So Not The Robots is essentially a stealth roguelike, where, rather than lurking through dungeon tunnels or planning turns, you're evading sentry bots, avoiding lasers, and myriad other hazards as you progress through procedurally generated floors. Your uni-wheeled robot can roll fast to quickly break line of sight of armed sentries or keep up with a moving laser grid, as well as crouch to hide behind obstacles and avoid other dangers. To complete a floor, your robot must devour a set amount of furniture per level to unlock the exit and there in lies the strategy. Removing furniture means less places to hide, less barriers to block lasers, and makes getting to the exit that much more challenging. You have limited health and your only course of action when seen is to run and hide.
Besides your natural hiding skills, you can collect a limited use ability, from going invisible (but motionless) to placing a block down which you can hide behind. You can only equip one ability at a time and they can be used once before having to recharge (by eating furniture) so they must be used tactically and at the most opportune moment. Multipliers, logs that gradually piece together the story behind the game, health packs can also be found throughout each level
Besides the procedurally generated campaign, there are also 20 challenge levels to test your skills, so there's something for the speed-run fan as well. In both the campaign and challenges, you earn more points for not being seen, for collecting multipliers, and speed among other factors.
Controls are smooth and responsive. WASD to move, mouse to move the camera, other keys to crouch, use your selected ability. Gameplay is a mix of fast paced planning and maneuvering and evasive sneaking around obstacles to avoid enemies: procedurally stealth with a dash of puzzle elements (as planning what furniture to remove or not remove will help your escape, especially since sentry patrols will change once you open new paths).
After playing a bit more:
- There are upgrades found throughout the levels, providing things from an extra inventory slot (so you can two abilities rather than just one) and a scanner to see what abilities are contained in a box
- Found some cool new abilities. Dig lets you remove a wall and Sprint give you a few seconds of boosted speed. Dig is especially cool because it lets you alter the layout of a level, opening up new paths for you (and sentries) to use
- You also get extra points for eating all furniture and taking no damage. Upon death, you rank up and can unlock permanent upgrades
- The variety of hazards continue to impress. From moving energy walls with openings to pass through (giving the game almost a puzzle platformer vibe) to damaging floor pads, the challenge is very high
Posted: December 12th, 2013