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Review: Not The Robots (PC)By Ofisil At 13.05.2020 18:39

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Outside the windows of the office complex this takes place into, one can see a barren, grey cityscape, with leafless trees, and… well, not much else, to be honest. During this journey, players will even discover a couple of recordings which were left behind. For a game where the main purpose is simply to control a unicycle-like robot, and "eat" all the furniture of every room, this manages to have a pretty immersive, as well as surprisingly mysterious atmosphere.

The plot is paper thin, and the ones who'll enjoy it the most are the ones who have played other titles from the developer, as these all share the same universe, but in the end, this was never about storytelling. You need to avoid all sorts of traps, from burning floor tiles to lasers, in a series of randomly generated levels that get progressively more complex, as well as harder to beat, especially due to the sentries that wander around, which can't(?) be killed, and are very eager to fill the robot with bullets.

Along the way it's possible to find helpful items that can make the journey a little easier. The boxes that these will be taken from, however, don't provide any hints of what can be found within, which means that opening one is a shot in the dark, as the item received may or may not be useful for the occasion. Now, luck has always been a great part of, literally, any roguelike ever made. Unfortunately, while without a doubt a game of skill, the RNG needs some heavy polishing.

Not The Robots is challenging, which is great - but it can also feel quite unfair. The thing is, though, that there's not a problem with the mechanics on offer. The robot can hide behind objects, with the items it can find providing an additional ability that can help with avoiding damage, either by creating a wall out of thin air, destroying non-destructible panels, run faster, respawn, and so on. The problem here is that the random generator can create quite the annoying scenarios.

Expect starting a level with four sentries right next to you; corridors with nothing to take cover on or hide behind; rotating lasers that follow patterns that cannot be "read;" rooms fool of items that get in the way of you seeing where is what, with colours, objects, and enemies becoming an incomprehensible mess; and, finally, sentries, sentries, and even more sentries. Angry squawking aside, this actually manages to remain a fun experience. Here comes the second issue this has, however.

It will all feel the same after a while. As mentioned before, this is fun, but it's also quite repetitive. No matter the mode chosen, the same things will be done, again and again, with the novelty of it all slowly burning out the longer one plays. For all intends and purposes, this is more like a proof-of-concept kind of deal, as a meatier, more fulfilling product can be seen in the distance. Too bad Not The Robots never achieved becoming that. Well, at least it's super, super cheap.

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Final Score
In the few hours that [i]Not The Robots[/i] will last, it will provide almost equal measures of enjoyment and frustration, with Lady Luck usually deciding what it's going to be each time one gives the randomly-generated levels of the campaign a shot. In the end, though, its main problem is exactly the fact that it will last for only a few hours.



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