The Wii U eShop is full of hit titles. Stealth inc 2 and pullblox world just to name a couple. Tested with robots joins the line-up of eShop titles, but falls very very short of reaching the nosebleed heights of the two stellar games I mentioned.
In Tested with robots, you play as a new employee for a company that creates video game levels. The robots are the crash test dummies, tasked with testing the level before they are shipped. It’s ironic that there is a game of this nature out, as the latest crop of AAA games seem to not work too well, so hiring someone of this nature may have been wise…
From the off the game is off to a fairly bad start. A overly long loading screen takes you to a bland, boring menu. After waiting for a game to load for a long time, you want to see something great on the other side. People jump on the GTA games of yesteryear for their load times, but they loaded cities. This loads a horribly basic menu which can only be used with the d-pad and B button.
There are a few similarities to Curve Studios eShop title, Stealth Inc. 2 here. With the whole employee, boss relationship displayed again. Just like stealth Inc. 2, the dialogue here is great, though there are a few grammatical errors. Once you take control of your character you can move in the usual directions, left and right, again with the d-pad… you can also jump, which for a robot is a great attribute! Now you have control of your character and are able to move through the levels, any charm you thought the game may have disappears before it even rears in head. The levels look bland and unfinished and they just scream “not fun”. The levels would look more at home if the game was set in Arkham Asylum. There is no design to individual levels and at times can feel like you have seen the part you are up to before.
Controlling your robot sounds easy, left is left and right is right, use A or Y to jump. Simple right? Wrong! The basic yet painfully sluggish controls will take all of your patience away and annoy you from the off. The game struggles to do the simplest things correctly. Jumping is a learning curve on the game as you will need to gauge how long you will need to press Y for with no indication helping you on screen.
You will come across enemies as you progress through the levels. The enemies are stick figures who, quite frankly underline the tone of this tedious attempt of entertainment. A few different game modes give the title a sense of depth but do little more than repeat what you have done in the main game. An “against the clock” mode and an “extreme mode” where there are no checkpoints. This mode isn’t advised is the game is hard enough with checkpoints. This isn’t because they have designed it cleverly, or there are enemies that will have you thinking strategies over and over again. It’s because the controls are that painful, they themselves will kill you several times. If I got to the end and the main bad guy was actually the Wii U gamepad I would have been more amused with that genius twist.
Tested with robots is a lazy, lacklustre effort from M.R Games, who will need to improve with their next title if they are to hit the heights that I’m sure they desire to hit. I understand that the budget with indie titles can be very low or even non-existent, but if a game struggles this much to even get the basics right, then there is reason for it to go back to the drawing board.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Wii U code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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