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Monday, June 13, 2011

Review: Robo Surf (iPhone)

Picture this: the end of the world has arrived. The planet is basically an endless ocean, devoid of human life with only a few animals left to keep you company. You are robot who has managed to survive the destruction of the apocalypse and you're wondering what you should do. Obviously, the conclusion you come to is that you should spend your time surfing! Robo Surf doesn't claim to have a great storyline but it makes up for it with simple, entertaining gameplay and plenty of challenges to keep you playing for hours.

There's a lot of dodging to be done


Robo Surf is a fun little variation of the “hover” style game. Control your character with just a tap of your finger to keep him surfing at the height you want to avoid all the obstacles in your way. Basic and intuitive, the controls are a breeze to master as there are really only two things you need to do: tap and swipe. Tapping the screen will give your robot a boost to make his wave rise up while releasing your finger will let him fall back towards the sea. Swiping across the screen is necessary to activate your turbo and we'll get into the details of that in a little bit.

The aim of the game is to travel as far as you can and the only way to achieve this is by avoiding the obstacles. In Robo Surf these obstacles are seagulls and bats who fly at various heights and will stop your surfing session if you hit them. To add an another element of danger, there are bosses at various points along your run who will attack you in different ways, for example, Spring Shark will jump up at you while the the Homing Hermits will launch themselves straight at you like missiles. The way to defeat these evil sea creatures is, obviously, to turn into a fireball and ram into them. This is your robot's special turbo ability and can only be activated when you've collected enough oil barrels (these float around in the air amongst the seagulls and bats) to fill up your turbo meter at the bottom of the screen. Once your bar is full simply swipe across the screen for a burst of fiery speed which can kill any enemy standing in your way, including bosses. You can even use your turbo when not fighting bosses too, for a speed boost over a couple of hundred meters.




The gameplay is pretty basic in nature but it's the unlockable achievements that really make this game a challenge. You collect trophies by completing various tasks, from beating bosses to travelling a certain distance. Unlock new characters and pit your skills against the best in the world through Game Center integration while the option to play in two different game modes offers even more excitement. Looking beyond the gameplay itself, the graphics are bright, colourful and appropriately cartoonish while the music sets the scene with its funky robot/techno score and seaside sound effects.

Robo Surf is a great example of making the right game for the right system. This entertaining app makes good use of the capabilities of the iOS and provides plenty of challenges for any level of gamer. The kind of game that can be picked up and played any time by anyone, Robo Surf manages to combine all the aspects of good gaming in a neat and accessible package.

- Dom S





Review: Robo Surf (iPhone)
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