Robot Rescue 3D
3DS Download | Teyon | 1 Player | Out Now | $2.99
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18th July 2013; By KnucklesSonic8
Before delving any further, I must tell you that Robot Rescue 3D is not a new entry inasmuch as it's more a bargain pack, combining stages from Robot Rescue and Robot Rescue 2 into one. Does that leave fans of one or both releases without new motivations? Well, in a word, yes. Though 20 new stages are included, thus packaging the entire collection with upwards of 120 levels, it's an insufficient incentive that gears Robot Rescue 3D entirely to those unacquainted with its formula. A series of obstacle courses and pseudo-mazes are presented from a top-down perspective, the objective being to guide all the assembled robots to exit doors, and the twist being that they are all controlled collectively. The base idea won't be found innovative, but that doesn't stop the game from impressing with clever devices used to shift methodologies.
Whenever symmetry governs the level design, it's often used to confuse, using a mid-range supply of puzzle elements that become less and less varied as you advance. Often it is in these levels -- along with those of an open format -- where players must be especially methodical. When levels are divided into portions, with robots huddled inside what resemble rooms, you're more free to adopt a systematic approach as the lessened threat of danger allows you to concentrate on one at a time.
As obstacles begin to intersect, though, you'll observe levels with this very quality are purposely designed so that if you don't think ahead, an obstacle will mean the end for one robot but not the other. Then others bait you where one is seemingly able to access the goal with very little trouble, but they must remain in play to remove a barrier that another bot cannot deactivate on its own.
It is at these moments that you'll begin to look for ways to shorten an extended process that doesn't have to be so. Because there's often more than one way to reach a solution, players can get creative in using glue patches as safety zones for manipulating the group movement, or pressing against walls to prevent movement for one robot while another continues moving forward. On rare occasions, it's your viewpoint that simply needs adjusting to spot a less obvious route. Such is the case in one level consisting almost entirely of conveyors, where working your way backwards from the goal portal will reveal how surprisingly few moves are needed.
Again, the tricks the game employs to get you to think differently aren't maddening, nor will you find they enforce a stimulated mindset. As well, the pace does veer towards being sluggish because of the methodical approaches that are often necessary. Nevertheless, the end-results are often satisfying, demonstrating that despite any frustration that may be had along the way, the logic-based framework is more fruitful than fault-ridden.
It should be noted that across the entire spectrum, the rigid linearity tied to the progression removes some accessibility, and when you line this up with the fact that there are no nets to hold you up, it can quickly escalate into a frustrating ordeal. But at least the new level-skip feature (up to three uses) offers some healthy breathing space. Other oddities and inferior aspects exist in the areas of function and presentation, such as the Circle Pad not being an available control scheme; unnecessary and even unattractive 3D use, with objects popping out like they're floating overhead; stale backdrops and music; as well as one case of clumsy screen organization.
This is one game that could've really benefited from a visual upgrade, and while pooling their resources into one collaboration has made sense for new audiences, it won't do anything in the way of added awareness; nor does it provide worthwhile reasons for advanced players of past games to invest, for Teyon has made little attempt to season the affair. Still, there's no lasting crisis here, so anyone who likes the sound of a complicated brain teaser should at least consider tackling this budget-priced offering.
21/30 - Good
Gameplay 7/10 - Smart design, fluctuating methodologies in connection with level setups, occasionally clever techniques, linearity may upset
Presentation 6/10 - Atmosphere remains stale, unattractive 3D incorporation, some odd aspects that could've been easily rectified
Enjoyment 3/5 - Satisfying level of challenge, no safety nets in place, encourages multiple approaches, accessibility lessened by pace and progression
Extra Content 5/5 - Great value for the large number of levels, worthwhile investment only for the unacquainted, 20 levels exclusive to this entry
Equivalent to a score of 70% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating) - Our Rating System