Puzzle Bots

7.0 Overall Score

Written by on August 20, 2010 in

Welcome inside the walls of a huge factory housing an extremely small crew of inventors specializing in the creation of miniature robots.  This is the basis for Wadget Eye Games new puzzler for the PC, Puzzle Bots.  Why does this factory create teeny tiny robots one may ask?  The factory’s owner, Dr. Hugo, advertises they would be perfect for chores.  Each of the factory’s five inventors has been tasked to create a unique robot with their own special ability.  These special abilities allow each robot to accomplish specific tasks.

The first inventor we meet is Zander, the lovable idiot of the group, creates Hero.  A cheery yellow robot that can pick up, carry, and drop items is an adventurous character.  Yuriko is the sweet girl-next-door that secretly loves Zander.  Her robot is a cute mermaid that can tow things through the water and roll herself into a ball to travel on land.  The next inventor, Theo, has the most competitive spirit of the group.  He creates a tank-shaped powerhouse called Ultrabot that can push things around.  A cute twist makes Ultrabot the least adventurous of the group.  He is the reluctant follower of the group.  Next up there is the gruff Russian inventor Viktor.  He is a very unhappy soul looking for an excuse to get fired.  He invents a dangerous robot with a flamethrower.  This robot specializes in, well, burning things.  The last inventor is the new girl in the office that has a clear interest in Zander.  Uh-oh… here comes a love triangle.  This punk rocker in pink goes by the name of Astrid has created a roller derby queen robot with a gift for throwing bombs by the name of Bomchelle.  One by one each robot is added to a miniature ‘Bot Habitat’ dome.  It is here that the robots meet each other and begin their adventures.

The game itself introduces each robot and their specific ability by taking the robot through a series of three challenges in three rooms.  Here each inventor makes sure their robot understands how to use their special ability to accomplish each challenge and proceed to the next room.  Once they make it through each room they are placed into the ‘Bot Habitat’ with a 70’s era inspired décor, complete with its own mirrored disco ball. The real game begins when robot gang’s self appointed leader, Hero, instigates a series of adventures that takes the robots all around the lab, the factory, and even out into the great outdoors.  These adventures are meant to help their creators but seem to get them into even greater trouble with the odd and mysterious Dr. Hugo.

The player will use the talents of each robot to complete each puzzle adventure and progress with the story.  The puzzles require the skills of all of the robots to accomplish a given goal.  The puzzles are relatively simple but they require teamwork.  The player can switch from one robot to another and control one robot at a time.  The player must use their mouse to point and click on things to guide each robot to complete their individual part in the challenge.   Along the way there are also bonus items the player can collect.  These items are in the form of furniture for the ‘Bot Habitat’.  In some of the cutest moments of the game the robots all dance for several moments after they find a bonus item.  I have to admit that I really enjoyed watching these little guys boogie.

Other noteworthy moments in the game occur when the characters refer to pop culture icons of the 70’s and 80’s.  While training his robot Theo asks his robot if he should call their robot gang “Ultrabot and the Ultrafriends”.  This reference to the Superfriends cartoons was fun.  Theo also objects to Dr. Hugo’s desire for the robots to do chores.  He says, “I’d rather send you off in a van to solve mysteries.”  This nod to Scooby Doo and his gang is seen again and again throughout the game.  The human characters in the game also reflect the Classic Scooby Doo cartoon characters.  There is the obvious gang of heroes as well as the mysterious villain that will curse those who brought him down.  Unlike a typical Scooby Doo mystery, however, the villain is no surprise.  The truer mystery is why the villain is doing what he can to destroy those around him.  I know that I am being vague but I don’t want to give spoilers to those who may want to play this game.

I appreciate the attempts at humor and enjoy the cute little robots, but I must admit that I felt a little too old to play this game.  I realize that younger children may not have caught some of the subtle pop culture humor that I enjoyed, but most of the simplistic dialog and graphical quality seemed directed to a much younger audience.  I have to admit that the story line of the human characters is fairly forgettable.  The stars of the show were definitely the adorable mini-bots.  They are cute and their unique abilities make solving the puzzles more interesting.  The human characters were only there to carry the bots to the next scene.

The audience best suited for this game, in my opinion, would be a family with children looking for a wholesome puzzle game with a few inside jokes and references to keep the parents interested.  The challenges may become a little too complex at the end for very young children, allowing the parent to step in and save the day.  If the parent gets stuck, there are hints available along the way that uses the robots to discuss the player’s next step.  The hint meter is emptied after the player clicks on it to get a hint.  The meter then slowly refills until it is full once again and ready to give another hint.  So is this game for you?  I would say if you are a parent with a clever child that loves solving a good puzzle then this will fit the bill.  If you are someone looking for a complex brain buster… you might want to hop into your Mystery Machine and keep on truckin’.

A copy of the game Puzzle Bots was provided to The Married Gamers for the purpose of examination and review.

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Author: Melisa Snyder View all posts by

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