Game Review: Frobot (WiiWare)
Release: December 20, 2010 (US)
Genre: Retro Action & Puzzle
Available Platforms: Wii (PC and Mac Later)
MSRP: 1000 Wii Points ($10 US)
ESRB Rating: E 10+ (Mild Fantasy Violence and Mild Suggestive Themes)
Take Johnny-5 from Short Circuit and blend with equal parts Huggie Bear from Barretta, Shaft and just about any other stereotypical 70’s blaxploitation character, stir in a healthy dose of disco, a couple gold medallions and a kidnapping plot and you have Frobot. If this sounds a little crazy – that’s because it is. Crazy fun.
Set in the year 1 A.H. (After Humans), this “top-down” retro scroller puts you in the treads of Frobot, a stylin’ ladies bot with a whole stable of girlfriends. Fugazo says it best; “Frobot is programmed to make love, not war, but when his five foxy girlfriends get botnapped he doesn’t skip a beat takin the fight to the streets. Blast your way up from the Funkytown Slums to the BotBlocker HQ and get back what’s yours!”
There are 20 levels in the single “playa”, action filled story mode with “action, adventure, and fro-frazzling physics puzzles.” Granted that this stereotype driven humor may not be for everyone, I found it perfectly executed – but even setting aside the retro style and exploitive theming, the game is rock solid.
The levels start simple but get more difficult quickly – but no so much that it becomes frustrating. Weaponry even has cute names like Stud Missiles and Dynomines but basically you have a gun, missiles, mines and a JiveStalker guided disco mirror ball of funkiness.
Each level begins with Frobot near a warp pad that transports him to the next level. The object is to power up the pad. This may seem simple and the game might – at first – look simple, but do not dismiss Frobot. This “playa” brings it’s “A” game. The music, the controls (Wiimote + Nunchuck) and the style are all expertly done.
Often in these types of retro games the multi-player experience suffers from “Tacked -On Syndrome” but Frobot really shines with up to four players in an all out, last bot standing dance-fest. Even though the story mode is fantastic, “multi-playa” is where the crazy fun is.
While playing through the game I only experienced one problem – I “broke” a mechanism need to complete the level. The issue was quickly resolved by restarting the level, but even when I later went back and tried, I was unable to replicate the problem, so I think my issue was probably just a Frobot Freak-Out.
Frobot breaks the “vanilla” mold of Wii political correctness while steering clear of offensive language. Don’t let the Fro throw ya playa – this game is funky to it’s core- and that’s no jive. Time to knock the dust off the Wii and bust a move!
ALSO: Build your own Frobot papercraft here – so go get it baby!
- Brilliant Level Design
- Dripping With Style
- Intuative Controls & Weapon Selection
- Inspired Soundtrack
- Name’s Frobot – What Else You Need Playa?
Final Score: 10 out of 10