who, unlike the others in an evil queen's employ, aims to help her. It's a classic story that we as human beings have heard several times. Despite this, it feels special here, as it does every so often elsewhere.

The Girl and the Robot makes the working relationship between the two feel not only real, but platonic. It almost feels like a story of a little girl and her teddy. The little girl, afraid, must depend on her fearless teddy to protect her from the beasts that lie in wait to strike. It's adorable, and even the malicious queen feels genuine. Everything is so vibrant, even the environment. While it is largely typical and underwhelming, it manages to feel believable in this universe.

Playing the game, though, is completely different. Moving the girl and her mechanical friend requires the use of both joysticks when walking, and only one when running - though making large turns while running requires use of the other joystick, and manages to be a bit difficult to control. The real takeaway is that both characters control a bit like tanks.

Screenshot for The Girl and the Robot on PlayStation 4

Combat makes the whole situation worse, and is genuinely bad. The robot, the only one in the duo capable of fighting, swings his sword almost as though he's afraid of it. After making two lackadaisical swings, he pauses, as though saying, "I'm sorry, go ahead and hit me." In a room of more than two opponents, it's a safe bet the robot will fall rather effortlessly to their blades.

Puzzles frequently require switching between the two characters, and this gets old rather quickly. It could be because of the rather tedious controls, but having to switch between them often is extremely annoying. It also highlights another problem the game has, which is that sometimes the buttons just don't respond properly. While this may fall into the same category of annoyance as the controls, some examples feel like a necessary burden in order to properly convey the issue.

Hitting Circle to have the robot pick the little girl up can take multiple tries to get him to respond. Once, while the robot snuck up on an enemy, R1 did not result in a back stab like it was supposed to, while R2 did. The biggest annoyance, though, goes to having to press the same button multiple times to get a response to actually work. This doesn't hinder the experience enough to make it unplayable or anything game breaking like that, but it is frustrating, to say the least, when combined with the game's other issues.

Screenshot for The Girl and the Robot on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

The Girl and the Robot has a lot of heart, which is why the myriad of issues are so upsetting. Rough movement, clunky combat, frustrating puzzles, and unresponsive controls make this a tough sell. It's sad, because there's a lot of potential here hidden under all the rough patches.

Developer

Flying Carpets Games

Publisher

Flying Carpets Games

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

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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