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Time To Smash Some Robots
Robo Smasher would probably best be described as a cutesy, third-person shooter with Bomberman gameplay elements. Alternatively, if Fuzzy Fever and Bomberman ever had an off-spawn that could use guns, Robo Smasher would be that off-spawn. Now it’s tough to say that there’s anything generally wrong with the game, except for the blatant lack of being able to invert the mouse controls.
Nevertheless, the only real reason to give Robo Smasher a try is to facilitate some sort of thriving urge to shoot at people while simultaneously using one’s wits to smash them with a giant yellow block. However, if block smashing and robot-punching people to death isn’t your idea of fun, Robo Smasher might be worth passing over.
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KRU Interactive’s robot battling MMO is definitely a unique twist from the standard fare stuff out there. The game only has three modes of play, two of which are deathmatch modes and one that consists of moving specified blocks into the goal of the opposing team before time runs out. Three modes may not seem like much but it’s the variety of the gameplay that keeps everything fresh, along with a fair helping of customization available for the player’s pilot, mech and minor accessory upgrades.
To spice things up there is a nice selection of power-ups and specials littered throughout each of the stages. This includes shields, huge blocks that drop down to smash opponents, extra fire power and more. In addition to this, there are specialty blocks that allow players to grow large or small, making them either invulnerable to being smashed by a block or if a player is turned tiny, other players can run them over by stepping on them. There's also bonus items that can be earned by playing Bingo in between rounds, which was a nice little mini-game touch to the overall presentation factors.
What makes the concept so good, though, is that it mixes in most of all the fun elements from the casual title Fuzzy Fever, yet with all the intensity of Bomberman or H.A.V.E. Online. Regarding the concept alone, the developers did an excellent job of differentiating Robo Smasher from any other game out there.
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There’s nothing to actually knock from the gameplay perspective. As mentioned earlier, my only real main gripe was the lack of being able to invert the mouse controls. However, the general gist of the game’s design falls in line with it being made for the kiddies, so technically, anyone under the age of 10 probably doesn’t know (and shouldn’t know) about inverted mouse controls for controlled head-shots. And sadly, there's enough 12 year olds on Combat Arms who seem to have mastered this function. Nevertheless, for the sake of calming parents, Robo Smasher doesn’t feature head-shots so you don’t have to worry about your kid being subjugated to any sort of disturbing violence in the game. Unless, of course, you find being smashed by a 100 ton block with an inverted smiley face too violent for your kid.
The rest of the game handles very much like a console game and allows players to jump with boosters, glide around to quickly maneuver through maps and shoot two different weapons using the left and right mouse button. The left mouse button is for the standard-fare pea-shooter while the right mouse button allows players to shoot-punch the blocks littered through the maps to move them about. Now, not all the blocks can be moved and this is what adds an extra layer of strategy to the overall design, as some blocks activate special effects that include shrink rays, growth rays or fireballs. Based on the way the maps are designed players constantly stay on the move. Now, given the tactical element of moving blocks the game doesn't heavily rely on aiming skills so much as it does knowing where you are, knowing where your opponent is, and knowing how to move a block to smash them.
Furthermore, blasting blocks across the stage is what adds an excellent tactical advantage to the game, so even players of a low level can take down a high level player if the right tactics are put into place at the right time. Hence, timing is more important in Robo Smasher than a player’s ability to line-up a shot against an opponent, which makes the game more accessible to casual gamers.
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Graphics And Sound
Again, Robo Smasher is technically sound even in the graphics department. There’s nothing especially remarkable about the game’s visual effects but the bright colors and kid-friendly character and mech designs makes it a perfect MMO for a family-network gaming night.
In addition to the cutesy mecha character designs, Robo Smasher sports inventive stage designs with wholly entertaining background elements constantly keeping gamers’ eyes busy, such as whales swimming under water on an ice stage or giant toy trains roaming around in the background of a toy-box map. While the visuals aren’t as sharp as they could be, there are a lot of entertaining aesthetics and small nuances added to give the game an extra sense of visual depth.
The audio in the game is also nicely done, too. A few of the songs are actually ear-catching and carry some notable melodies. Take note, though, majority of the tracks consist of light techno songs suited for the appeal of young gamers, but they're definitely more upbeat than the soundtrack of GunBound.
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Robo Smasher is a lighthearted shooter that’s not really a shooter, because most of the time players will rely on using blocks to smash opponents rather than trying to blast opponents down with a gun. The game features some fairly decent map designs with good replay values as well as a game design that fans of Bomberman would probably thoroughly enjoy. The tactical block-moving aspects of Robo Smasher also give it an extra layer of strategy on top of its action game qualities and that makes it stand out from a lot of other casual titles out there.
The only thing gamers need to keep in mind is that Robo Smasher doesn’t sport a playerbase as large or as diverse as Cross Fire or War Rock, but maybe with a little more exposure the game will pick up a slightly larger following.
Hardcore gamers will probably want to pass on this casual MMO action title but any gamer out there who wants something a little more intense than Maple Story but without all the overly twitchy-finger madness of a game like Alliance of Valiant Arms, will probably enjoy Robo Smasher.
Want more casual action games or need something a little more hardcore? Be sure to check out the complete list of casual and hardcore MMO games at the Bright Hub MMO Action Game Directory.