How is it in the future? Considering as I write this I'm still in the boring past (2012) and you, dear reader, are in the future (2013) I must assume there are flying cars everywhere, plants are only found in museums, and you have been assimilated into a cold, mechanical life as one of the new robot overlords, incapable of pain, but also of feeling. Which... doesn't seem like a lot of fun to me, but I guess you know better, being in the future and all, and I'm sure I'll join you shortly. Unless I'm the one who leads the daring uprising about your cruel steel fists. Rad! But in the meantime, here are three games to get you ready for enjoying your new existence as a robot. All these games are 100% factual to a robot's day-to-day life. No, don't Google that. Trust me.
- Manufactoria - As a robot, you're going to need to get used to programming things, so Pleasing Fungus' logic puzzle game is a good place to start. The point is to place conveyors that get each specific robot to where they belong on the factory floor, but that's not as easy as it sounds since each robot's programming responds to different switches and checkpoints, forcing you to really plan out where everything needs to be. It's inspired by Zachtronics' "Games for Engineers", and if you enjoy fine-tuning and brain-twisters, then Manufactoria is the perfect choice for an afternoon of gaming after labouring for three straight shifts in the robot oil mines. Wow, becoming a robot is starting to look like a really bad choice.
- Give Up, Robot 2 - As a robot, you'll have to get used to carrying out your sinister mechanical tasks without praise, so Matt Thorson's challenging platformer is a good place to start hardening your weak human psyche. Part Mario, part Bionic Commando, part GLaDOS, the game sends you on a bizarre, psychedelic journey through a series of severely punishing stages as a robot armed only with a grappling hook for an arm and a bunch of sentient objects who are really going to wish they had thought twice about being so cheerful to help you. You destroy everything you touch, after all. Just like a real robot.
- Robot Wants Puppy - Don't look so sad. There are upsides to being a robot too! All your weak, fleshy human friends and relatives will have been assimilated into indistinct robots themselves, but animals will still be your companions! Hamumu's Robot Wants series of Metroidvania-esque games about a robot continually searching for upgrades that will eventually allow him to reach a thing he wants has always been well received, but for my money, this installment is the best. If only because many of those upgrades also extend to your constant cat companion, who can use her tail like a helicopter to lift you, or be flung at enemy faces to shred them while they run back and forth in a panic. It's an adorable, highly entertaining little game that will warm and delight any vestiges of humanity left in your cold robot soul, the better to stand out on routine scans by the motherbrain so they can be ripped out of your husk.
While we welcome any comments about this weekly feature here, we do ask that if you need any help with the individual games, please post your questions on that game's review page. Well, what are you waiting for? Get out there and rediscover some awesome!