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Robot Robbery
(Keith Kosh)


"A Malfunction of Mechanical Morals!"

As Jeff was working on his latest videogame masterpiece, his development time was rudely interrupted by a giant 500-pixel robot! Jeff attempts to ignore the strange metallic beast, but instead the robot steals Jeff's computer and flies away!

As Jeff travels through the neighborhood, he notices that many of his fellow programmers have also lost their computers, and that the city is now infested with strange mechanical creatures. Determined to figure out this mystery and get back his computer, Jeff follows the giant robot and prepares for a great adventure...

Graphics (n.)
The use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
The biggest strength in this Keith Kosh platformer is probably the animation. Jeff, the character you play in this game, probably has the least action frames of the sprites on-screen. The character's been redesigned from the last version so that he looks a little rounder, he doesn't flicker anymore, and he moves at a smooth, pixel-by-pixel rate. Other than that, the enemies have plenty of frames and they're all well-animated. The enemies even move pixel by pixel unlike Jeff, so that isn't a concern. But even then I wish it was slightly more original; the wind-up robot looks just a little too much like an enemy in Bubble Bobble.

By comparison, the level graphics in Robot Robbery have the tileish look shared by many of the earlier QB games, but the tiles have been redrawn and have a more rendered, stuck-out look. At the least the game doesn't suffer from much flicker, and the only instances I noticed were probably in between long jumps or when the game scrolls.

Sound/Music (n.)
The smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
Average. This is the area which Robot Robbery improved the most from it's previous version. The PC sound effects are more audible now, and they're still easy on the ears. A welcome change is the switch from collecting coins to collecting CDs, which triggers a lower-pitched but charming sound whenever Jeff picks one up for bonus points. There are few sound effects besides that, but it does add to the atmosphere of the game.
Gameplay (n.)The precision of control and involvement of character within its universe vv
Robot Robbery is a typical one-level platform game, where you have to reach the exit. You guide Jeff through a path of robots, making sure that you stomp on the wind-up robots and dodge the moving balls of spikes along the way. There are also some holes (thankfully none are lethal), and to add a point-incentive to the game there are coins you can pick up. Points are earned by stomping on baddies or by picking up these coins.

In the beginning of the game, you have five lives. There are no half-way points, so if you die in Robot Robbery you'll be hurtled all the way back to the beginning of the stage. Be extra careful near the end of the level because it be a real pain if you have to start the level again by then. There's no boss, so simply proceed with caution.

The control system in Robot Robbery is a little unusual at first, but it's easy to get to. Instead of the directional keys, the Ctrl and Alt keys move Jeff left and right, while the Right Shift key allows Jeff to jump. This is due to a new keyboard handler used by Keith Kosh while making the game. This change in controls is welcome because it allows Robot Robbery to improve it's graphics and it's game physics. One problem you may remember in the old Robot Robbery is Jeff's strange ability of walking tile by title while jumping pixel by pixel. This awkward movement has been corrected in this latest version. Jeff moves pixel by pixel fully now, and it makes a big difference in the gameplay department.

Story (n.)
The creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
You have to give credit to Keith Kosh for developing an original story for his Robot Robbery game, which is presented through the game's readme file. It's refreshing to find a platform game that isn't based on tales already told by Nintendo or Sega.

What would have been nice is if Keith Kosh expanded on his story a little by putting it into action in the game. Keith currently promises a cinematic sequence that will help make sense out of the story he provided in the text file. If Keith can make a good introduction and ending for this game when it's fully completed, the story score here would probably skyrocket.

Replay Value (n.)
The timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience can be repeated again and again
Thanks to the improved control system and game mechanics, Robot Robbery gets an average score in the Replay Value department. It's no longer a pain trying to figure out hit detection in the game, nor is the movement of the hero awkward. The pixel by pixel movement from the enemies and the hero is perfect to the tee, and the few issues you can have with the game are easily overriden by the game's classic platform experience. In fact, the only solid complaint is that the game demo only has one level so far.
Challenge (v.)
To strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought and reflexes
The hardest part in Robot Robbery is probably getting the timing down. There are quite a few parts in the game's level design that are intended to frustrate you so that you don't break down the game one enemy at a time. If you see any windup bots, step on them as a first priority. Then proceed slowly, checking around every now and then to make sure there aren't any spike bots dropping from overhead. A little patience will help you beat this platformer a lot quicker than you'd expect.
Fun Factor (n.)
The overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
Keith Kosh did a great job of improving from the last version of Robot Robbery. The games now features very little flickering, the game physics have been polished, the graphics have been improved, and the sound effects and audible and effective. In all counts, Robot Robbery has a good foundation, and it's on it's way to becoming a great QB platformer.

To make it there though, Keith Kosh will have to go where few QB platform games have gone, and that's making more levels while maintaining the good gameplay formula that Robot Robbery has already put together. The game is already pretty addictive but simple as it is, and while there's only game level so far, the potential for this game is very high whether or not you consider the fact that the game is in Pure QB code or not.

I'm particularly looking forward to the 500-pixel robot that Jeff will encounter at the end of Robot Robbery when the final version is released. I'm curious as to how Keith Kosh will handle it. If Keith Kosh can show an improvement in the game as each level passes by, I'll be looking forward to the next update of this game.

Robot Robbery Reviewed by QBShire

Players 1 player Genre: Platform Game
Rating To solve: 15-25 min Final Rating: 13/35

To download this game, click here.
Installation Tip
wTo play Robot Robbery, unzip the file and run "ROBOTROB.EXE".

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