May 27, 2013
Retro Dreamer has taken the basic trappings of a formula it introduced in Happy Poo’s Revenge and have expanded it out into a more full-fledged game in SlamBots. The increase in fledging has paid off quite well, as this is a fun endless title from the developer.
Expect to die frequently, as there’s a bouncing slambot to control by tilting horizontally, who can only take down enemies by bopping their heads, with the added ability to slam down by tapping on the screen. Hitting an enemy from the side or below? Game over, man. Thus, the challenge becomes to use the platforms available to get a leg up, and to stay alive! Of course, some of the platforms crumble and catch on fire, so there’s that, but then there’s the platforms that become extra-bouncy, allowing players to fly high up in the air and collect coins! Scores definitely have an accelerating effect to them, where later on in the game, so many enemies spawn that it becomes more difficult to not bounce off of them; this is when it becomes important to have the upgrades to slam down in to enemies more!
Coins serve as the currency for the game’s upgrade system, which allows fo rthe slam meter to be recharged faster, for a shield to be unlocked, and for new characters and machines to be used. Want to control a zombie named Colin in a giant spiked wrecking ball? Congratulations, today’s a perfect day. However, the upgrades don’t get in the way of the gameplay at all – they just serve as a supplement to it. The bouncing mechanic is just fun to play with, and the game is easy to bounce back into after failing. The tilt controls work extremely well, and the pixel art, taking after the underappreciated earlier Retro Dreamer title Velocispider, is great.
The game has just a few lacking features: one, there’s no leaderboards yet. Hey, Google Play Game Services just became available so I’ll excuse this one…for now. As well, there’s no ability to actually buy coins, just to earn them through Liking Retro Dreamer on Facebook or by watching video ads. This is quite possibly due to the issues with payments on Google Play, where Google doesn’t handle international taxes like Apple does, so this is understandable as well. The game is ad-supported as well, and the post-game ads that pop up to download other games wind up being way too easy to open up accidentally.
Minus these minor quibbles, SlamBots is a must-download. Its simple gameplay boasts surprising depth and is endlessly replayable to boot. Plus, Velocispider is an unlockable character. So yeah, go get this for free.