Old school indie arcade games seem to be popping up more frequently as of late and few are as unique and enjoyable as this game. Don't Die, Mr. Robot! is a 2D arcade survival game that will have players hooked for hours upon hours.
Don't Die, Mr. Robot! plays exactly as the title would lead you to believe. Players will guide Mr. Robot around the screen in order to avoid hazards and enemies. If he collects a fruit, it explodes and all enemies within the blast radius will be eliminated. Other fruit that resides in the blast radius will also explode. Because of this, being able to create large chains is incredibly rewarding. The game can be played with either analog stick (so left-handed gamers will have no problem), the rear touchpad, or motion controls. Playing with the touchpad or motion controls is only fun to see what it's like but most gamers will probably prefer the analog sticks for their accuracy. The controls feel very responsive and there is nothing to memorize since players will only need to move Mr. Robot around the screen.
The graphics suit the game perfectly with Mr. Robot looking cute, and all on-screen objects are clearly distinguishable. Messages and cues are subtle as they never get in the way of the action yet are easily recognizable by the player. This helps players focus and be able to take in as much information as they need to. Although there are plenty of different hazards and enemies (which all look pretty cool), every stage looks the same with black backgrounds, laser grid effects, and subtle overlays. This could have been remedied by simply implementing different backgrounds (or even borders) although they would have to not distract from the foreground action. Don't Die, Mr. Robot! is compatible with PlayStation TV and it looks just as good on the big screen.
One thing that Don't Die, Mr. Robot! excels at is audio. The music is a fantastic mix of different funky electronic tunes that all sound excellent. At times, the music will even speed up and it matches the increasing intensity of the action perfectly. Sound effects are unobtrusive yet players can pick up on audio cues quite easily. Each effect has a musical quality. As events happen the audio mix is full of great music and matching effects but never sounds convoluted. There are also some robotic voices that are hilariously taunting as they make statements about your impending doom and compliment you on the delightful chain you just executed. Both indie and mainstream developers can learn a lot about how to implement high quality audio by playing this game.
Don't Die, Mr. Robot! features a good selection of modes that will make players want to keep playing in order to climb leaderboards and get better medals. The main mode (remix mode) contains 50 stages with a wide variety of goals to achieve. Depending on how well the player achieves these goals, they are rewarded with either a bronze, silver, gold, or platinum medal. These stages include a mixture of goals (such as trying to score big, last long, perform large chains, and get dangerously close to enemies a certain amount of times) and conditions (such as restricted movement, time limits, and having to avoid fruit). The various combinations of goals and conditions make stages unique and force players to approach each one differently. It couldn't be better executed as the game constantly feels fresh and rewarding as you get better at each stage.
Other modes include arcade mode, time attack, and chill out. Arcade mode is a basic survival mode where players try to get the highest score they can. Chill out mode acts the same as arcade mode except it's slower paced. Time attack will give players infinite lives so they can score as much as they can within two and a half minutes. Each mode (including remix mode) has a leaderboard to climb which is a lot of fun to do. The amount of content and diversity of modes is substantial and will keep players coming back for more.
Enemies each have their own characteristics and a distinct movement pattern. Players will quickly learn how to deal with each one effectively. However, since spawning enemies are randomized, some stages are more luck-based. For example, if you're playing a stage that restricts your movement, you may have no choice but to corner yourself to avoid enemies but then an enemy spawns that you can't avoid. After multiple tries, you will be able to win as every stage is doable. But, the random factor plays too much of a role in certain stages that they often feel unfair. Luckily, this mainly affects stages with restricted movement so other stages feel fair for the most part.
There are quite a lot of extras included in Don't Die, Mr. Robot! Players collect coins as they play and these coins can be spent on customizing their robot's appearance, purchasing special guest characters, and buying power-ups that can be used in certain modes. Customization is fun since the little guy will show up next to your high scores on the leaderboards. The special guest characters are all very silly and fun to try out. One character named Hoppy Bobby annoyingly jumps around the screen while you play as him. The power-ups help you score higher in modes that allow you to use them but you can only use a maximum of one of each in a play session (which is good). All of these extras add even more value to this game that's already brimming with content.
Don't Die, Mr. Robot! is a very fun game and a must-download for any PlayStation Vita or PlayStation TV owner. It's one of those indie games that will surpass your expectations and have you smiling while the hours tick away.
- + Simple controls and fun survival gameplay
- + Plenty of diverse modes and stages offer unique and rewarding challenges
- + Great audio and sense of humour
- - Every stage looks the same
- - Randomly spawning enemies are sometimes unfair