Jan 19, 2012
It’s the end of humanity, and all that’s left are birds, vampire bats, and the apparently-victorious robotkind. And according to Robot Surf, the time has come to start surfing through the flooded earth that we once called home! Now, I’m skeptical that robots would want to surf, given that water and doesn’t go too well with metal and electricity, but let’s go with the premise. Robo Surf is an endless runner that works kind of like the old Chopper game in Flash – hold on the screen to go up, let go to go down, avoid obstacles like birds, pick up oil and buzz objects to increase turbo, which can take out enemies.
The game feels as much like a level-based progression game as it does a high score fest; this is thanks to the randomly-generated levels that introduce set elements. There’s also the boss fights that come after each .5km to deal with – the goal is to rack up the turbo, and take them out. There are also challenges to do, like bumping on top of the screen a certain number of times, or collecting 20 oil barrels in a row; these add that necessary goal-oriented dynamic that adds to the longevity of the endless runner game. There are additional characters to unlock with each new challenge, but no in-app purchases or consumable items to worry about, which is a welcome reprieve from the industry trend.
The “close shave” mechanic to get a little extra turbo strikes me as being far too little reward for a lot of risk. Or, at least buzzing enemies from below, instead of above. From above, it’s much easier to not die. If buzzing from below granted more turbo boost, then it would be more beneficial, as it is a higher risk. The game really demands decent hardware that can run the game smoothly; any hiccups make it easy to die right away. Be careful. Also, the “slide forward to use turbo” function doesn’t respond well at times; a button option would be great.
Robo Surf is a fun little endless runner that should definitely satisfy those who are missing out on Jetpack Joyride on Android. Note that the free version only appears to differ from the paid version in the way of a small square ad on the title screen – I do recommend supporting indie developers financially, but the free version is not a bad call.