Crashbots

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Title: Crashbots
Developer: Sometimes You
Publisher: Sometimes You
Website: https://www.sometimesyou.com/
Genre: Action, Arcade, Platformer
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Audience: Everyone – Mild Fantasy Violence
Release Date: Out Now – 01/05/19
Price: £8.99 – Rapid Reviews UK were very kindly provided with a review code for this title.

What the Developers say

Take control of the latest line of robots and test their fighting capabilities, agility, and endurance in various arenas.

WORLD MODE:
In this game mode you have to reach the finish line of each level before your battery runs out. World Mode takes you through 6 different worlds that each have their own unique contraptions and enemies that will try to destroy you. The final level of each world is a big boss fight.

ENDLESS MODE:
In this game mode you have to run as far as you can before your energy runs out. 

Crashbots features 5 different robots. Each robot has its own stats and a unique heavy attack. The robots can be upgraded to improve their durability and fighting power. You can unlock new robots by finding all of their parts that are hidden in the various worlds and game modes.

https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/crashbots-switch/

Introduction

Crashbots is an endless runner/shooter where your main goal is to reach the end of each level while avoiding different types of hazards. To do so, you make use of your unique abilities including jumping, jetpack sliding and shooting enemies while collecting coins to achieve the highest score at the end of the level. You have to make sure you collect batteries as each action takes up your precious energy… run out of energy or take too much damage and your run will be over.

Audio and Visual

The audio in Crashbots is decent enough with its pumping beats while you’re running and gunning through multiple different areas. Each new area has its own songs to listen to. The sound effects for weapons, various other mechanics like collecting and receiving damage aren’t too bad either. It’s nothing outstanding but all serves a purpose.

On the subject of visuals, Crashbots looks alright in motion with different environments and effects at play. The overall impact of the seeing the same level though does become repetitive after 10th in each environment. 

One thing I found disappointing about Crashbots is the trailer which sets the scene for a high octane shooter-runner! It looked so fluid and fast and as you can imagine, I was pretty excited to play CrashBots. However, once I picked up the game, it was slow and sluggish with poor hit detection. The viewing angle and inconsistent performance in several areas pushed me to my breaking point during my play-through.

Gameplay and Replayability

There are some positives though. First of all, Crashbots has two game modes to play with: 

World mode which is the main campaign that you’ll be spending most of your time with. There are 5 areas and a tutorial area to get you up to speed on what you can do. Each level from the Factory, Forest, Haunted House, Wild West and Neon theme worlds have multiple levels in each to play.

Your main goal is to reach the end without running out of energy, all while trying to collect all coins, and the 3 stars that are located in each level. If you can manage to complete a level, there are a few other things you can complete to earn more money in the game, meaning there is an incentive to replay levels to earn extra cash.

The extra objectives you can do in each level is:

1. Collect all coins;
2. Complete levels within a certain amount of time;
3. Destroying all boxes in a level;
4. And not taking any damage.

These will earn you extra kudos if you can successfully complete them.

Robot workshop: You can also upgrade your robots in your very own workshop. There are five robots to unlock in CrashBots however these won’t unlock easily as each robot requires all their parts to be found before they become unlocked. Each robot has different stats that can be upgraded. Each of the five robots can be upgraded in a few different areas – shooting, jetpack, armour, and speed. Each upgrade can be boosted up to 5 times, which may make the game a little more playable.

Endless mode: This is exactly what it says on the tin. Run until you can’t run any more. You’ll only be able play on levels you’ve already unlocked in the main campaign. The longer you’re running, the more hazards and obstacles you will encounter. The only way to survive is collect batteries and try not hit anything, which is harder said than done for reasons I will share below.

My biggest gripes with Crashbots is its inability to give you the best viewing angle while running, meaning can’t judge distances or heights during your run. You can’t tell if you can slide or jump over obstacles, which can be really frustrating… as taking damage makes you lose energy. Without energy you will end up looking at the ‘Game Over’ screen for ninth time…Its core mechanics fall apart here because of this issue.

Now, let’s continue with the dreaded, energy batteries. This is one mechanic that is used throughout the whole game and the energy cells that are required to operate your robot. Each action such as running, shooting, jumping, jetpack or sliding takes up your energy. Your battery is located at the top of the screen and shows you how much power you currently have. If the battery is depleted completely during play its game over. To restore your energy, you’ll need to collect batteries that are scattered across the current level.  

As mentioned above, you can’t judge distances or height during your run. This makes avoiding anything impossible and guest what? Every time you hit anything, your energy depletes even quicker and the knockback effect is ridiculous. It turn’s most runs into frustrating experiences that ruin what could have been a decent runner.

Malfunction!Sometimes you can’t distinguish whether or not you jump over something or slide under it.  This can be really teeth-gritting. My first few hours into my playthrough was wrought with frustration. It felt as though no one actual play tested Crashbots as it something I noticed as soon as I started playing.

The Factory area was pure torture to play with its repetitive elements – move from Point A to point B with a constant nagging feeling that if I hit anything I would lose a huge chunk of energy and would end up being greeted by the game over screen. Even though levels become progressively more difficult over time, the energy bar drains far too quickly and some runs end far too quickly. Its a shame as I can see the potential in Crashbots and the campaign would last a long while, if you could manage to stick it out that is.

Conclusion

I am afraid I can’t recommend Crashbots – it just doesn’t play well at all.  It’s a good concept that has been ruined by poor implementation. There is so much potential wasted. The core mechanic depletes too quickly, and you’ll be crashing into everything as it is difficult to judge distances, or height, because of the perspective. It just isn’t very fun to play… especially when there are so many better games on the eShop right now that you should be playing.

Rapid Reviews UK Rating

You can purchase Crashbots on the Nintendo eShop at the following link: https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Crashbots-1548896.html

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