Bad Bots is an indie platformer game
developed by Point 5 Projects and published by Digital Tribe; I played
the game on PC through Steam. Set in the far future. The Titan Hauler,
once a great warship, has been overrun by murderous Ďbad botsí
reprogrammed by a malicious Artificial Intelligence. You play as Sam
McRae an axe wielding, gun toting mechanic and the only survivor of the
crew. Your goal is to find a way to stop the ship from crashing into
earth and unleashing an apocalypse of blood thirsty robots. The game is
primarily a single player campaign but comes with some challenge modes
that allow you to try and accumulate high scores.
Bad Bots is a 2D side scrolling game using
a simple point and shoot combat system. Using the WASD keys you move
from side to side and up and down. The space bar changes guns and left
click fires your gun whilst the right click is a melee attack. The
combat is surprisingly fun with some tense moments; managing your
positioning to dodge enemy attacks whilst blasting away with rifles,
shotguns, cannons and lasers is intense and rewarding. The controls feel
a little awkward at first but become second nature eventually.
The bulk of Bad Bots consists of McRae blasting his way through hordes
of robots. The player must avoid the robots by dodging, ducking and
moving in and out of range whilst slashing with an axe and firing with a
gun. There is a variety of robots with different tactics, weapons and
health values. The real fun though lies within the seven boss fights.
Each one is challenging and will test your reflexes as you dodge their
attacks and try to fit in as many of your own as you can. The boss
fights are devilishly good and are some of the best Iíve experienced in
a side scrolling game.
Bad Bots encourages exploration; throughout the campaign there are many
doors and ventilation shafts that lead to extra ammo and health. Whilst
exploring the Titan Hauler players are rewarded for their efforts and it
is nice to see a game like this encourage exploration of hidden areas.
Ammo and guns are also kept after saving at a checkpoint and whilst you
can only carry two guns at a time this creates a sense of progression as
you stockpile ammo.
The game features a few comic panels that
serve to fill in the player as to what is happening and what they should
be doing. The panels are well drawn but not well written and do not
really serve to entertain the player at all. They serve mainly as a way
to alert the player about their current mission before allowing them to
get back into the mayhem. These panels are able to be skipped however
which do not make them an issue.
Graphically the game excels at what it is trying to do. It presents an
old school feel with simple 2D backgrounds and character models. The
artists have clearly put a lot of effort into the game as it is stylish
and easy on the eyes; they have demonstrated that games created in a
dated style do not have to look dated. Bad Botsí graphics are not breath
taking but they serve to create a pleasant visual experience as you slay
hordes of robots.
The sound of Bad Bots is somewhat lacklustre; the lack of music
throughout a majority of the game is quite disappointing. Music plays
during some key moments of the games but mostly the soundtrack of the
game is just lacking atmosphere. Bad Bots also includes no voice acting
except for a sparse few repeated lines uttered by your enemies as you
blow them to oblivion. The weapon sounds, however, are superb. The
explosions are loud and satisfying and bullets make satisfying impact
sounds as they hit. The combat is lent a serious sense of urgency when
all these sounds accumulate into an orchestra.
A final issue I had with the game was its
length and lack of replay value the campaign is easily finished within
five hours at most. And the urge to play it again just was not there.
There is only so much robot slaying a person can do without getting a
little bored of it. The challenge modes are certainly a nice addition
but arenít all that addicting. The lack of a difficulty level for the
campaign was also a disappointment. The campaign felt all in all a
little too easy and I only died once or twice.
Overall I would recommend this game if you have a few hours to kill and
donít want to play anything overly complex. Itís a fun game with solid
controls and intense boss fights. Whether or not it is worth the price
tag is really hard to make a call on; perhaps buying the game when itís
on sale through steam is the best bet.