It’s a terminator holocaust, and you get to be the terminator!
What a clever spin on that boring Hollywood trope where humanity somewhat improbably gets its business together and wins the day. There’s none of that here – just the inexorable, pitiless extermination of the population.
It’s a simple, straightforward premise backed up by simple, straightforward gameplay. And perhaps it’s all just a bit too simple and straightforward because it’s quickly apparent there’s absolutely nothing else to Robot Rampage.
The point of the game is to destroy as many blocks of buildings as possible before you’re shot down and permanently decommissioned. Resistance efforts start with ground patrols and rapidly escalate to tank and helicopter battalions, bombs, and ballistic missiles.Rock 'em, sock 'em robots
Fortunately, as a proper cyborg commando from outer space you’re packing some of your very own formidable firepower. That includes the classic all-purpose death ray and a rechargeable nuclear assault. You can also get up close and impersonal and simply kick or punch buildings and enemies into submission.
Every ten blocks, a medpack drops in from suborbital robot invasion HQ (or whatever), so you can fix yourself up. Inexplicably, my robot took an enormous packet of damage when picking this up on one occasion. Either it was actually a team of spec ops ninja disguised as a medkit, or Robot Rampage has a few bugs scurrying about in it.
The control scheme is as simple and straightforward as everything else. Tap ahead of your robot to get it moving, and tap around its hands and feet to get physical. Holding anywhere deploys your super awesome, supercharged lasers, and these can be moved around and fired continuously without penalty.
They’re also the most efficient way of declaring your unequivocal authority over all these puny, screeching meatbags. Tapping and briefly holding on the robot itself delivers its atomic payload, bringing down anything and everything in the area instantaneously.Judgement Day
The problem here is that the previous paragraphs describe absolutely everything that happens in the game. There are no additional weapon pick-ups, no power-ups, no bonus lives, not even a spec ops ninja squad. There’s also no multiplayer mode, which feels like a badly missed opportunity.
There’s just a robot, a bunch of buildings, and persistent efforts to prevent the two getting acquainted.
It’s almost a shame, because Robot Rampage looks great and plays well, making its shortcomings that much more disappointing. The game supports OpenFeint with leaderboards and achievements, which go some way to making up for this lack of depth, since chasing high-scores provides some incentive to keep playing. On the other hand, at a criminally reasonable £1.19/99c, is its limited scope really such a big deal? Probably not.