Twin Robots – An Energizing Review
Ratalaika Games’ latest IP–Twin Robots–is a simple game. It’s a good thing. A 2D platformer developed for all platforms, including the WiiU and PlayStation Vita, the game takes pride in its simplicity and is a welcomed break from the serious tone the industry has assumed this year.
The game features fraternal twin robots who seem to be stuck in an evil assembly line out to kill them. The player controls one robot at a time, switching between them freely with the push of a button. While in control of either of the twins, their battery power continuously drains, forcing us to strategically utilize each character before their respective energy runs out. As you progress through each level–racing the clock all the while–you will pass over blue light on the floor, and this light recharges your batteries. There is a caveat of course: the refill is slow, and does not exist in mass quantity. This means more strategy for the player.
You can also “share” energy between each character, essentially siphoning the energy from one twin to the other, but once again, strategy MUST come into play, because each twin MUST exit the level in order to move on. Keep track of energy levels, time, and proximity of each robot, and you should be fine. If you do manage to expend all your energy, you must restart the level. If you expend all energy of one twin prior to releasing the other, you will have no choice but to restart the level.
The levels are simplistic in their design; rather than bombastic worlds of imagination, a la Little Big Planet, Twin Robots instead focuses on functionality.
They harken to a simpler time, before we counted polygons for impressive animation, even prior the golden age of Sega Genesis. I’m talking Atari. Specifically, Pitfall. I will let the similarities speak for themselves.
As I said previously, Two Robots‘ simplicity is a good thing. Pitfall was one of the major successes of its age, and it was functionally solid. Two Robots has a leg up, of course, thanks to modern computing, but the gameplay comparisons are sound. It’s this less-is-more approach that really works, especially in an age with hundreds of open-world games, that gives a nice break from the turmoil that is completing those games.
Speaking of sound, as of the moment, the only bug I’ve encountered has been as such; the menu is completely silent and at first I thought it was a silent game, because even after I loaded, the silence remained. Once I began moving my characters though, it decided to join the party. EDIT: I loaded the game up this morning, and this had been fixed. Rather than silence, I was greeted with a myriad of factory sounds; conveyor belts, buzzing alarms, metal doors clanging…it really fits with the industrial feel of the level design.
All-in-all, Two Robots is a successful platformer that pits the player against his own wits while remaining true to the simplicity of old school games without which, their modern counterparts would not have existed. The elementary controls work well, as they should; the game is a true platformer that proves to be a wonderfully needed break from the seriousness of today’s gaming marketplace.
I give Twin Robots a