Robokill


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Joshrobokill_screen1Those of you Crimsonland fanatics are in for a treat. And if you've never heard of Crimsonland or the RIP series (top-down [WASD] shooters), you're in for an even bigger treat. Rock Solid Arcade's newest release, Robokill, is an extremely well-polished shooter game that's as fun to play as it is easy to learn. You play the role of a mercenary robot hired to investigate and eradicate the hostile forces that have taken over Titan Prime, a space station orbiting Mars. On arrival, you're dropped off in the first level of the station, equipped with dual miniguns attached to your shoulders. Sound enticing? It only gets better...

Each level of the station features around two dozen rooms where all the action takes place. You have a mission objective in each level (such as destroying a particular target or finding a vital component to progress). Your job is to blast through room after room, destroying everything that gets in your way, all while gaining experience to boost your stats, and finding money and upgrades to enhance your robot. Any fan of top-down shooters will embrace the familiar controls instantly: [WASD] or [arrow] keys to move and the mouse aims and shoots. For those of you not familiar with this style of shooter gameplay, you have a top-down view with the ability to move in all directions while simultaneously aiming with the mouse and shooting enemies while you move. As always in this kind of game, if you stand still, you die. Veteran players know the key to staying alive is to keep moving, especially in a game like this where most of the enemies fire projectiles back at you. The key is keeping a bead on your enemies as you fire at them while strafing around the room to dodge incoming fire. Luckily some of the rooms in Robokill provide non-destructible cover for you to hide behind if things get too hot. On the other hand, lots of barriers can be destroyed, sometimes revealing items or traps.

Each room in a level is kind of like its own mini-level. Once you enter a room, all the doors around and behind you slam shut and won't open again until you've destroyed everything in the room. Enemies are varied and unique, with a decent AI. Some enemies like little robot spiders merely chase you around, trying to damage you by exploding on impact. But most of the enemies are equipped with some heavy firepower, from mini-gunners to rocket launchers to flying drones, there's a sizable array of bots trying to take you down. There's even some stationary turrets thrown in for good measure. As you blast apart these enemy bots, you'll need to collect drops such as shield power-ups, wads of cash and even new weapons and items (more info on these later). In some rooms, enemies spill out of spawning nodes that resemble holes. Even though there's only a limited number of enemies in each node (eventually they run dry), you'll want to destroy them as quickly as possible or you'll find yourself overrun and out-gunned.

robokill_screen2As mentioned, each level consists of around a couple dozen inter-connecting rooms, some of which have doors you can move freely through, while others require a key to open (usually found in adjacent or nearby rooms). You can bring up a snazzy-looking map by pushing [M], which shows your location relative to the entire map, as well as other areas of interest. Checkpoints in Robokill are lighted tiles that you'll find in certain rooms. Before the checkpoint is activated though, you'll need to clear the room first by destroying all the enemies in it. Once you've cleared the room, the checkpoint is activated so that if you die, you'll respawn back at the nearest one. The checkpoints also give you the ability to instantly teleport to and from each other, accessible via the map screen. This is a convenient feature so you don't have to waste time re-tracing your steps through empty rooms. You can also teleport back to the shop, which is available in every level to sell weapons and items you pick up, and buy new ones.

The items, upgrades and level progression of your character by experience is what launches Robokill above and beyond the myriad of Crimsonland clones released in the past. First of all, your robot has a total of eight slots available to equip guns and items. Four of these slots are reserved for weaponry, such as a couple miniguns mounted to your shoulders and a grenade launcher and shotgun on each arm. The four lower slots are for items such as shield boosters, health-regeneration packs and more. All of these weapons and items can be obtained either by drops from enemies or purchased at the shop with the cash you collect in each level. Some items even have enhancements on them, like a boosted rate-of-fire, a knock-back effect or the ability to freeze enemies in place briefly. Access your inventory by pressing [I] to see what you've got and swap out items. You can also upgrade your base stats (like shields and damage) by gaining experience to level up, which you're awarded by killing enemies and progressing through rooms.

Analysis: Robokill is one of the best top-down shooters I've seen in a long time, maybe since Crimsonland itself. The graphics are great for a two-dimensional game, giving an emulated 3D depth effect in some rooms where you can accidentally fall off the floor and into space below. Graphics aside, the game just plain rocks. Our main man Jay said it best when he played it, describing the gameplay as amazing and gratifying. The controls feel just right; even projectiles hit with satisfying accuracy and damage. The only negative thing I could find after a few hours of playing is that the death penalty might not be strong enough. Once you die, you're returned back to your nearest checkpoint with full health. Sometimes half the enemies you destroyed in a room before you got killed will still be gone when you return. So what's your incentive to stay alive? Just a few seconds of wasted time as you walk back from the checkpoint? The developer might have considered taking away a percentage of cash with each death, or re-spawning all the enemies in rooms between where you died and the checkpoint. Other than that, it's hard to find many flaws in Robokill. The progression of new enemies, items and weapons keep things fresh, and the level designs (in terms of difficulty and the attention-span factor) are spot-on.

Play Robokill

Note: This version of Robokill is actually a demo, although many people will probably enjoy it as if it were a full version. The full version features all three episodes, which span over 10 levels. It also includes the full range of weapons and items that would be discovered in later levels. The free demo consists of the first episode, featuring four levels (an hour or two of play). You have the option of unlocking the full version by clicking the link in the lower right corner of the main title screen, available for $9.95 via Paypal or credit card at the time of this review.

87 Comments

wow!
this is the shiniest flash based game that i have ever played.
its so shiny...drool

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Awesome game.
If I'm a mercenary robot, why does the shop keeper call me pitiful human ?

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I like the game, but the framerate droppages are too frequent which doesn't make the game unplayable, but it doesn't make it much enjoyable, too.

If it was a downloadable perhaps I would invest 10$ for the whole thing, but I'm not sure a choppy Crimsonald-esque game is worth it, no matter how beautiful it looks.

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Alex Kantal Author Profile Page May 27, 2008 7:23 PM

It's too bad you can only play the first 4 missions, that was really fun but i don't want to spend money to play the rest. Here's a few tips:

You can jump off the edge of a room to recharge your shields. The bots won't take back a room and you won't lose anything. At least, that's what happened to me.

the Knockback ability is really only good for the blasters. It doesn't push the enemy back that much, but with the rapid fire of the blasters you can acually make use of it.

I found that the best setup is 2 blasters, a grenade launcher in one hand, a shotgun in the other, and for the items i usally have 3 shield rechargers and a riot shield if my Hp is high, or a revenge detonator if my Hp is critical. When i have the revenge detonator on i usally just kamikazi into the enemys. Doesn't really do much though.

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Great game!

I usually don't like these kinds of games. Typically, there is an endless flow of enemies, so you can't take sip from your drink, and you lose your upgrades when hit, turning it into a frantic experience. Not very casual.

This one has a strategic element, and it looks great. I'm not too sure about the money system though. I end up having a lot of money without being able to spend it, bacause I need to level up for the big guns. Maybe I just need to dig up a strategy for that.

It reminded me a little bit of Crusader: No Remorse.

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mtheminja Author Profile Page May 27, 2008 9:37 PM

Really, the fire-through-multiple-enemies upgrade is by FAR the best, especially later on. It multiplies that weapon's effectiveness by 2-5, depending on how crowded the room is, so buy them whenever possible. Piercing knock back heavy shotguns completely dominate everything.

BTW, ignore your shields; if you die, you just get more enemies to kill sometimes, which increases your experience.

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b00bage May 27, 2008 9:53 PM

Holy crap, I'm addicted to the gameplay and it is the exact kind of flash game I've been waiting for.

I went ahead and spent $10 on the full version as it is only $10 and atm it can only get better.

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Surely on pf the best games in this genre, smoothly combining rpg and tactical approach.

My weapon system is two grenade launchers + blaster and shotgun. But I was REALLY lucky to get Rare shotgun with freezing ability - it saved me many times.

The only thing I think this game is far too simple. Something interesting started only on the 4th level. I was killed only a couple of times (and I falled down the platform around 10 more times).

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Ugh, this game. I don't understand the fuss, it's the same fxxing level after level with repetition abound. I got so bored my eyes actually started glazing over somewhere in the second level. seriously, what's the fun factor here, "hit WASD while holding down right-click, move to next room, repeat. No challenge, no innovation, NO FUN.

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Sorry, but I vehemently disagree, JRock.

There is plenty here to enjoy, not the least of which are all the upgrades available to earn. It's somewhat RPG-like in that regard.

The gameplay was smooth and gratifying. A total joy to play. And a challenge, too, at least for me.

If you want to get cynical about it, you can pretty much distill most games down to: do this, avoid that, rinse, repeat.

Perhaps this is just not your type of game?

I don't play dress-up games, but I also don't slam them just because I don't like them.

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Actually, my reaction to the game was more or less the same as J-Rock's at first (less angry, maybe), although I did keep playing it. The controls are so smooth, and the production values are so high, and I'm such a big fan of Rock Solid Arcade in general, I had faith that things would pick up after the first couple of levels.

And they do, once the enemies start getting a little more versatile. Flying drones, ricocheting bullets, and the heavily armed guys that mow you down if you don't stay behind cover; they really salvaged the game for me. It's still not one of my favorite shooters I've played lately, but that's because I play all the 2d shooters I can find.

However, I'm unfairly comparing it to downloadable games. Droid Assault, Everyday Shooter, Engage to Jabberwock. For a Flash game, Robokill is absolutely fantastic. And I may come back to it when I want to play something slick and action-y, but not super-intense.

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Nice to see lots of graphical bells and whistles in a flash game like this - it makes spraying bullets everywhere much more satisfying than it would normally be, and it's really slick. Lots of moving bits in pseudo 3D and the frame rate was consistently pegged.

I had the good fortune to get a rare blaster with piercing and freeze, which was pretty effective at quickly neutralizing huge masses of baddies at once! Fun stuff.

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cosmonk Author Profile Page May 28, 2008 3:38 AM

Question for anyone who has bought this: Is it just more of the same in the next 2 episodes or is there more diversity or anything? Or, is there any reason to try not to die?

I really enjoyed this game, until I realized there was no penalty for dying. After I figured that out I just let myself die, and wrapped up the last level in no time. I was also swimming in money and weapons I couldnt use cuz I was too low level. So if the later episodes dont offer a challenge, Im not going to bother.

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There is a real incentive to not die - in the later stages, if you die, there is a possibility that the enemy robots will retake some of the rooms you have previously cleared.

Also, you get more weapons and upgrades. I consider my $10 well spent.

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Just wanted to chime in on this game...

This is definitely one of the most polished Flash shmup games I've ever encountered. It's very slick and has good controls and good graphics. I have to say that it's very impressive.

To those who are asking whether it's worth the $10 extra to get the last two episodes, here's my advice. If you had no trouble beating the first episode, and you ended up having loads of cash on hand because you picked up so many weapons and didn't need to buy anything, the next two episodes are likely not going to be that much more difficult. I decided to pay $10 to see how they went, and I played them through. I enjoyed it, but it definitely was not difficult at all, at least for me.

If you *did* find the last mission of the first episode to be difficult, then the last two episodes will probably be more difficult for you. The ramp-up in difficulty level is much more gradual after the fourth mission (the last mission in the first episode).

That's not to say that there's nothing to like in the last two episodes. On the contrary, there are some incredibly difficult enemies (including one enemy in particular that fires lasers that are next-to-impossible to dodge, so when four gang up on me - as happens in a few rooms - I can only beat them by staying as far away as possible from them while shooting), including fliers and tanks and "assasin" bots which have a shield, as well as stronger versions of robots that you've already encountered. There are also some impressive weapons - lasers and pulse guns that appear in the third episode - including one weapon that can pass over obstacles that usually block weapons fire, making it incredibly useful (and, IMHO, necessary) for difficult enemies.

Be aware that there aren't really any added gameplay aspects in the last two episodes; you're always just shooting enemies, collecting money, keys, and weapons, and getting to certain objective rooms in which you have to destroy or pick up something. I was disappointed that there weren't any puzzle aspects to the game, but this is a shmup after all, and I am a bit biased towards puzzle games.

The one major drawback of this game is that it seems the money you pick up is completely unnecessary. Enemies seem to drop enough weapons that I almost never needed to buy anything. I ended up with ~$450,000 in my bank by the time I beat the game.

I also am conflicted on the relatively light punishment you get for dying. You get pushed back to the last room with a teleporter, and your health is restored to full, and any enemies you killed in the room in which you died remain killed. However, sometimes robots "retake" rooms that you've been in when you die, necessitating you to re-do those rooms.

This light punishment makes you more prone to take risks since the consequences aren't dire at all, and you might even consider kamikaze tactics for later levels with harder enemies. However, if you exploit this weakness in the game, you'll end up in later missions with relatively little experience. You only gain experience when you clear a room without dying, and I think the experience you gain depends on how many enemies you kill when you entered the room. That is, if you kill all but 1 enemy and then die in a room, come back, and kill that last enemy, you'll get less experience than you would have if you killed all the enemies the first time.

Leveling up in experience is extremely necessary, because more potent weapons require higher levels. The most advanced weapon (heavy pulse gun) requires an experience level of 30, so if you want to use that weapon in the last mission, it means you have to have died relatively few times. (It is possible to level up in experience by redoing missions that you've already passed, though.)

I remain conflicted because the light punishment is part of what made the game fun. If I had lost all my progress every time I died, or if I only had a set number of lives, I likely would have lost interest after a few deaths. So it's good that I didn't. However, on the flip side, the light punishment for death made the game pretty easy for me.

Was the $10 worth it for me? Well, I paid for it, so I clearly thought that the first episode was well put-together, and I did finish the game, so draw your own conclusions from that fact.

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got to be one of the best flash shooters i've played in a long long time.

I wont pay for it, for that much money I could get a lot of other things (including a weeks worth of food for 3 people, I'm a good cheap cook :P) but I will say I was tempted.

I agree, twin blasters, freezing shotgun, and later when I got a med grenade with 63% speed bonus (making it fast enough to hit a moving target....sometimes ;) ) the combo was good enough to take as much swamp as i got given. Of course, being able to dodge shots with limited ground space and big guns shooting at you while killing it all...it got pleasantly difficult.

I do regret that the free demo doesnt get you enough exp to try out the lazers, I expect I'm missing a lot, but yes the demo is pretty fun in its own right.

as for luck, I traded my piercing freezing +14% fire rate med shotty for a freezing +50% bullet speed +18% fire rate heavy shotty. Can you say snazzy?

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I like this game a lot, but I wish there were an option to turn off all the little fragments of blown-up enemies and unnecessary details. I have Detail set to Low, but in a room with several enemies all firing and exploding, the game slows down severely and it nearly unplayable. Anyone else get this or is it just me?

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I agree - great game. Really nicely executed.

Also, I'm surprised that that the review didn't mention that Robokill is very similar to Smash TV, a late-80s arcade game (which was inspired in part by Robotron 2084 and the Schwarzenegger flick The Running Man, which in turn came from an eponymous Stephen King novel, written as Richard Bachman... the chain goes back and back).

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This would be a great game except for the complete and total lack of death penalty. That pretty much removes any challenge, skill and fun from the game. There is no incentive to stay alive, to actually try, or heck to even play the game at all.

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Even at $10, I'm loath to buy this. I encountered retaken rooms in the demo, but since I had 4 heavy blasters it was never really that hard to take them away again, especially since only the biggest bots could ever stand up to the blasters long enough to be a real problem. Unless a whole lot of rooms are retaken and keys re-hidden, I find the idea of retaken rooms being a good reason to avoid dying slightly dubious (not to mention the fact that it seems if you make it to a teleporter room or finish part of an objective, dying right away won't result in loss of rooms or needing to do the objective room over again). I also was annoyed at the shop system; I often saw something that I wanted, but couldn't afford, then found that once I *had* the money for it, it was gone! It would have been a tad more bearable if I could have sold my used items for more money, but such was not the case.

Don't get me wrong, it's obviously well-made... just not quite polished enough to pull me all the way is all.

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Anonymous May 28, 2008 12:58 PM

very similar to Merlin's Revenge One and Two

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While Robokill does resemble Smash TV in the room structure and overhead perspective, I don't think the gameplay really feels similar. I think Josh is correct in comparing it to Crimsonland and RIP. The control scheme is closer and the gameplay is much more focused on RPG-like progression than on twitch skills.

I probably would track it back to Loaded and maybe Gauntlet. In contrast, I feel like Smash TV's legacy is the intense skill-based games like Everyday Shooter and Mutant Storm and, oh, Naac. I just get a very different feeling from that branch of shooters than I do from the Crimsonland/Loaded crowd, although there's obviously some crossover.

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Hi Jay and all, nice game after a little to spend much much time.:)

I didnt moved to buy whole game but replayed missions untill I reached experience level 21 where I can use light pulse gun(lvl. 20) + Medium Laser (Lvl. 21)

Mission 1-2-3 and even 4 becomes too easy once u have that much of upgrades.

Well are there even more luring upgrades in full version of game..because with pulse gun I was shooting as fast as toughest enemies....
Finally a game tip....you need to buy something really only in intial part of game, later on you collect many many things ( I could not manage that many Inventories)
So best policy is to discard any weapon WITHOUT any special ability...abilities like higer fire rate /bullet velocity, knockback,freeze are worth keeping unless you have same specialities in higher damage weapons.
I think 4 pulse gun is devastating....

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I didn't slam this game, I just stated what I perceive to be it's flaws. Everyone else was saying how great it is, I just wanted there to be a representation of people who don't like it.

As for all other games, I like games with upgrades, but real upgrades. A slightly faster bullet, or freezing something that would have died had it continued moving an upgrade does not make.I don't see much room for improvement with the current formula either, You basically hold down the mouse button until everything in front of you is dead, I just don't find that fun.

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A smooth blend of RPG dungeon/starship crawler and pew-pewing shmup. Just like my cappuccino this morning... the smooth blend part, anyway, and the pew-pew after I spilled it.

Although I did not (yet) purchase the rest of the game, much of what Simone Manganelli said earlier captures the few complaints I had about the game: the uselessness of cash, death penalty issues, etc.

I wanted to say a bit more about the death penalty, as it's one of those things game devs rarely get right in my eyes or, through a careful empirical study of other gamers on the intertubes, the eyes of others. I believe that Rock Solid got a lot of it right. I hate big death penalties. I really do. Especially the ones that add a load of time back into the game or undo a lot of work. They just peeve me.

I think the death system in place is nearly there. Two things need to be done, IMHO, to make it "just right." First, make money useful. Add upgrades to weapons and raise the price of some weapons and make some just purchasable in the stores, or rarer drops. Lessen cash drops. Put something shiney in the store to save for. Maybe just add some shiny upgrades that do nothing, too - who the heck wouldn't want a green robot?? Then, take (not a percentage, because that just angers people who are saving) but a fixed amount of money when the person dies, perhaps depending on how they die (less for falling if the room is empty, that's no fun, more for kamikazeeing into a bunch o' bots.)

Or not.

Sexy game though - add more bots! DLC! Death penalty!

4.5/5 ;-)

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Ezrabbit Author Profile Page May 28, 2008 5:42 PM

I don't usually go in for games like this, but I like this one.
That's probably a sign that it's too easy.
I've only got one minor quibble with it:

When text appears, it makes that high pitched buzzing sound as each word is spelled out. That sound REALLY sets my teeth on edge and hurts my ears. It happens every time you want to look at your inventory or the map because you get that stupid robot up top telling you the same (unnecessary) thing every time you call up those screens. I don't want to mute the sounds because all the other sound effects are great. It's a nasty little addition which I could do without.

Other than that, good stuff.

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Hi Everyone,

Thanks for the great feedback! We've carefully considered your suggestions and we're doing a new version with a lot of improvements tonight, including:

* Roughly 2 reclaimed rooms each time you die
* Better selection of high powered items in the shop, that cost more money
* Better weapon effects to get a better feel when you upgrade
* Laser tanks toned down a bit in the last level
* Some kind of a cash penalty when you die (not too much, in case you're saving)
* Other small changes and bugfixes.

Thanks again for taking the time to let us know what you'd like changed in the game (and if anyone else has any ideas, please share them here or send them to michael@rocksolidgames.com). We really do appreciate it! We want to make the best games we possibly can, and that includes supporting games we've already released to fix any balancing issues, bugs and general complaints that pop up.

I'll post here when a new version goes up - you'll have to ctrl+refresh to get the new version from our server.

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Strangelander Author Profile Page May 29, 2008 1:04 AM

This game is freaking beautiful. I played all the free levels.

My beef was that the level designs weren't particularly intriguing. There were a few interesting/challenging things, like the room with a big turret in each corner and a block in the center, and the use of walkways/pitfalls.

Suggestions (some of which would make the filesize a lot bigger):

- Fix the shop so that it doesn't offer useless items.

- Difficulty settings.

- Secret areas, perhaps containing rare items or abilities.

- Middle and end bosses with unique behaviors and weak spots.

- Other uses for the money, such as customizing your robot's appearance, bribing guards, getting information and tips, vending machines, paying for a save point (instead of it being automatic).

- Special items that certain shopkeepers or other NPCs want in exchange for services or items.

- Make freeze, knockback, etc. purchasable instead of chance-based. Maybe can equip a port with an ability, and any gun fitted in that port inherits it.

- Finite-ammo weapons that are fired with the spacebar. E.g. freeze grenades, EMP flashbangs which disrupt enemy targeting, gravitic bombs (pushes enemies apart, off edges), mines, homing missiles, hoverbot which follows cursor around corners and barriers and behind enemies, gravitic "hand" that can manipulate distant objects or enemies.

- More strategy: lure enemies into lasers, push them off walkways, blow up enemies/obstacles to damage others (but not yourself), get them to block each other, using temporary and permanent obstacles, movable objects. There was some of this, but not much. Most of the enemies were weak enough that this didn't help much.

- Switches to extend bridges, close gates, raise barriers, turn on/off lasers. Combine these with strategies above.

- More varied goals, requiring more than "kill all the robots": rescue the hostages (making sure they don't get shot), capture the flag, protect the object, stealth/precision areas, deathmatch, get to mainframe and upload virus then make it back to ship while station is going haywire. Again, kudos on the different goals included.

- Puzzle elements.

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Well the line is further than you think. Afterall, look at the likes of caravaneer, these days flash has immense potential and the limit is the game developer and rarely the engine.

This game has the scope to go all the way yes, and while like I said I'm too tight to pay for the game (especially when for similar prices you can get major games from online stores), I do like to see the sucess of what is clearly a good game.

I'm surprised people are mentioning performance, I found the game to have some of the best performance I've seen in a flash game of such detail.

Problem with some of the suggestions is many of them have been overdone, I'd hate to see this game become "just another game", it has a certain character. The ones which I think really would help it are various "secrets", more variety in stores (specialist stores maybe?) and possibly more interactive maps: levers and gates/bridges, pushing crates, hidden doors, weak points of floor, etc. nothing more complex than in old legends like Doom, but something fitting.

As for the whole "what does it resemble", I agree on the smashTV comparison, but I do think there is a certain Doom-ness to its "get the key, fight for a decent gun, kill everything else, and dont get killed" aspect. That and smashtv was 8 way walking 8 way shooting. true directional shooting makes it very different

To add to the list of ideas for additions:

- Some sort of fuel based booster, pressing space engaged/disengages an overdrive that takes up both power/fuel and slowly drain's shields.

- Some sort of "reflective shielding" that can return things back from whence they came.

- rearrangement of weapon timings such that the time to next shot isnt "how long have you been holding the button" but more "how long since last shot". If you just tap fire, wait then tap fire again, you will find not all the weapons have recharged which is odd. This is most notable with slow weapons. The ability to "snipe" with powerful but slow blasts would help in certain rooms, where just holding fire doesnt always work.

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I played this on a slightly better computer - without extreme slowdowns, this game is pretty decent.

Here are my main complaints about Robokill:

First of all, it's horribly easy, and the lack of penalty for dying is ridicilous. I see the designer said he (they) would make it more harsh, but I think they are completely missing the point. Two reclaimed rooms and slight cash penalty (but not too much)? Come on, when you die, you should be dead, you lose all, thank you, start over from the beginning of the mission. Don't be scared to frustrate a part of your playerbase, the increase in challenge will benefit the replayability factor greatly. Think arcades, think let-me-try-one-more-time syndrome... A game you can brute-force through in a few hours is really not worth the money.

I also don't like the whole shopping-outfitting idea - it waters the gameplay down. Use the good old FPS approach - you use what you find, and better weapons automatically replace the old ones. Sure, these RPG-like elements initially look cool, but they are absolutely unnecessary in this type of game - especially the way it currently plays out.

Finally, the game is pretty samey throughout. Better weapons look different but feel the same, enemies too. Each room feels like the last one - crates are on different positions, some have holes, some don't, but you solve each and every one of them the same way. OK, as Jay said, this could be said for a large number of games, but in Robokill the same-old feeling (a.k.a. boredom) hits very soon and just doesn't want to leave.

All in all, this is a game just a few hairs shy from being a really good one, but those few hairs make a world of difference when deciding whether it's worth to drop 10$ on the whole thing or not.

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Does anyone have issues with game saves?

If I close the browser and come back later, I have all the money and experience I left with, yet I have to start each mission over...

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Different strokes for different folks.

Seems to me people either love or hate this game for different reasons.

Personally, I like it! Better items selection in the shops would be nice, but other than that, I have no complaints.

I think maybe adding a difficulty setting would be good. Also, another suggestions would be to add a choice between "Campaign" and "Survival" modes. Campaign would be pretty much exactly the same as it is now. Survival mode would remove the shops and have the die and start the level over rule that "baba44713" suggested above. This would allow different players to play the game that suits them.

Just my two cents...

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baba44713 wrote:
> Two reclaimed rooms and slight cash penalty (but not too much)? Come on, when you die, you should be dead, you lose all, thank you, start over from the beginning of the mission. Don't be scared to frustrate a part of your playerbase, the increase in challenge will benefit the replayability factor greatly.

...or it will frustrate more casual gamers right out of your potential audience for the game.

No, instead suggest a 'hard' difficulty mode (with a separate high score list) for that challenge.

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Groogokk Author Profile Page May 29, 2008 2:37 PM

@ Ben: That's not an issue, I think it is the way it was meant to be.

Replaying the levels also allows you to reach much higher levels than the demo will get you to. After some grinding, I have now reached lvl 21, democratically dishing out punishment with medium lasers and light pulse guns. No level cap in sight. Fun game.

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Am I missing something? The biggest complaint I have about the game is that there doesn't seem to be a way to save your progress mid-level. If you quit out after finishing, say, half the rooms on a level, then you have to start that whole level again next time you play. You have all your levels, upgrades and cash, but you're back to square one for the level.

I thought maybe this was a function of the demo, but it's still the case for a paid game. Am I just missing a save function?

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Ok, yes, a "hard" difficulty level would be nice..

But still, I don't see why are the games so scared of actually killing the player nowadays and forcing him to replay the level. Is a casual game by definition "easy"?

For me a casual game is a game I can play for a few minutes, half an hour perhaps, and leave it be. An easy game which takes a few hours isn't necessarily "casual", it's just easy. I guess there's a difference between casual players who like challenging games, and casual players who want to pass the entire game with minimal effort.

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There are a lot of valid comments. Great graphics, smooth gameplay, etc.

I have to second the thoughts that it gets pretty boring pretty quickly. It wasn't the difficulty or anything, more that there was really nothing to look forward to. I mean, the levels could have been just a straight line of "fight your way to the end" and it would have been just as effective. Running around and finding key cards and things just didn't really matter. And when you completed a mission nothing happened! "Mission complete, next mission".

My one recommendation would be to add some story elements. Little side quests to get key cards, interaction with other characters, or just something, anything to distract you from the monotonous clearing of one room after another. Either that or take out the missions completely because they don't matter.

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I believe the term "casual" is often over-used these days and has come to mean different things to different people, depending on context.

I have always viewed myself as a casual gamer even though, by definition, the time I spend playing games puts me in the "hardcore" category.

What I am suggesting here is that game difficulty appeals differently to different categories of player. For example, a common pitfall is that many game designers build their games only for people who like to play the way they do, ignoring the fact that not everyone plays games so intensely. Thus they alienate segments of players and reduce the potential audience for their game.

By using the term "casual" here, I mean that I enjoy the gameplay of Robokill, but I don't want the difficulty of intensity that forces me back to the beginning if I mess up. Having to backtrack through all the levels I've already seen brings me to a feeling of futility much quicker than you, it would seem, and I'm much more likely to give up and move on to something else.

I think that is at the core of difference between hardcore and casual that many people designing games don't understand, or don't take into consideration.

What I'm saying here is that I actually enjoy the way Robokill is designed AS IS with respect to its present difficulty. Having alternate difficulty modes is one way to extend and broaden the potential audience, and replayability as baba suggests.

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Vince- I don't think anybody "hates" the game. Some of us just get a little bored with it. For me, the gameplay seems very repetitious, even with the occasional new enemy. I agree 100% with what baba44713 has been saying.

Part of the problem is that enemies always shoot straight at you, so all you ever need to do is move slightly to the side, and you're okay. Having a few enemies spray bullets around more randomly would force me to pay attention, and I'm usually having more fun when I'm actually engaged.

I also feel like the storyline could be a lot better. The missions seem pretty disjointed right now, and a strong story could give me a little extra push to keep playing and find out what happens next.

I did buy the full version, because Rock Solid has a lot of potential and I like to support independent developers, but I'm probably not going to play it past level 5 or so. It's a huge time investment to complete a level once they get really big, and to me, that makes this not so casual.

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itstheme Author Profile Page May 29, 2008 6:14 PM

I'm addicted to this game. It's absolutely amazing.I wish it wasn't a download though.... They did a great job and I give it 5/5.

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Another suggestion... in case it hasn't been made yet...

Some rooms contain crates or boxes which can be destroyed.
Occasionally, these boxes have traps in them (other robots or turrets which attack you.

This is an interesting feature, but there is no incentive to destroying the boxes in the rooms. If you successfully clear a room without hitting the boxes, you can just leave the room. If you happen to destroy a bow with a trap in it, the doors slam shut again and you have to defeat the new enemy. The simple solution is to simply avoid shooting the boxes, unless you're just trying to get a little extra experience.

I think some of the boxes should contain money or items. Perhaps some rooms would have keys hidden in the boxes. Or a room could be designed so that you can't get to the exit unless you shoot the boxes.

Just a thought. Still a great game!

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Jay, I totally understand what you're saying. I'm not of an opinion games should be hard and punishing and that's it full stop.

I'm just trying to make a point that modern games are heavily skewed towards a category of players who want as low challenge as possible. A game is considered broken if you cannot brute-force through it in a few hours or so, and forcing a player to replay a part of the game is so frowned upon that almost every game designer avoids it like plague. For me it's a bad side-product of modern consumerism - a game is something you use and throw away, rather then something you play and enjoy.

Robokill just further affirms this fact. Folks who are used to an extremely light challenge will breeze through it (although breeze is a little bit wrong term here because some levels take a bit long to finish and there are no savepoints), while folks who expect a little challenge in this type of game can take a seat and hush. The most we can expect these days is patching on a "hardcore" difficulty or whatnot, but those things more often then not are just poorly playtested game modes that just tweak some settings a bit (e.g. less powerful weapons or lower shield). Rarely a game makes a "Hard" difficulty worth playing.

A notable example is "Noitu Love 2" where a "Hard" difficulty is actually a far better game, with bosses having extra attacks and whatnot. However, when you read the reviews of that particular game, noone actually tried the "Hard" difficulty, yet everyone complains the game is "too easy" and "short". Quite sad, actually.

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"noone actually tried the "Hard" difficulty, yet everyone complains the game is "too easy" and "short". Quite sad, actually."

Yes, that really is part of the modern mindset. Don't read the manual, dont actually try things, quit if it's hard, moan if it's easy, and generally make things worse.

Difficulty settings would make a big difference yeah, particularly when looking at scoring.

if a "only one life" level is included some additional way of healing is needed, perhaps a healing device that can be triggered on demand? one shot of course

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I think I posted before that Rock Solid Arcade's games have been really good; but they just missed that little bit extra to make them great - this time they've nailed it!

What a great game, game-play is well polished and the presentation is top-notch, especially for a flash game. Definately worth the fiver (in Brit money) well done guys.

If there's still time for some changes can I suggest that I/M keys are also mapped to Q & E that way you can open them up without having to take your hand off the mouse / wsad controls.

Cheers
Luke

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Groogokk Author Profile Page May 30, 2008 3:06 PM

As I have posted before, if you don't mind some grinding, you can go up several levels after the end of the demo by replaying the four given missions. One rerun of mission four gives you one level up until level 22 or so. At level 25 you get medium pulse guns, which usually shred hordes of enemies to pieces within seconds, and at level 26 you get a heavy laser which is fittingly hard-hitting.

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Dr. Pepsi May 31, 2008 3:57 AM

Handrails would be nice, it's hard to see the holes. Also, I would get the "shields low warning when I had about 60% left, sometimes more.

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I really liked this game. Its a geat game with a rpg-ish/futuristic feel. My best weapon combo is 4 Medium Grenades

For some levels its a heavy blaster or heavy shotgun with 3 medium grenades

and to every body who didn't like this game
ITS FLASH for anythings sake

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I played the demo up until level 21 where I could use the best weapons available. I'm thinking this game could have been more fun if weapons came with limited supplies of ammunition. Either each weapon would have its own ammo supply or ammo cartridges would be contained in the player's inventory. That way, it wouldn't be a matter of using the best weapons available at the time, since you might want to conserve those for when you're in a tight spot. Of course, there should be at least one default weapon that doesn't require ammo.

Having limited ammo would also encourage players to aim before they shoot instead of just holding down the mouse button. Plus, the less the player shoots, the faster the game runs.

It would also make the shop more useful, since when you're out of ammo you may need to purchase some more goodies at the shop. At the moment, all the shop really does is provide a place to unload unwanted items from your inventory. If would be nice if they actually sold things that were better than what you were already using.

Another thing to consider would be giving certain weapons a limited range. Shot guns should be short range, spread-fire weapons, while grenades could be long-range weapons. Some of those later weapons which utterly mulchify everything in the room could also stand to be short range.

I also think this game could have benefited a little from some of the elements that they used in the Descent (I and II) games, such as multiple key colors - you have to find the red key to open the red door, the blue key to open the blue door, green key for green door. Also having to blast panels in one room to open a door or wall in another room, or in the same room, would have been cool. Rescuing hostages, anyone? Maybe not.

Also - ambushes. Those would have been so much better if, for one, not all rooms were occupied, and two, if they'd trigger when the player steps within a certain area so that they can be surrounded or start off in a vulnerable position. That would make things a lot more exciting for the player. As it is, when you walk into a room that's empty, you think, "There's an ambush going to appear in a second". Never any doubt about it.

As for the death penalty, I played the first for levels on my first time through assuming that my death ended the game, like in any arcade game. It was much more exciting that way. Unless of course you die from falling off the ledge - the current way that works is fine.

That's all I can think of for now.

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I thought weapon balance went well until the late game. Pulse guns are just way, way, way better than anything else -- their damage is, what, more than three times better than the next most powerful weapon? The bounce shot is just icing on the cake. I'd like lasers to be stronger -- when I loved Pulse guns, it would have been nice to feel like there was some kind of tradeoff. I know that lasers can shoot over/through obstacles, but I don't think that's enough, considering the damage disparity and the real difficulty in putting an obstacle between you and an enemy in some rooms.

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Agreed with Dr. Pepsi, sometimes it would say sheild low at 60 and sometimes one second before my death.

Also Vince, love the idea with the boxes, definatley should have more in them, so it's a risk, there could either be a trap or reward. I shoot them either way and would prefer getting something other than a trap!

Also think they should give out weapons less, someone mentioned earlier by the end of the game they were swarmed in money which was of no use since they got all weaponry from bots.

What about time limitted weapons? When you pick it up it only lasts a few seconds? That way you'll have to go and buy weapons... and make use of that money...

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I think part of the issue with the money is that shops sell exactly the same items as you find randomly in the game. I rarely wanted to buy anything, since random drops would usually outfit me just fine.

Shops could sell neat bonuses that you can't find lying on the ground. Concept artwork. Short bonus missions with extra-tough enemies. Paint jobs for your robot. Additional item slots (I sort of wished that my robot only started with two weapon slots, and that I could buy the two shoulder mounts). Whatever you have room for, basically, without making the file size grow completely out of control.

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cheryl l Author Profile Page June 4, 2008 5:40 AM

I confess to being an extremely casual gamer, the sort who only looks for something a little fun and distracting for about half an hour or so during work/study, so I go straight for the high-rated and quick-paced stuff. (Heck, I shouldn't even be spending this time writing this comment. Work is waiting!)A game like this gives me exactly what I look for. I only have the free first episode to base my judgement on, but I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars, and a few thoughts - from the point of view of extreme-casual-gamer, of course:

- Love the sexy effects and sound, really satisfying after working at aimless mental sludge all day long. More variation in weapon effects would make getting new weapons even more fun.

- Teleporting around is a great feature. I like being able to leap from one scene of action to the next, without stopping at all. I second the suggestion of having other stuff in the treasure boxes; variety's good. Same reason why I liked having "traps" in the shootable crates.

- Weapon drops are more fun than shopping, IMO, and make blasting stuff more worth it, and keeps the pace going. Both shop and money seemed a bit unnecessary, but not a problem for me, since I just ignored them most of the time.

- Not having to fear death made things a little static, although it was great being able to leap back to the last lighted square and then rush right back to battle. Maybe losing all the currently equipped weapons would be more challenging.

- Unlimited ammo rocked. I hate limited ammo games with a passion I suspect might be shared with other short-attention-span gamers. :(

- Convenient controls. I could keep my mouse trained in a direction I thought an enemy would be in when I entered a room, and instantly start moving off to the side so I could be safe from enemy fire. Somehow it all made me feel rather clever and nimble - which is a good thing!

- I like the above suggestion about ambushes. Also, maybe if the game had rooms completely plunged in darkness, save for the bullet fire... Heh. I think I'd enjoy that. "Warning: Take Care Around Edges"...

Overall, stunning graphics and good gameplay for Flash. Robokill's not outstanding, but it definitely can be; all it needs is added variety really. I'd like to be surprised every few rooms or so, even if its just a little one.

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I beat the game before I even got to upgrade to the point where I used H rocket launchers and laser guns. I guess I have to commit suicide more so more robots come back for more XP or not kill the robot spawners as efficiently? I really wanna see the laser cannon! Also I do get a bit of lag when there are too many enemies, leading me to drop off the edges my accident A LOT!

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New death penalty makes the game a lot better and harder. It possible, depending on what rooms are retaken, to get into an endless loop of death, especially if the big green turrets are involved. Found out that each level has a exp level cap. On the last free level, you can get up to level 16 so you can use the lasers (which are awesome, they fire a small explosion wherever you click, even if an obstacles in the way!) but you'll never get to use the pulse laser (5 deadly shots a second!) unless you buy the game, it requires lvl. 20.

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JuryRigged June 4, 2008 3:21 PM

Ben C, that's not the case; being on a borrowed laptop, I really wanted to check out as much as I could; I, with effort and time, got to level 30 using the 3rd and 4th missions, replayed.

My only regret is it doesn't seem like there /is/ anything more than those few missions if I did buy the game...but pulse blasters, especially Heavy, area incredible.

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Hi everyone,

We've just updated Robokill with the new version, incorporating a lot of feedback from here. We really appreciate everyone taking the time to tell us what they want to see in the game - it helps out a lot!

The new version increases the death penalty among other things, and makes the game a lot more balanced as you head towards level 10 (and harder too, although the start of the game is the same difficulty).

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It seems this new version has halted my xp, gaining nothing outta the 4 free episodes, is this correct? Coz im quite baffled to why its not going up anymore.

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I'mbored63 June 5, 2008 3:18 PM

I would like to comment on this game. I think this game is one of the most amazing flash games i have ever played. In the 4th level of the demo, i lose 2-4 rooms every time i die. I also lose $500 every death. So there is deffinently a reason to stay alive. The bird's-eye view has amazing graphics. I, as a 12-year old gamer, think this is an amazing game. I am a rock solid arcade fan, and wish they had more games. Thanks for reading.

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Christian June 5, 2008 5:47 PM

Great game. I played the demo for a time and when I bought the full version two days ago. I got the Version 02. Sweet.

But my level was clipped in nearly every level. Only in episode 3 I could gain a few level. Now I cant even earn XP in Mission 10...

It's still fun with everything maxed out, perhaps you could add a some hard random layout level (as gravitatonal forces mix up the station when approaching SPOILER).

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I think it's a great game. Being a great fan of "Mecha" stile, these are my suggestions:

- Limited ammo for guns: yah, some may argue against it, but just Tele to start to buy it.
- Heating for energy weapons: when heat gauge is full, you can't fire energy until cooling. This will avoid ppl sitting the finger on RMB with 4 heavy pulse guns :)
(These would be on, but could be turned off in Options)

- Awards: Not hard to do. Complete a Mission using just one weapon and gain a badge. Or xxx kills, nothing too repetitive, just cause some rooms will be a challenge to clear with Light Shotguns. Complete a round without deaths to earn "Unbreakable" Award. Complete a round without being hit to earn "Unscratched Paint" award :P

Also I like the idea of dropping boosts (Quad damage =D, Bersek), choosing where to allocate lvlup points, special itens with space (laying mines is just yummy) and rescue-the-hostage missions.

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I LOVE this game! And for 10 bucks, it was a no brainer to buy it, and it was worth it. The different weapons all have their strengths and weaknesses, and the plethora of different enemies makes gives a really RPG-Feeling. With nearly flawless action (sometimes it jitters a little) and as much bling as there can be in a flash game, this is absolutely one of the best casual games I ever played.

Some suggestions: Som kind of character-generation/developement. Don't just add 10 Shields and 5% to damage every level, let the player choose. Maybe there can be some more attributes like speed, more weapon slots (and the just have 2 in the beginning) and so on. Would give the feeling that this is "my" mech.

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I'd like to reset the game, but clearing cookies and caches doesn't work. Does this game insert an add on that needs to be removed?

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Doc - you can delete Flash stored data by using the Settings Manager...

http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/settings_manager07.html

Beware, though, that you can only delete data for an entire domain using the Settings Manager, so any other stored data you may have for that domain will also be deleted as well.

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Jay, thank you for the fast, and accurate, response. My grandsons are also grateful.

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Does anyone know how to get around best the four turrets on the next room to my right?

http://img114.imageshack.us/my.php?image=level4kp8.jpg

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Christian June 20, 2008 5:25 PM

Alex, that room is indeed hard do to the first time around (say level 15 or so).

The basic thing is to circle around a not get into a direct stream of fire.
You might want to let go of your mouse and first try to evade for some time to get a feeling.

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You know what would be nice?
if you could have a special level for the full version that would allow levels that progress depending on level, so you could always be leveling up. I guess that idea would also have to scale with items and such.

If you ask me this game WILL BE worth the ten bucks, just right now it is a little basic...
But don't get me wrong it is really smooth and playable , but you could add a little something-something for us premiums.

Anywho, maybe you could add a little personalized ( SP?)
personalization?

who knows?

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The 4 turret room is difficult - it took me a few tries, but basically you have to learn to evade a bit, not get into a situation where 3 guns are firng at you at once, pinning you to take one of the salvo's..

I try to blow one up really fast - bottom left usually, then move to try to take out either of the ones at the adjacent corners (pref if you can the upper left, as the room is longer than tall and that gives you more space. After than, with the center barrier, you can sit a long way away from the remaining two and take them out..

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Anonymous July 30, 2008 7:15 PM

If you put two shotguns on either the arms or shoulders, they fire at the same time in a wave pattern. Appears to be slightly more spread on the arms, but I prefer to stagger one on an arm and another on the other shoulder, then they alternate fire and it really fills up the area with a constant stream of hell. Check it out.

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I love this game! Fast paced and mindless, just what I'm looking for after a day of work. $10 well spent.

My only annoyance with the shop is that it grays out items you can't equip due to experience, but doesn't gray out items you can't afford. I'd have to hover over each one individually to see how much it cost. Saving up a lot for a rare item only to have it missing next time I went was a bit of a pain too.

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Pandragon Author Profile Page August 25, 2008 11:57 PM

hey.. no save function! great game but i am not going to stick to this game for a marathon

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Where is the last key for this map?

Please see http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/5351/screenshotrobokillrockswu0.png

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I've got the same problem as Banana (August 27, 2008 6:18 AM). I can't find the key on Mission 4 in the demo.

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Anonymous November 8, 2008 9:54 AM

Just replay the level and don't use keys unless they lead to larger sections and you'll find all of them the second time around. It happened to me.

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Anonymous November 8, 2008 1:53 PM

too expensive for a flash game but the demo is great

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If you get to level 16 you can buy light lasers, which go through anything abd kill in about two shots. You can sit behind cover and kill the enemy.

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If I had 10 bucks, I'd SO buy this ^.^

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What are pulse guns like. For those people who dont want to buy the whole copy

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Fast, rebounds once, lag imminent.
Kills things though ; )

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I had a lot of fun with this game and was likely going to become a paid customer, but I got stuck on the four turret room mentioned above. I became frustrated by having to do the two rooms before it over every time I die (a brief sputter of lag is deadly).

I see that this was a 'feature' added later ... but I don't see how adding death penalty is fun.

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the_kidd July 18, 2009 6:00 PM

Very fun indeed.I was fortunate enough to get a rare heavy blaster with knockback,piercing,freeze,and increased rate of fire by 5%!One of the best 2d shooters ive played,most likely to become a costomer.I reccomend a layout of a blaster,grenade,shotgun,and another blaster!lol have fun!

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Anonymous October 29, 2009 8:06 PM

I thought this was quite a fun little game, but my primary complaint is that it seemed that each mission has its own level cap. This to me greatly reduces the re-playability. There were times I would have spent more time going back through previous levels, except that I stopped gaining experience. This was particularly annoying when it happened in the middle of a new level. I would tend to try and get through every room, but if i'm not gaining any more experience, it makes me just want to get to the end so I can actually start gaining levels again.

I am now at level 34, and have tried going through the final level again and have yet to gain any more experience, this seems like a low level cap as an over all.

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I love this game, but it needs a save feature. I want to finish it, but without saving its pretty much impossible.

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Gamer007 May 12, 2010 8:08 PM

I did not decide to by the full version, but still had an awesome time.

Die as often as you can so you can kill enemies more than 1 time!!! This way you get exp and if you can get to 16 (max for ftp) you can get lasers that go over things. I have 4 lasers and have replayed the whole game and beat it 5 times easily.

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