There are many people who believe that the current rate of technological progress means that machines will one day become self-aware and enslave the human race.
Doomsday scenarios depicted in movies such as The Terminator seem to agree. But we're free from this threat as long as we don’t program machines to surf.
Robo Surf tells the story of a surfing robot, and attempts to ride the wave of popularity of similar one-touch games, but its lack variety ensures that it will wipe out before too long.
Robo the Robot is the last robot on a flooded Earth. You have to propel him as far as possible over the surface of the water by using touchscreen controls to manipulate the size of a wave.
Tapping and holding the screen increases the wave’s height, while releasing it decreases its size. Timing is of the essence as you attempt to avoid enemies such as seagulls and, for some reason, bats.
While most objects that levitate in the air will cause you to drown, collecting barrels of oil will gradually fill a bar at the bottom of the screen. Once this gauge is full, swiping the screen unleashes Robo’s Turbo mode which launches him at great speed through the air, destroying anything in his path. Turbo can be topped up mid-flight by destroying enemies and picking up extra barrels of oil.
The charm inherent in this rather bonkers theme is reinforced by cute and cartoonish enemies as well as the vibrant and cheerful seas and backdrops.
Robo Surf manages to replicate the simple one touch gameplay that propelled Tiny Wings to success, but it also adds new elements to the formula. The inclusion of enemies and bosses adds an all-important sense of danger to proceedings.
Checkpoints mean that you don’t always have to begin new runs from the same starting point, while the ability to choose when to unleash Turbo mode adds another strategic decision into the mix.
Of course, while this increased variation means that Robo Surf isn’t as repetitive as it could be, it's still largely a one-trick pony - like Tiny Wings, Canabalt, and dozens of other see-how-far-you-can-get-'em-ups before it.
If you've had your fill of those, Robo Surf is a worthy next destination.