Bot Colony is the ONLY game where you converse in English with robots who understand what you say (or type) – a radically new gameplay experience. The game is not limited to commanding robots, you can actually investigate by using your own words and discover the back story.
User reviews:
Overall:
Mostly Positive (53 reviews) - 71% of the 53 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jun 17, 2014

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Early Access Game

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Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“Bot Colony offers a very unique experience that integrates conversation with the characters into gameplay. You actually get to EXPERIENCE robot interactions that were just a sci-fi fantesy in movies like Her, Ex Machina, iRobot, Blade Runner and 2001 A Space Odyssey. This genre-defining experience requires tuning before release.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“The game will stay in Early Access as long as necessary to ensure that language-based gameplay lives up to the expectations.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“The Landfall first season with the Intruder and Arrival episodes is a self-contained game. We'll evaluate developing additional episodes based on the success of Landfall. We're committed to keep improving the language technology deployed in the game, as it is the key to the unique experience we provide.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“Intruder and Arrival are fully playable, and a new Investigation mission will be added to Intruder on Sept. 14, 2016.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“We expect the price of the game to increase as more content is added. Current customers will be upgraded for free.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We're looking forward to reviews and feedback from the Community and promise we will incorporate this feedback in planning the evolution of the game.”
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Reviews

“Despite...my occasional exasperation with Jimmy, it turns out I enjoy the hell out of telling robots to do things and then watching them do things. When it works, it’s oddly satisfying. When it doesn’t work, it’s generally amusing.”
Rock, Paper, Shotgun

About This Game

It’s 2021, and Nakagawa Corp., Japan's leading robot manufacturer, asks for your help. Its South Pacific sanctuary, the island of Agrihan - known as Bot Colony - was infiltrated. Its robots are acting strangely. As Agrihan is mostly staffed by robots, you'll need to converse with them in English and command them to get the job done.
The game relies on leading-edge Natural Language Understanding middleware to support these conversations. Players interested to explore the game's backstory and understand the challenges of verbal communication with robots may want to read the Bot Colony novel available on Amazon Kindle.

In Bot Colony you experience first-hand Artificial Intelligence that, until now, was in the realm of cinematic fantesy (in Her, Ex Machina, iRobot, Blade Runner, 2001 A Space Odyssey). It's a unique experience that will challenge you and entertain you - you'll realize first-hand that machines understand language in a very literal way, and we take a lot for granted when we speak with other people.

KEY FEATURES


  • Embark on a multi-episode quest to catch the spy before he destroys the island.
  • Travel across a spectacular South Pacific island fully-realized in the Havok Vision engine.
  • Speak freely and discover the story using your own words. Compare this to typical game storytelling, where canned dialog lines and selection trees are the rule.
  • Make the game your own: Teach robots about people and the world to get them to help you.
  • Command robots to manipulate objects and interact with the environment, and teach them new commands.
  • Game sessions are unique to each player: You control what is said and how characters react. Sessions of other players will have different dialog than yours.
  • Based on the Bot Colony novel by North Side founder and high-tech entrepreneur Eugene Joseph.

  • Note regarding Speech-to-Text: The game comes to Steam with support for Microsoft Speech (included with Windows), so you can set up a voice profile to play the game and communicate with characters by speaking into a mic. Remember that we also allow players to type messages, or you can seamlessly combine speaking and typing according to one’s preference.
  • We do not offer a Dragon version of the game on Steam, but we're pleased to offer full speech-to-text support for players who already own Dragon NaturallySpeaking
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System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7 64-bit [make sure you have 64-bit Windows!]
    • Processor: Dual Core 3.5GHz / Quad Core 2.40 GHz greater
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVidia GTS 240 (1 GB VRAM) or greater, ATI Radeon HD 4850 (1 GB VRAM) or greater
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Sound Card: Yes
    • Additional Notes: Internet connection required. A microphone is required if you wish to play through speech.
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Overall:
Mostly Positive (53 reviews)
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47 reviews match the filters above ( Mixed)
Recently Posted
Big Loaf
0.5 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: July 22
Can't make him say Allahu Akbar on command. 0/10.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
doomengine
1.1 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: January 14
Had this game for a while and came back to see if it had been improved any... NOPE!!! There are still game breaking bugs and the AI is as crippled as ever. The robot in the intro will insist objects are already closed when they are open, etc. If I could order the robot to step in the shower and turn it on, I would have. Save your money.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Ryder
1.3 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: October 4, 2015
Game doesn't work. Period. After speech training, I start the first tutorial. It asks me to thell the robot my name... but it never works. Even if I type it in.

Speech/typing... doesn't matter. No response. I'm not in conversation.

Also, the assistant robot is not helping me as I've seen in lets play videos... she's totally silent. never heard her.

Seems the game is hozed.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Tetony
13.5 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: September 18, 2015
So, i played this a little, I can't say that I am happy with the game in the current state, but a good part of it is interesting.

I want it finished.

So, this is a recommendation to the developer to finish the game more then a recommendation for you to buy it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Abo
2.2 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: September 3, 2015
Great gameplay, high potential, pretty good graphics, nice concept with voice implementation, good controls, overall 9/10, i liked it!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
❄r3dsn0w000™❄ [Cristi]
3.8 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: August 22, 2015
Although it's an Early Access Game, it has great potential and I liked what I have seen so far! 9/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
lazee_dragon
3.1 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: July 1, 2015
i purchased this game nearly a year ago and it is still in early access?

pros
graphics 7/10
sound 8/10
movement 5/10

cons:
clunky
commands are still hard to get through to your bot
still in early access
funds are low so no updates in a very long time

personal thoughts:
i keep hearing they are going to debunk the game and take down the servers....idk what to think...i have not played this in a long time because of all the issues the company is having.

p.s. i cannot in good faith recommend this game at this time...untill or if this game ever gets completed and all the bugs have been addressed.

also have never been able to even complete the tutorial...kept getting caught lol.

i would be very careful buying early access games...follow them 1st see how often updates are occuring b4 buying....i learned the hard way :/
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Intelligence
2.4 hrs
Early Access Review
Posted: June 3, 2015
I've yet to play Bot Colony to it's full extent but from what I have played I can see this title has a lot of promise based on my experience so far, other than not getting the game to understand my voice, the text based communication seems to work fine.

While it can be tricky to get the hang of things at first, you'll soon realise how the game mechanics work and from there, it's smooth sailing.

I'll update my review once I've played further into the game, the only issues I've noticed so far are achievements aren't unlocking for me and this game simply refused to work on my old graphics card, however, it runs like a dream on a GTX 960.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
24 of 29 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
3.0 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: April 28, 2015
Early Access Review, 4/28/15

Bot Colony is a quirky game with promise, just too ambitious for a first attempt at a full game. The game centers around voice/text commands to your robot 'minions' to indirectly solve puzzles, using specially designed software to understand and respond to what you say. It's definitely a fun reminder of the classic text-command adventure games where half the amusement was trying out words to see what works (flashback to fond childhood memories of typing in 'pick nose' to either gain a lockpicking level or instantly die from spearing your brain). With Bot Colony, you can skip the keyboard and speak directly to the robots to make things happen!

The voice command system is a neat idea, and I would have loved to see it fleshed out into a fully finished game. Unfortunately, in this early build there are still issues with a rather laggy interface and a few bugs cropping up here and there, all of which greatly slow down gameplay. Ideally these issues would have been fixed down the line to smooth out the experience, but it looks like development on the game is pretty much ending due to budget issues.

Despite the unresolved flaws in its 'Early Access' state, Bot Colony is still worthy of support for providing a unique experience, and one that could certainly help expand the gaming genre. After toying around for a while, I can certainly see how in a few years, voice-commands might be a new standard for adventure games like this. If you get a chance, try it out!
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48 of 75 people (64%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
5.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: June 18, 2014
For an early access game, it is pretty solid. I really enjoyed the interaction process and figuring out what to say next. Plus there are tons of more interactions that can be explored in each level (I can see that from the achievements list) so theres a lot of replayability there. Can't wait for the next level to be released. Keep up the good work!!
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23 of 31 people (74%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: July 27, 2014
The game itself is still rough and the voice recognition can be frustrating at times, but the understanding of the bots in Bot Colony is fascinating. Highly recommend picking it up if you're a robo-nerd like me. It's an exciting look at human-machine interaction in games and beyond.
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13 of 14 people (93%) found this review helpful
Recommended
6.7 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: February 10, 2015
Bot Colony appeared rather promising when it released on Steam as part of the Early Access programme last year. It aimed to be the first game where you truly interacted with the characters through holding conversations with them. But it wasn’t until this month that the potential of this system was was hinted at through an update that introduced a need to pry information out of one of the characters .

The task was to gain access to 14 recorded videos in an attempt to piece together the events of the last 48 hours in the home of a Nakagawa Robot Corp. employee. To do this required talking to Jimmy, a robot servant left in the house. And when I say talking, I actually mean talking. Either through speech recognition with a microphone or typing, Jimmy was capable of responding to questions posed in naturally flowing English.

This certainly makes a refreshing change to only selecting from predefined dialogue options. And had the potential of revolutionizing interaction with game characters. Unfortunately, Bot Colony will cease to be playable in mid March. The result of not enough units being sold to cover the cost of running the server that processes the speech input, let alone paying for further development.

There was a lot of promise in Bot Colony, and anyone interested in seeing that should check the store page on Steam. While no longer purchasable, one of the videos does cover the story as it would have unfolded. It is a shame that Bot Colony slipped under the radar, a likely victim of Steam’s increasing release schedule and lack of promotion. Had it done well it could have been a hit. When the game shuts down, I’m going to miss my conversations with Jimmy.
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19 of 25 people (76%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
30.3 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: March 2, 2015
Bot Colony is an ambitious title, maybe even too ambitious for what it's worth. So far, playing it is more of a struggle than entertainment...

I am aware that Bot Colony is an Early Access Game, but still, this build is not playable by far. I'm afraid i wouldn't even be wrong if i would say that there is literally almost nothing in Bot Colony that works as it should... Let's start with the game's motto: "The Game You Speak With". This is the main reason why anybody would pay attention to it, but unfortunately in the end the player will find out that this is actually "The Game Which Doesn't Understand You". That's it. I've said it. Natural language understanding is just not ready to be implemented in a game. It wil get you right about one time out of ten. Other then that you'll get replies like "I don't know what you mean".

Leaving Natural language understanding aside, the game is also full of bugs and glitches. Most players will give up on Bot Colony during the tutorial. It took me about 15 tries and a terrible headache to do it. It was a bit funny at the beginning watching the robot do some crazy stuff, like picking up 2 chairs at once and not being able to get rid of them or make the flower vase levitate above the table, but it was becoming more and more annoying with every step i was advancing through the game. I've also lost connection to the server several times while playing getting the message "Waiting for the robots to wake up", not even mentioning the amount of times i received the reply "Let me think" after giving the robot a command, just so that after 30 second he'll come back with "I don't know what you mean".

Without any doubt it had some promising perspectives and with a lot of more work, time and money it could've moved the adventure genre to a whole new level, but i'm afraid that's all what's gonna be left of it since the developers already pulled the plug on Bot Colony and the servers will be dead on March 15, leaving the game unplayable.
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25 of 40 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
2.4 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 7, 2014
I had high hopes from the trailer, but was really dissapointed.

The game is so buggy and finicky it's essentially impossible to get through the tutorial, even if you're not using voice recognition. Often you'll tell the robots to move things, and it'll turn out that that was the wrong thing to do, it's completely irreversible, and you need to start the game over. I restarted many times and eventually gave up.

The natural language understanding that was supposed to make this game so awesome seems like it's on par with text adventures from the 80s... not much beyond "VERB NOUN."

It's too bad; the concept is good, and it sounded like the story could be great as well.
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11 of 14 people (79%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.9 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 21, 2015
Pretty cool concept but the execution isn't polished. Really there's no incentive to use the voice recognition over simple text based commands, really the game doesn't stand on it's own without the gimmick. Still, I think it's worth a look at. I can honestly say I had fun trying it out, as well as organizing the 30-person group buy for it. :)
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21 of 33 people (64%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
3.2 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: January 15, 2015
The main reason I was drawn to Bot Colony was because of the voice recognition.
After about 5-6 months I still get errors on startup. My Windows is a Dutch version while you need English recognition. I've tried numerous options on different computers, including downloading all necessary English files. Tried on desktop (Win7) and my laptop (Win 8.1)
Still getting a wide range of errors on startup. Problem is a described on the discussion forum: http://steamcommunity.com/app/263040/discussions/0/37470848280779806/. Poster is a Dutchie as well, so I dont know if other languages get the same problems.

Cancelling all error popups will result in the game to start. Its playable but without voice recognition.

I'll redo my review once I get this game to work properly. Until now there's no reason for me to recommend it to anyone.

Its still a promising game though imo.

Update april 20th 2016: Trying to get this to run on Windows 10 resulted in the same errors on startup and after clicking them away my pc had a bsd.

Update june 17th 2016: I got an extremely rude comment from a "private" profile (a user with the same name as the main character of this game, how odd), which I deleted.
Anyone else who wants to insult me, grow up or just fix the damn game, I'll simply remove your comment. This is an honest review and I gave it a lot of hours to get this thing working.
Fact is, its STILL not working. I tried everything I could think of. Those 3.2h I have on this game, 0 minutes are playing time actually. And I dont count the hours I spent on searching for a fix. This means I WAS looking forward to playing this.
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.3 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: August 25, 2015
An overly-ambitious game (meant as both a fact and a compliment), one that needs to be taken in its current state and not held alongside the promises of possible updates or the future arrival of Episode 3. The Early Access period has surpassed a year due to financial problems stemming from a lack of sales. Without having a purchase option, one must realistically see how this might not be resolved quickly and why progress becomes halted.

Even with a potentially bleak outcome, I do recommend the game as it is fairly priced for what it successfully provides. Although not always fully functional, the voice recognition is more than sufficient in offering a unqie experience not seen elsewhere in the Steam store and implemented well within the gameplay. The robots recognizing text-based commands alone is entertaining enough. The game does not solely rely on that as a selling point either, as it is also visually pleasing and contains an intriguing story (although it is likely to remain an open-ended tale). I do hope the purchase option returns but for the time being head to the discussions at the following link and learn how you can nab a Steam key for this currently removed game while also supporting the developer.

http://steamcommunity.com/app/263040/discussions/0/606068060836404191/

Again, I stress that the game is worth it at face value. The developer has been more than apparent regarding the struggles the game has faced. Supplied below is a link showcasing how the developer has interacted with community, highlighting how to best enjoy the current build.

http://steamcommunity.com/games/263040/announcements/detail/139947945350532350
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20 of 32 people (63%) found this review helpful
Recommended
11.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Posted: June 29, 2014
In its current state, I've had no problems running this game on my iMac running Windows 8.1 via Bootcamp. I usually do not purchase Early Access games, but I'm a total nerd for Asimov's Robot books and this game's notion of robots seems pretty reflective of Asimov's characterization of robots and their interaction with humans. I'm also a computational linguist, so the inclusion of NLU (Natural Language Understanding) had me very curious as well. NLU is complicated to achieve since meaning needs to be derived from an utterance, which sometimes means inferences must be made, but I think it works pretty well in this game, especially for the game being Early Access. I'd love to see the NLU improved and extended to other genres of games. But I think the first implementation--dealing with robots that don't always understand pragmatics--is a perfect first implementation.
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