They Are Not Robots And You Don’t Rescue Them –
With two games already published on DSiWare, Robot Rescue 3D is a compilation title that combines all the content from the original games with some new stages under a “3D” title. Unfortunately, the tedious nature of this puzzle game often frustrates through trial and error as opposed to having inspired “ah-ha” moments. With no hint system in place, solving puzzles usually requires a large chunk of time and a deep sense of dedication.
The idea behind the gameplay is simple: guide a bunch of weird looking robots from Point A to Point B. This might sound easy enough but the main gameplay gimmick revolves around controlling all robots at once. For example, pressing left on the D-pad makes all robots move one tile to the left. Tons of obstacles fill these mazes and make puzzle solving rather difficult. Doors, conveyor belts, mines, teleports and switches make up the blood and guts of each stage. Later levels even involve color coordination which only adds to the challenge. The developers must have spent a lot of time crafting these devious brain teasers.
The opening title screen gives the player the option of choose Robot Rescue, Robot Rescue 2, or Robot Rescue 3D. Sans Robot Rescue 3D, the opening few stages of the first two original games act as tutorials but the difficulty almost instantly ramps up. Like Chess, each stage requires the player to think several moves ahead and almost always requires multiple tries before you can move on to the next stage. If you just cannot get through a certain stage, the player is free to use the Skip option. This skipping mechanic is only temporary though and visualized through the use of golden keys. Players will eventually have to come back and complete the puzzle to earn back the limited three skips. While unlocking stages in sequential order gives the player a sense of accomplishment, it would have been more user friendly having all content unlocked from the start. And with this type of gameplay, not having a level editor option seems like a missed opportunity.
Perhaps the oddest part of this entire package are the “robots” themselves. Thing is, they don’t really look anything like robots. In fact, they are more organic than machine. With large googley eyes and a massive underbite, these robots are actually rather creepily designed. Normally something like this wouldn’t really deserve a second glance but since the title of the game specifically features robots it just seems a bit out of place. Further, where does the “Rescue” portion come into play too? With no story line, the robots must simply be guided from the entrance to exit; they are not being rescued. But this should not really be too distracting because these facts do not affect the overall fun factor of the game.
The Robot Rescue portion of this compilation contains over 40 stages and Robot Rescue 2 has over 50 stages. Strangely enough, the oddly named Robot Rescue 3D section only contains 20 new stages. Even though some of these stages could take a very long time to find the solution, players of the original two titles might feel slightly gipped regarding new content. But since this package does contain the original games and some new content, this is the best Robot Rescue game to date especially this entire package is only $2.99. But to be fair, the original games did receive a welcomed overhaul from their DSiWare origins. Instead of holding the system like a book and getting lost in the dead area between screens, this 3D version has the player holding the system normally with some mild 3D effects if desired. However, circlepad support is not included probably since the D-pad works a little more accurately in a grid based environment.
Robot Rescue 3D isn’t a puzzle game for everyone. But if you are a fan of highly difficult brain teasers and have the patience to complete trial and error puzzles, this is one title you will not want to pass up.
Not As Good As: Chip’s Challenge or Chu Chu Rocket
Better Than: Buying the original games individually
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com