So I got myself into a weird situation, I downloaded the demo version while it was up and played for about half an hour then I set it down because I knew I had more time before the preview was due, only to realize later that I had lost access to the demo! So now I’m going off my hazy recollection of that first playthrough, or what little gameplay was available. Nonetheless, Roboco is a cutesy sandbox robot creation game that tasks players with inventing robots of various sizes and with various equipment. These robots will be tested for their maneuverability around tight corners, as well as their motor control using graspers or other “handy” surrogates.
There was one level available when I played, and a subpar tutorial to go with it. Compared to other building tools from games like Kerbal Space Program, the typical menus and features seemed present. I personally struggled to figure out how to properly position the robot’s parts to handle carrying the burger meal to my hungry, hungry customers’ table. I had a motor that would move a rod up and down, but I could never get a good grip on the meaty goodness. The tutorial failed to explain the basics of the mechanical menu, and I could not come close to completing the level. I think the problem may have lied squarely on me, insert joke about Cuphead reviewer being bad at games here [Editor’s Note: You read my mind and now I can’t make the joke cause it’s no fun if it’s already called out]. Even the few premade robots were ill-equipped to get the job done, and I still don’t quite understand what parts the game wanted me to take advantage of. I think, in the future, limiting the parts available to a few so that robot creations can have a bit of a build up in terms of figuring out solutions would come a long way. But I’m sure the developers wanted a variety of designs to get the job down and enable experimentation. I personally struggled and got frustrated, and I wish I had more time now to fiddle around with it… I think with a bit more level progression, the game can more organically teach you the basics of robot design, and allow the players’ creativity to blossom from there.
Not much more for me to comment on, Roboco looks to be an adorable and quirky game that reminded me of “Snipperclips” in some ways with how wild and whimsical the problems of the game are. I think the game is worth keeping an eye out for, especially if you are more experienced with these sorts of games. I’m not sure if veteran players will be challenged, but there is a lot of work ahead, and a lot of changes that can come between now and the official release of the title. I wish the developers the best of luck.