Review: Insane Robots – Insanity, cards, and a whole lot of fun

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Insane Robots is a card-based roguelike strategy title where players take on the role of Franklin, a robot who has lost his memory and is in need of your help in order to find out the truth as to what happened to him and why he has been punished by fighting in tournaments with other Insane Robots like himself.


Pros:
+Insanely fun card battles to partake in
+Offers a lot of versatility in the cards and upgrades you can unlock by playing the game
+Extremely well delivered in both its visual presentation and audio-based designs
+Online multiplayer is an absolute blast

Cons:
-Maps do feel re-used from time to time and could offer a slight bit of variety in a later update


Meet my friend Franklin. Franklin is the robot hero you’ll be playing as for quite some time, at least until you get the chance to swap out your robot hero later on in the game. Franklin has a bit of an issue. He’s woken up with his memory having been erased. Not just erased, but completely zapped. Franklin has no idea what has happened to him. All he does know is that he’s been punished with whatever he did by being forced to fight against other robots to the death across various unique arenas in “tournaments” where he runs the risk of being destroyed.

Your job is simple. You have to help Franklin remember who he is, why he’s being punished by fighting in these lethal tournaments and what he can do to retrieve his memory if there is even a chance to do so. The entire story takes place in the arena where you will be duking it out with other “insane robots” just as the title suggests.

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In Insane Robots the map is laid out as a grid of hexagonal squares that you’ll seek out other robots on as you advance across it. There will be a set number of moves allotted to you for each of your turns, though you can do more than just move over to the enemies. You’ll be able to stop at stores in order to purchase helpful items, find items to help you in your journey out on the field or even strategize your moves before duking it out with the other bots.

When you reach another robot, you will have to engage them in a heated battle, which will take you to an entirely different screen from the one you’ve come accustomed to. During these heated battles, you’ll notice something quite familiar from the very beginning. Both you and your A.I. controlled opponent will both start out with empty circuits on your screen. The goal of each battle is to fill those empty circuits up with “chips” in order to fill them out, which takes energy that you will earn.

But combat isn’t as RPGish as you may think. Rather, it’s built around a card-based battle system where you will draw cards that you will need in order to attack or defend. Some of the cards you draw will also be specialty cards, which will require you to use a certain amount of your earned energy in order to use it. Specialty cards, however, should be viewed as a “last resort” and should be used when you have no other options left or when the card would benefit you most.

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Sometimes some will buff your stats, making you a worthy foe while others make reduce your enemies defenses or their offensive capabilities. To be honest, save these cards, you never know what may happen if you beat your current foe and end up running into something else just around the corner. The best thing you can do is get used to Insane Robots and how it plays. It’s a tricky one at first but easily learned after a few minutes of gameplay with each of the games most prominent sections.

In order to succeed in your attacks, you may want to take note of your foes defensive rating. You will want your attack rating to exceed their defensive stat. This game offers up a delicate need for attention to smaller details such as this and you may want to consider using what cards you can during combat to raise your attack or lower their defense in order to eliminate them as quickly as possible.

In order to keep them from getting too powerful, you may want to utilize the ability you have to “lock” a tile down on one of your own attack or defense chips in order to prevent your foe from glitching you out and lowering your attack or defensive stats. However, you can do the same to yourself if you wish and a glitch in your favor may actually benefit you more by giving you higher defense or offensive ratings.

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Ultimately, battles in this game are ultimately decided upon your approach to each and every one of them and how you wish to use your basic and specialty cards. My biggest complaint about this game is the fact that the tournaments can feel rather barebones from time to time. Almost as if it has nothing more to offer after a few hours of getting into the game. This is often sometimes offset by the need for loading screens between each of your battles before they can ensue.

Oddly enough, my frustrations do seem to be alleviated each time I complete a tournament, given the fact it does feel that Insane Robots does pat me on the back from time to time. You’ll even earn a few goodies such as new robots to use, various types of items, and some useful upgrades that will help you carry on with the story as you seek to help Franklin out. You’ll even get money too, which can help you purchase useful upgrades that will help alleviate some of the frustration that you will feel.

Underneath it all, Insane Robots is an insanely good game. Rather, it’s spectacular, it’s a blast, and I absolutely loved it thanks to its unique presentation. Each robot is one that draws from their own unique design and the creativity behind the artist that designed them. Even the dialogue is absolutely charming and hilarious at its best. It’s something that is charming and the insults between your robot and the enemies are even better than you’d imagine.

Insane Robots – Mac, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
Developer: 
Playniac
Publisher: Playniac
Release Date: Available Now
Cost: $19.99

Toss in the ability to play in online matches against random opponents and or your friends and you actually have a rather unique title, one that deserves the love and support that it gets. With all this said, Insane Robots is one of the closest things I’ve actually seen to a card battle title that I can say that I enjoy.

Insane Robots is unique, it’s fun, and it doesn’t really have a single dull moment what-so-ever. Don’t believe me? I highly suggest you try it yourself. I definitely do plan on getting Insane Robots on the Nintendo Switch if and when it releases on the handheld hybrid.


Our review is based upon a retail version that was provided to us by the publisher of the game.  For information about our ethics policy please click here.


 Final Score: 8 out of 10


About the Writer(s):

dustin_batgr_prof

Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on Twitter or Facebook.

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