Robot Goal


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robotgoal.gifJohnBRobot Goal, by Ja.Games is a simple action/puzzle game where you use a series of clickable commands to program a robot on the screen. The goal is to have the 'bot collect green spheres and fire them into the targets before time runs out. Four possible commands are laid out in tiles to the right: rotate clockwise, counterclockwise, move forward, and fire the ball. String these together in whatever order you need to get the robot to the spheres.

As the game progresses, puzzles get much more complex and can be a real challenge to complete on time. Movable blocks appear after a few levels that must be pushed out of the way before you can collect the spheres. Of course pushing them usually blocks your path and forces you to take the long way around, making your fight against the clock a little more tense.

Robot Goal carries the unique ability to make you laugh at yourself. Carefully planning moves out in your head sometimes goes awry, causing the robot to walk, twist and do some wacky looking things in the wrong place at the wrong time. You aren't penalized for "incorrect" moves (other than losing precious time), so just grin and keep chugging away.

Robot Goal is a very simple game that has a kind of innocent charm. Cheers to Ja.Games for a great entry!

Play Robot Goal

dancemonkeydancemonkey - I'm afraid I feel like I was missing something here. Let me start with the positive: I actually enjoyed this game and think that overall it's a great concept. What I don't really get is where the theme came into play, it just wasn't that strong of a Replay concept. That aside, I think there is a mis-match in the game's rules. You program the robot to do its thing in discrete steps, yet the levels are time-based. I think it would have been a better choice to make the constraint turn-based rather than time-based, so that you only have a certain number of moves to accomplish the goals. Either that or significantly reduce the time alloted to each level so that there is some challenge. How about this: give you no time limit at all, no programming limit either, but stipulate that the level needs to be completed in one pass? Or a mixture of all of those things and then some more that I'm not creative enough to think of? I don't mean to sound too negative, I thought the game was charming and shows a lot of promise, but it just didn't gel for me completely.

18 Comments

taifunbrowser July 23, 2007 11:29 AM

Great game!

I don't know, its so satisfying to try to do as many moves as you can at once. So much fun to play with!

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Funny little game, I actually had something almost-equal in mind. My guess on the replay-theme is the robot that "replays" the programmed movement.

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Not a bad little game, i enjoy the programming aspect of it.

Good difficulty ramp up.

Nice cute graphics.

(no comment on the sound, as I don't have my headphones today)

Good use of accessories and other objects.

Something that's really missing? a pause button. It'd really be nice to pause the game; because if you click on play again, you reset your score, and the state of the level, including the time. This is kinda annoying, as I had to leave for a moment, the game continued without me, and I came back and lost my entire score. I don't know if that's what you intended, but It really put me off, around level seven.

Overall, however, it'd definately a good little game. props.

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gabrielbenjamin July 23, 2007 12:09 PM

Not to be blunt, but isn't this essentially a simpler RoboRally?

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Why, because it has to do with programming robots? That's not a concept unique to RoboRally.

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Although this game is hardly the same as RoboRally, I think there is something important in the comparison. In most program-your-moves-before-they-execute games (e.g. RoboRally, RAMbots, etc.), there's some mystery about the next n moves of the game that makes the programming interesting. There might be other players moving around in unexpected ways, or board elements that follow very intricate rules. Even stretching the analogy to Diplomacy of Sissy Fight, whenever you're choosing your moves and then carrying them out later, the fun of the game comes from predicting what's going on *around* your character.

This game, on the other hand, is completely deterministic. There's really no mystery about where the ball is going to end up, unless you're particularly bad at counting. In that light, the programming seems a bit silly to me. The game is essentially no different than it would be if you hit the arrow keys to move and space to fire, but now there's an extra level of obfuscation in that you have to click the commands and then click play. Perhaps the later levels introduce mechanics where this makes more sense, but I found it a bit too boring to continue.

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I agree with taifunbrowser - this game's a lot of fun provided you limit yourself to planning all the moves in your head.

Also leads to some fine comedy moments where a small error on my part leads to utter chaos after ten or twenty subsequent moves! :-)

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Carl Foust Author Profile Page July 23, 2007 1:33 PM

Since this is a turn-based game, I'd prefer a turn limit instead of a real-time countdown. It's really annoying to not be able to pause, not even between levels.

Also there should be some kind of benefit or bonus to stringing togeher a long list of commands. It's fun to do so, but there's a risk(of making mistakes) that's not being balanced out by a reward. As a designer you're missing a great opportunity.

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Cool game, i love this one and yes, thnx for checking your spam folder, jay

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Russell Scott Author Profile Page July 23, 2007 1:41 PM

Well...I'm a bit of an idiot, i didn't notice that you pick up the ball, i thought you had to shoot from where the ball is, that worked until level 6. x.x

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Russell Scott Author Profile Page July 23, 2007 2:39 PM

This reminds me a little of Bill the Robot
http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/200730

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Russell Scott Author Profile Page July 23, 2007 3:58 PM

Complete Walkthrough

R=turn right, L=turn left, F=forward, S=shoot
Level 1:

Rx1 Fx2 Sx1

Level 2:

Fx3 Lx2 Fx1 Lx1 Sx1 Rx1 Fx6 Lx1 Sx1

Level 3.

Rx1 Fx1 Rx1 Fx2 Lx1 Sx1 Lx1 Fx1 Rx1 Fx2 Lx1 Fx1 Lx2 Fx1 Rx1 Sx1

Level 4.

Lx1 Fx2 Lx1 Fx2 Lx1 Fx1 Lx2 Sx1 Fx1 Lx1 Fx2 Lx1 Fx1 Lx2 Sx1 Fx2 Lx1 Fx2 Lx1 Fx2 Lx2 Sx1

Level 5.

Fx2 Rx1 Fx1 Lx1 Fx2 Lx1 Fx1 Sx1 Fx1 Lx1 Fx2 Lx1 Fx1 Rx1 Fx3 Lx2 Fx3 Lx1 Fx2 Lx1 Fx5 Rx1 Sx1 Lx2 Fx2 Sx1 Fx2 Lx1 Fx7 Rx1 Sx1

Level 6.

Rx1 Fx1 Lx2 Fx3 Lx1 Sx1

Level 7.

Lx2 Fx7 Lx1 Fx3 Lx1 Fx5 Sx1

Level 8.

Lx2 Fx3 Rx1 Fx1 Rx1 Fx2 Lx1 Fx1 Rx1 Fx1 Rx1 Fx2 Rx1 Fx1 Lx1 Fx1 Lx1 Fx3 Lx1 Fx1 Rx1 Fx1 Rx1 Fx1 Lx1 Fx1 Lx1 Fx5 Lx2 Fx2 Rx1 Fx1 Lx1 Sx1

Level 9.

Rx1 Fx1 Rx1 Fx2 Rx1 Fx1 Lx1 Fx1 Lx1 Fx4 Lx2 Fx2 Rx1 Fx2 Rx1 Fx5 Lx1 Fx2 Lx1 Fx2 Rx1 Fx1 Lx2 Fx1 Lx1 Fx2 Rx1 Fx2 Rx1 Fx3 Lx1 Sx1

Level 10.

Fx1 Rx1 Fx2 Lx1 Fx1 Lx1 Fx4 Lx1 Fx4 Lx1 Fx1 Rx1 Fx1 Rx1 Fx3 Lx2 Sx1 Fx1 Lx1 Fx4 Lx1 Fx1 Rx1 Fx1 Rx1 Fx5 Rx1 Fx1 Lx1 Fx1 Lx1 Fx3 Rx1 Fx1 Lx2 Fx3 Lx1 Fx4 Rx1 Sx1

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I think this game is made very well and the planning that has to be put in is quite good. However as others have mentioned, I think it could be made more challenging by limiting the amount of times you can press Go.

On another note, this brought back good memories of programming the Logo Turtle, the one that used to take instructions from a PC to draw shapes on the floor.

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Anonymous July 23, 2007 6:14 PM

Jay, I think the replay theme implementation is supposed to be the replay of the robot's moves -- you enter them first, then watch the replay. Pure speculation, but it beats replay value, anyway..

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Thank you. I'll update the intro text accordingly. I believe you may be right about the replay.

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About limiting the number of times you can press "Go", I believe the game already does that by providing a time limit within which you must complete each level.

Some levels require you to string your commands together in order to complete it in time.

As I was making my way through I had thought the same thing initially, but then I realized that the more times I pressed Go the longer I was taking to solve the level and was forced to change my tactic.

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Awwww. What a cute game. Would love to play more levels.

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This game is actually quite like Roborally. A board game by Wizzard of the Coast...

http://www.gamingcorner.nl/roborally.htm

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