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PS4 Game Review

Insane Robots


Format: PS4
Publisher: Playniac Limited
Developer: Playniac Limited
RRP: £15.99
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Age Restrictions: 7+
Release Date: 10 July 2018

I have never been a fan of card-based battle royal computer games, not sure why, but the idea never really gripped me. But now we have Insane Robots, a new indie game from Playniac.

Review imageYou play Franklin, who has had had his memory wiped and must fight in arenas where the winner is the last bot standing. You battle across a hex environment which will hold not only enemy bots but also resources to discover. Initially, you are restricted to moving over flat land, but as you gain more metal cogs the more extras you can buy, which will allow you to move across differing areas. The environments come in a variety, including woodland, desert and mountainous regions,

The environments also contain access to the workshop where you can buy power-ups. These come in a differing travel, defensive and offensive capabilities. You can just rush into battle but some of these can be quite expensive which propels the player into exploration of the map. The only caveat to that is that you don’t seem to be able to harvest your defeated opponent for materials and cards.

Moving your robot to a hexagon adjacent to an enemy robot will spark battle. During the battle both you and your opponent have a number of squares which can hold cards. Immediately behind your character you have two defence slots and two offensive slots in the front. There are also cards which can be applied directly to your character to improve the stats. Cards can be applied to your character or you opponent. There are hack cards, but their effects are random so, worse case scenario they can lower the value of your own cards or even increase your opponent's. Cards can be combined to make better value cards.

Review imageAt the bottom of the screen a random set of cards appear, which take a certain number of points to place, your points increase with each round. The point of all of this is to hopefully complete both your defence and offence before your opponent and before they can initiate an attack.

This may all sound a little complicated but, is very easy to understand and use. You have access to ‘glitches’, ‘hacks’ and ‘boosts’, but as previously stated some of these can be a bit random in their effects. You do have the option to swap some of your initial cards, but this is also random, so you may well end up with worse cards. Of course, the randomness of the pack means that you can’t create a killer deck for multiplayer mode, everyone starts on a level playing field.

There are many bots to add to your retinue and to upgrade, and to get the best from the game your going to have to upgrade several of the bots. To finish the primary campaign will likely take you fifteen hours, but realistically probably longer.

Review imageIn the single player campaign there are eight battle areas to work through, though these are not so easy to win. If you lose against another bot he becomes a nemesis, which will gain you better points if you beat him the second time, but also makes this endeavour just a little more difficult.

The overall look of the game is cartoon like, but this belies the strong game mechanics hidden under the lid.

I said I didn’t like card-based computer games, but Insane Robots is so well constructed that it’s likely that you will return again and again to beat more robots. I’m going back in and this time it's personal.


Charles Packer

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