Here's something you don't see every day: a mobile real-time strategy game that looks fantastic, isn't impossible to wrap your head around, and can provide instant entertainment. Robotic Planet from FearlessBits manages to squeeze all of the complexity and strategy of a full-blown RTS game into a surprisingly playable touch screen game that has the ability to hook even casual players.
Your robots just landed on a new planet filled with empty space and valuable resources. In order to collect and expand, they have to start setting up factories, harvesting stations, road and other facilities. You start by harvesting basic materials to create cement and metal, two necessary ingredients for your survival. You eventually expand out to include wood, oil and crystal, which allows for more prolific expansion by way of better facilities. All buildings must be connected by roads, which is a strangely fun feature that lets you shape the path your robots take as they go about their business.
The interface in Robotic Planet is extremely easy to use. The icons may look small on a phone-sized device, but you'll never have trouble tapping precisely what you need. Information about production, resource gathering and overall load are all available, but much of the time you can get by without crunching stats or worrying about the minutiae of your robot minions. Just be efficient and make sure you build what needs to be built.
The numbers behind Robotic Planet are pretty sweet to look at: 21 different maps that allow for solo play vs. computer enemies or multiplayer battles via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, more than half a dozen robots with their own abilities, 20 buildings to create, and a map generator to create randomized terrain. The free version includes most of the above with three scenarios to complete along with a nice tutorial stage. It's all you'll need to realize how easy it is to get hooked on this game, even if you never were much for real-time strategy titles.
NOTE: This game was played and reviewed on the Nexus 4. Game was available in the North American market at the time of publication, but may not be available in other territories. Please see individual app market pages for purchasing info.