Game Review: Frobot (PC)
Release: January 13, 2011
Genre: Retro Action & Puzzle
Available Platforms: PC, Wii (and Mac Later)
MSRP: $9.99 (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 (everyone seems to be exploiting robots these days), the game is very 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 and the style are all expertly done and the graphics on PC look great. Or at least retro-great.
The PC version of Frobot includes some extras not available on the Wii. “Achievements” and rewards are handed out as progress is made in the game. The rewards are various wallpaper images for your PC. Completely missing, though, is the crazy-fun 4 player multi-player last bot standing dance-fest that is included in the Wii version. In fact, multi-player is absent entirely from the PC version.
While playing through the game I found the PC controls to be awkward. Even though they can be remapped, it just lost the “feel” when compared to playing Frobot on the Wii. There are also some left over messages from the Wii version that still display in the PC version. For example instead of asking to click to continue, the Wii message to press the A button lingers.
Even with the PC controls, this is an excellent game. If you have a Wii – get Frobot from the WiiWare store – otherwise – download and try the PC version right now – right here. If the Fro fits – wear it!
ALSO: Build your own Frobot papercraft here – so go get it baby!
- Brilliant Level Design
- Dripping With Style
- Inspired Soundtrack
- Controls Are Better Suited For The Wii
- Multi-Player Missing from PC Version
Final Score: 8 out of 10