Review: Robo Wars (Nintendo Switch)

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Have you ever played a game where by the time you finished you simply forgot everything you just played? It’s not that the game was bad but something far worse: unmemorable. I say this is far worse because even a bad game occupies a space in your mind for a period of time. If you have a game that is completely unmemorable, it almost instantly gets wiped from your memory. Unfortunately Robo Wars falls into this category. It’s not a bad 2D fighting game, it’s just there’s nothing about it that truly is memorable. It’s simplistic, easy to understand, and yet, nothing about it was particularly great that I’ll remember. In short, you might want to let the robots fight their own wars and avoid Robo Wars altogether.

One of the things I actually appreciate about Robo Wars is its simplicity. In Robo Wars, robots are at war. Why? No idea, the game doesn’t have any sort of story, so thus it never tells you anything. It’s simply that robots are at war with each other. There are no moves or combos that you have to learn. All that you need to do is destroy your enemy before they destroy you. Its simplistic button commands make it super easy to attack your enemy, without all the frills other games in the genre usually throw in. After your fight, you earn XP that allows you to level up your character and get new items for your robot. The only issue with these item chests is that some require coins to unlock. This would be OK if there wasn’t also a countdown timer that determined how long you have to open it and how much you will pay for it at random. 

Unfortunately, the long term problem with Robo Wars is also in its simplicity. The game tries to be a very simple game, both from a gameplay standpoint and visually. While I can appreciate an easier take on the genre, the simplicity is what ultimately makes the game become quite boring quite quickly. Robo Wars has 10 different stages, yet remarkably all 10 stages look and feel exactly the same. The only difference might be how the enemy robot goes after falling items in one stage but doesn’t in another. There’s nothing that truly makes it stand out, and what makes it worse is that the game doesn’t even try to stand out. There were numerous times when I was victorious against an enemy only to fight the exact same robot again and again and again.

Ultimately there isn’t too much to say about Robo Wars. I genuinely appreciate the desire to create a simplistic game that is easy to understand and control. The problem is that it gives the game very little depth and provides little replay value. Each of the 10 stages look identical and its simplicity in gameplay ultimately makes you feel bored after a short while. It’s not a bad game, but it’s one that I likely won’t remember anytime soon. It unfortunately falls in that unmemorable category, a game I’ll see in the eShop deals page and say “oh yeah I think I played that game.“ For now, It’s best that you steer clear of Robo Wars.

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