The Nintendo DS is made to accommodate a lot of different types of games. However, most of its library seems to be focused on RPGs and puzzle games. Oddly enough, there has been a lack of real-time strategy games. Well Tecmo and developer Vogster are looking to change that with Robocalypse.
As you can probably guess from the name, players take command of an army of robots in which you are assigned the task of defending the earth against other evil robots. The twist here is that the commanders of the robots you control and fight against have been programmed with the minds of World War II veterans. So as you might guess, the story will provide some truly comical moments, as well it should. The funny and clever story has been penned by Jay Lender (Spongebob Squarepants) and Micah Wright.
The RTS game play is a little different than your console RTS games. Instead of giving orders to individual robots or squads, you set action flags down and the computer AI carries out the commands. For example, place a flag on the ground and your robo-troops will patrol around that area. Place one on an enemy base and your unit will attack that base. If you place a defense flag on one of your bases, your unit will defend it. This works for the most part but there were instances where my AI troops didn’t always do what they were supposed to. For instance, one time I put down a defend flag and instead of defending my base, they decided to attack the enemy. This is a rare occurrence, but still one worth mentioning.
Robocalypse features a variety of options. You can chose from over ten different robot units each with specialized skills and weapons all with their own individual attitudes and personalities. There are twenty different types of weapons to compliment your robo-army ranging from converter cannons to falling anvils. Needless to say there are plenty of ways to dispose of your opposition.
Along with the story being written by the writer of Spongebob, the story of Robocalypse unfolds through a series of animated cut scenes that resemble the aforementioned kids show, but make no mistake this game is not always aimed for the younger demographic. In fact it’s far from it. The strategy is deep and there are a few mature themes that aren’t for anyone under the age of fifteen.
The single player campaign is actually quite substantial for being on a handheld, but the best way to go is definitely multi-player. Up to four players can play (everyone needs their own game) and features head to head or co-op play with unique maps and multiple play modes, and you can even track your progress in the Hall of Fame.
Of course what would a DS game be without stylus control? All you have to do to play this game is tap on the touch screen to place the action flag and the AI does the rest. No buttons needed, not fancy controls to tangle with, and it actually works most of the time. It is always nice when a developer makes good use of the touch screen and with its simple design Robocalypse manage to pull it off without a hitch.
Set in a world of wise cracking, battling robots, Robocalypse offers madcap weaponry and uproarious destruction, all embedded in a deep strategy war game. With up to four players able to compete head to head in wireless mutli-player matches or being able to lead your army to victory in the comical single player story mode this game has enough to keep players busy for months. With over fifty independently AI driven units with advanced path finding, dynamic music and 3D particle systems for stunning visual effects, Robocalypse is a technological breakthrough for the Nintendo DS.