Game Reviews


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| Revolt (2010)
| Revolt (2010)

If movies, comic books, television shows, and video games are to be believed, humanity's grim future lies in the cold, metallic hands of hostile robots.

Toasters turning sentient doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing, though, as twin-stick shooter Revolt proves. Loaded up with guns and ammunition, there's plenty of fun to be had riddling robots with bullets and shrapnel.

Action is at the heart of this impressive indie effort, although several issues including a couple counter-intuitive control mechanics and repetitive level design prevent it from being a raging success.

Guy meets robot. Fight!

You take the role of Guy, a resistance fighter in the distant future who takes it upon himself to bring down the artificial intelligence network at the heart of the robot empire, which in turn will free the enslaved humans under their control.

There's little substance to Guy's story - a plot that sits comfortably between The Matrix and Terminator series - despite the narrative text that sandwiches each of the campaign's eight levels.

Revolt misses an opportunity by relegating the story to text between levels, rather than events unfolding during gameplay. Each level is nothing more than a long walk from entrance to exit regularly interrupted by battles.

The lack of puzzles, optional objectives, collectibles, and boss battles makes for a bland campaign.

Combined with repetitive maps - in some levels, individual sections have been copied and pasted whole multiple times - the game feels more like an arena shooter than a scripted story. Great action ensures these levels are enjoyable, but the wider atmosphere of Revolt is reduced.

Clever enemies do much to fill the void.

From scurrying mechanical crabs and hovering sentries to alarmingly fast constructor robots with snapping clamps arms, there's a good mix who require skill and focus to defeat. The difficulty ramps up evenly too, with tougher robots testing your abilities in the final few stages.

Weapons assembly

Although basic, the game's arsenal is well-suited to the task. Your pistol comes with an unlimited supply of bullets, whereas finite ammunition pressures you into accurately firing the AK-47, advanced rifle, and rocket launcher.

All can be upgraded using points earned in battle, which can also be spent on new armour and ammo. It's a simple, but effective setup that rewards you for combat and allows you to choose the upgrades you want.

There are also three types of grenades - frag, EMP, and incendiary - although the odd drag-and-drop control mechanism for throwing them effectively discourages use. A tap-to-throw button would be preferable, particularly on iPad where the idea of having to move your hand away from the right analogue stick to throw a grenade is frankly annoying.

Equally unusual are the camera controls. Rather than allowing you to swipe anywhere on the screen to move the camera, you have to begin swiping from the centre of the screen. It's completely counter-intuitive.

Bigger isn't better

Minor performance hiccups were noted when running the game on an iPhone 4 - big explosions result in slow down, for example - although nothing significant enough to kill the game. Performance is obviously slower on older devices, so set your expectations accordingly when playing on a second-generation iPod touch or iPhone 3G.

Still, Revolt is quite the looker - developers Kristopher Peterson and Jaap Kreijkamp have managed an impressive feat. Disappointingly, it's not as fetching on iPad where the heads-up display appears pixelated, contrasting with the high resolution graphics.

In spite of its issues, there's fun to be had with Revolt. Repetitive levels and odd controls tarnish the campaign, but solid action, a good upgrade system, and attractive visuals make it worthwhile.


Repetitive levels and odd control choices threaten to shut Revolt down, but solid action and an attractive presentation keep it powered up
Tracy Erickson
Tracy Erickson
Manning our editorial outpost in America, Tracy comes with years of expertise at mashing a keyboard. When he's not out painting the town red, he jets across the home of the brave, covering press events under the Pocket Gamer banner.