Robot Squad Simulator
Developed By : Bit Golem
Published By : Ultimate Games
Category : Action, Simulation
Release Date : May 31, 2019
More often than not, the majority of us grew up hearing the phrase “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” The phrase was meant as a teaching point, on reserving judgement on things until you got to experience and understand them a bit. It could be applied to people, actual books, and just about any type of situation where you could potentially judge something too quickly. Video games is one of the areas that I encounter this all too often, and unfortunately Robot Squad Simulator on the Nintendo Switch was a cover I judged incredibly wrong.
The premise is promising enough. Throughout the games nearly two dozen missions and levels, you’ll control a wide variety of robots. Some of these will be training missions, but the core levels are ones that put you out in the field in an area that has been deemed far too dangerous for actual people to go into. Your robot will be equipped for whatever situation
In total, you’ll have access to four different bots, each with it’s own specialty. There’s the EOD, a six-wheel all-terrain robot capable of picking up and moving objects, disarming bombs, and pressing buttons. Spy is a small RC Car that can be used to cross great distances on the ground, and even has a speaker so you can distract any enemies out of your way.
There’s a drone which is just that, a drone that can fly around, has the potential to be effected by powerful winds, and can have a grapple to transport some items. Your last bot you can use is a submarine which doesn’t do anything too special, you’ll just have to be wary of how the currents are pressing against you.
Through the missions, you’ll have ample opportunities to master each of these vehicles. For the most part, they all handle fairly well utilizing a form of tank controls. Left joystick acts as your throttle for forward and backwards movement, and while moving in either direction, you can influence a turn in either the left or right direction. However you can also rotate faster by using the L and R buttons. Oddly enough, these are very separate things and you can’t use the shoulder buttons at the same time that you’re moving so it can make for some stuttery and clunky movements.
Visually the game looks pretty good. Playing in handheld mode you get a bit more of a grainy look to some of the textures, but it’s nothing obnoxious or gross. Honestly, the majority of the gripes I had were with the vehicles themselves. For example, in your first actual mission with the EOD, as you approach the area you’re told you need to find a new way into the area since a sniper has eyes on the area. I thought I could just roll up onto the nearby curb and cut around some obstacles, but apparently my robot that was meant for traversing terrain…couldn’t climb up on a simple curb.
Overall, I didn’t hate my time in Robot Squad Simulator but I didn’t love it either. One nice bonus was the fact that with “simulator” in the title, I was expecting stretches of low gameplay that would drone on and be repetitive, but that wasn’t the case. I did, though, experience some glitchy type things that really sullied my experience with the game.
The worst of these was in the aforementioned mission with a sniper watching over a street. There is a section of this mission where you need to go down a section of street that is littered with cars. Ideally, you need to use the cars to not get hit by the sniper’s bullets and make it all the way down the street to your goal. The issue that I experienced was that even if the sniper got off a shot, it didn’t even need to hit me, the game would somehow register it as hitting and killing me, forcing me back to a checkpoint. Luckily in the rest of the game’s areas that I encountered, I didn’t experience anything that quite hit this level of annoyance.
In short, if you want to utilize a small selection of robots to tackle a variety of different tasks in a semi-clunky fashion…this just might be the game for you. Potentially, this game could be beaten fairly quickly depending on how easily you grasp the controls of each vehicle as you unlock them. Issues aside, it’s decently fun and it’s definitely not a game that needs to be tossed aside. If this game’s price were any higher I’d say absolutely avoid it at all costs but as is, it just might be worth checking out for some.