Robotrek. It has robots. I think it has a trek. I’m not really sure why I chose to review this game. I remember that it was one of the first games I emulated without having played it on the console, but there was nothing terrible or spectacular that made me want to review it. In fact, that pretty much sums up the game itself. What do I mean by that? Let’s review!
It should be noted that this game is fairly obviously oriented toward children. The graphics are kind of bright and cartoony, the music is flat-out annoying at times, and the story occasionally takes time out to say things like “Listen to your elders,” “Don’t litter,” and “Bad guys are bad.” However, as this was the actual intention of the developers, I can’t really hold it against them…too much. The battle music really does get old after a while. But, anyway!
You’re the son of some inventor, and your dad got kidnapped by bad guys. It’s your duty to save him, using robots that you make. The robot creation deal is actually pretty sweet, if you ask me. You can give them stat points based on your level, which you get to distribute however you want. In this way, there’s a lot of creativity to be had, although you’ll probably be like me and find one really powerful setup that works for you and just abuse it. You can also combine items and create weapons, but, again, all you’ll end up doing is combining Smokes and Cleans to sell them back as Repairs for free money. Then, you’ll spend all of that on making Axe 1s to get the most powerful weapon you can until halfway through the game, at which point you get the most powerful weapon in the entire game. I guess kids aren’t supposed to be intelligent enough to figure out stuff like that, though.
But, enough huge paragraphs. The battle system was what stuck out most in the game. It’s a sort of mini-tactics system, giving you the usual Attack/Defend/Items types of options while allowing you to walk around the battle map. Turn length is determined by the fuel consumption of the chosen action versus your robot’s Charge stat. All of this was pretty novel thinking for the time, and it made for a lot of fun, up until about halfway through the game. After you’ve maxed a couple stats and gotten the Axe 3 and Sword 4, battles kind of lose their edge. You can avoid enemies on the dungeon maps, though, so it just means that you can skip fighting and head straight for the boss.
The graphics are nothing spectacular for the Super Nintendo. As I mentioned before, the game is targeted toward the 5-to-10 demographic, and its visual aspects definitely reflect that. This never hurt Earthbound, though, so I don’t see why it should be a problem here, either. I guess that some of the battle sprites are actually pretty well made, though, and the stylistic approach was done on purpose, so maybe I can afford a little bonus for that.
The audio, on the other hand, did get to be annoying, at times. Unlike games such as Faxanadu and Rampart, however, this effect appears to be largely intentional for Robotrek. Kids like annoying music, right? Any parents who have taken their kids on a road trip surely knows this. I can’t really forgive the developers for encouraging that, however. Some of the music’s not so bad, but you’ll definitely get tired of the battle theme pretty quickly.
While I guess the game theoretically has some replay value in trying to beat it with different robots, it’s is a bit too easy for this to really be any fun. Maybe if you play it the first time without cheating, then pull out all the stops the second time through, you could have some fun that way. There’s no real reason to play it more than twice, though.
So, overall, it’s a pretty average game. I guess if you have kids, or if you haven’t reached puberty yet, this game is a pretty sweet choice. Although, isn’t there a thing about kids under 13 not supposed to be being on the Internet? I remember almost ten years ago, signing up for a forum and thinking to myself, “Hahaha, I’m not 13 yet!” I see that “I am exactly or over 13 years of age” button on a lot of signup forms, and stuff. I don’t know.
I think the point was this: It’s a cute game, but it doesn’t have any particular strong points outside of being a little forward thinking. It can be somewhat addictive early on, but only in the same way that most MMO games are. It gets old pretty fast. I don’t think that anyone really checks out any of the games I review anyway, though, so I won’t bother saying whether you should play it or not. How about you go outside, instead?