Robo Wars is a simple mobile-like one vs one battler from MobilWay that gives you the option of playing alone and moving through the ranks or local battles with a friend, so it does have some appeal for people who like to fight or battle.
But does Robo Wars have the gears to be a great fighting game? Or do these robots need some more oil?
There really is not a whole lot to Robo Wars. This is a relatively bare bones battle game that clearly was made for mobile. For example, chests are earned as you play, but you cannot open chests freely. You have to wait a certain period of time, or you have to pay coins in order to open them earlier. Not the greatest design, especially as matches only take about 30-45 seconds, which is not nearly enough time for a chest to open. And since you can only hold so many chests at a time, Robo Wars indirectly forces you to either wait between battles or paying a lot of coins to just get chests out of the way.
There is no story at all, but there is a career mode that pits you against 10 of the 13 robots in the 8 stages. Essentially, career mode is a gauntlet of sorts where you face 10 robots in various iterations of the same stage, and then you move on to the next area. Honestly, this is not the best mode, as it gets dull very quickly, and considering there are 80 battles to go through in career mode, that is not a good feeling.
Thankfully, there is also a rivalry mode that presents the same 13 robots and 8 stages for local battling, and this is where the game shines a bit more, as playing with others is much more fun and entertaining than the bland and predictable AI in career mode. Unfortunately, the fun only lasts so long, so even rivalry mode won’t provide a whole lot more than about 10 minutes of entertainment before it dries up.
As this is clearly a mobile title, Robo Wars has beyond simplistic controls. The tutorial offers some strange suggestions for aiming, but then as you play, aiming seems to be automated. Jumping leads to hovering for as long as your fuel meter is filled up, and shooting similarly is allowed until your ammo meter is empty. This puts a little pause in the gameplay, but it honestly works well, especially in rivalry mode with a friend, as it prevents spamming and just unleashing a barrage of bullets.
One very odd design is that career mode forces you to open chests and earn items to unlock new skills, weapons, and equipment, but this only applies to career mode. Everything is unlocked from the start in rivalry mode, which I guess is a good thing, since that is the superior option. However, career mode suffers from this, as chests are not too kind and obtaining the right currencies to purchase desired equipment is a pain.
The art style is pretty neat, but movement feels clunky. I am impressed with the large roster of robots, but when it comes to technical differences, there are not a whole lot. Instead, we just have unique skins that definitely offer variety, especially when playing rivalry mode. The soundtrack, though, is nothing to write home about. It just exists, and it will not stop. I found muting it to be the better option, so there’s that.
Robo Wars is a simple and cheap robot fighting game for up to two players. This is not going to blow anyone’s mind, and it is definitely not going to entertain for longer than 30 minutes or so. Instead, this is something that can be enjoyed in short bursts, and it will definitely be an easier pill to swallow at a discounted price.
It is hard to look past some of the poor design decisions, like the mobile-style controls, the wait time for chests, the multiple currencies needs to unlock things in career mode, and the clunky movement. However, the local multiplayer can be fun with the right friends, especially thanks to the fact that everything is unlocked from the get-go.
The robots in Robo Wars could have used a little more oil before releasing on Switch. I’m sure on mobile, this is a fine experience, but on the hybrid console? There are just so many better options than this.
Rivalry mode is fun with a friend
Cute art style
Career mode is a drag
Mobile-like chests and wait times
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My name is Jason Capp. I am a husband, father, son, and brother, and I am a gamer, a writer, and a wannabe pro wrestler. It is hard to erase the smile on this simple man.