Rocket Robo ($1) is a new 2.5D side-scrolling puzzler from Aaron McElligott. In the game, you guide a little jetpack-equipped robot through a number of bright, twisting levels, picking up stars before you reach the finish line. It’s rated 4+.
From the get-go, Rocket Robo is a joy to look at, with bright, colorful levels and a cute little character who bears a passing resemblance to the robots from the 1987 film Batteries Not Included. The handwoven textures in the first world, Material World, bring to mind LittleBigPlanet’s Sackboy and Kirby’s Epic Yarn for the Wii. The next world features more traditional space station levels.
Gamers thrust the eponymous robot in different directions by touching the screen. The floaty rocket thrusts might remind some old school gamers of the Atari classic Lunar Lander. Players pick up as many stars at they can in each level before reaching the finish line, though there is no star requirement for beating a level. The enemies and obstacles in the levels are generally easy to avoid. There’s no time limit either, which makes for a pretty stress-free gaming experience.
The controls are fairly easy to use, though they can be a bit frustrating when trying to guide the robot through certain passages in the contained levels. It’s pretty straightforward gameplay, though depth is added in some levels by enabling the robot to go in and out of the background by swiping up and down on the screen. There is some simple puzzle solving involved in the game, which often involves pushing around blocks or shifting the orientation of the level with the push of a large block in the background.
The story generally doesn’t matter much to players when it comes to this type of game, but in the case of Rocket Robo, it’s worth a look. Players have the option of checking out the story on the game’s title page. It’s a short story told through text and charming drawings, and it’s a nice touch.
Rocket Robo features great graphics, and a pleasant score. It’s a short game, with two worlds currently available and another “coming soon.” The easy difficulty level makes this a great game for kids. Rocket Robo is well executed and different enough to make it worth a look to side-scroller fans, but gamers looking for a challenge would do best to look elsewhere.
iLounge Rating: B