Release Date: 15 September 2017
Price: $14.99 / £13.49
Reviewed by Gary Gray
Robonauts is an arcade style shooter set in the depths of space with its own unique spin. Clusters of tiny planets scattered across the levels are home to dangerous foes as you shoot, jump and gravitate to other planets. That small yet unique game play quirk of being able to jump to any adjacent planets is a nice little feature that defines the Robonauts game play.
From the offset you treated to a nice introductory video about a janitor robot who takes control of a mech suit and crash lands on a planet. It's a small yet pleasant piece of video, though is strangely at odds with the rest of the game art wise. While there is a simple story throughout the game, it lends itself to being more of a mission briefing, as the plot can leave you scratching your head with its confusing narrative.
Does Robonauts need a story? Not really. Gameplay is the essence of what Robonauts is all about. While super-simple to pick up and play, challenges are never far away, even on the easiest mode. Powerups and the diversity of enemy attacks mean the easily accessible game play becomes a little more in-depth than you’d think.
Saving the ammo for your powerups for the harder bad guys can really make a difference to the way your match is going, so it's always worth running and gunning with your standard weapon for when the more difficult foes show up. Aiming your guns is automatic, and that's great to keep the controls simple, however it becomes a burden when there’s multiple baddies and it aims at the wrong one, sometimes even firing the opposite way to where you're looking.
Missions are spread out over 12 levels that each have a different goal. From wiping out ever enemy, protecting a valuable resource or activating laser style drills, there’s always a new element to keep each mission feeling fresh.
The constant beat of the music is a personal highlight of mine with its totally pumping soundtrack really enhancing the action on screen. Visuals on the other hand are hit and miss, where they do the job, there's not much that stands out, other than a change of colour, and not much is different from planet to planet.
Where Robonauts really shines is its co-op and versus modes. Grab a joycon each and you’ll soon be screaming at each other as you play through the levels in split screen. Ultimately, the fun to be had in multiplayer is what was missing in single player, and that co-op is what makes buying Robonauts worthwhile.
If you're into arcade style shooters with the intent of playing co-op then Robonauts could well be what you're looking for. It has a few small hits, that are unfortunately balanced out by a few small misses. The main campaign might not be the most fleshed out on the market, but it does offer challenge and replayability. Overall, taking this game out and about in tabletop mode with single Joycon co-op, make it a solid party piece and another half-decent quick fire multiplayer game in the Switch's library.
Pros & Cons
+ Great soundtrack
+ Fun in multiplayer
+ Some replayability
- Bland visuals
- Bad auto-aim
- Dull story