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Puzzle Bots

 

 

SCORE: 88

 

Puzzle Bots 

 

As it turns out, not all robots are bent on world domination and the complete destruction of mankind. Some robots simply want to have secret adventures and solve puzzles when their masters aren’t looking. Puzzle Bots by Wadjet  Eye Games is an adorable game that’s fun to play and safe for the family.

Puzzle Bots has a very cartoonish graphical design. The levels are drawn with plenty of colors and a plethora of fun details. The vast majority of the environments are brightly colored and full of cute details that make this game appealing to young players as well as adults. To make things even more fun, your robots are miniature in size enabling you to see ordinary objects from a whole new perspective. The details in this game are done to perfection without making things too busy while at the same time giving you plenty to get immersed in. For the most part the imagery used in the game is wholesome and safe for just about anyone. There are however a couple of things that could have been left out to make this game a bit safer for younger players. One female character in the game is dressed in somewhat revealing attire and is quite flirtatious with the main male character in the game. More than one time the two end up kissing. This material is pretty mild and is what I would rate as ‘PG’, but it also seemed out of place and did very little to contribute to the storyline. Omitting these things would have made this game much more comfortable for me to play with my younger children as they were very interested in the cartoonish appearance of the game.

I love the use of music and sound effects in this game. The background music is entertaining yet subtle enough to work in a puzzle game. The sound effects are great and fit each situation perfectly. Your robots don’t speak (usually), so they emit blurps and beeps as any proper robot should. The human dialog in Puzzle Bots is a bit on the corny side, but it somehow works in this game. There are plenty of bad puns to go around and the humor is a bit juvenile. I get the impression that this was intentional and the interaction between characters is often humorous despite the cheese. The voice acting is done pretty well and the differing personalities of the characters are presented clearly. I detected no profanity in the game. One character uses the word “Idiot-Face” which may not even be a word, but it’s not something most parents would like their kids picking up on.

The extra features in Puzzle Bots are few, but not altogether disappointing. As you progress through the game keep an eye out for bonus items hidden in various levels. Each time you find an item you unlock special bonus content such as storyboards and concept art. Also each bonus item you collect appears in your “bot habitat” as added decoration for your stylish abode. If you collect all of the bonus items you will unlock some additional behind the scenes content. The unlockable features themselves aren’t all that appealing, but finding the bonus items hidden in the game is a nice touch. As for replay value, the game will not present any challenge the second time through but it’s still a lot of fun to play again. There aren’t many games that I immediately want to replay again after completing, but Puzzle Bots was one exception. Puzzle Bots can also be fun to play with your kids. My four year old very much enjoyed sitting with me as I played through this one. She found the little robots to be very amusing. The game is a little bit on the short side and the story feels rushed near the end. An extended story with more puzzles would have knocked this game out of the park.

The simple gameplay of Puzzle Bots will be appealing to casual gamers looking for a relaxing adventure. You take control of a team of robots with varying abilities who must work together to solve a variety of cleverly designed puzzles. Initially you start out with one robot and gradually add the others to your electrical entourage. Each time a new robot is introduced you are taken through a brief interactive tutorial to get you acclimated to the robots unique abilities. These tutorials are fun to play and will give you a very good understanding of how to utilize your new team member’s abilities. Your robots live in a “bot habitat” lovingly crafted by their creators. The adventure begins when your robots decide they want to explore the outside world. Your robots will find themselves in many precarious situations which you must help get them out of. These puzzles fit into the storyline perfectly and are very well designed. Most of the puzzles are pretty simple and even the more challenging ones won’t cause players too much frustration. My daughter also took her turn at playing through the early tutorials on her own with much success. Of course things get a bit too complex for young children after that, but little ones can still enjoy playing these simple puzzles or helping mom and dad click on things in some of the more complicated puzzles. The simple point and click controls make this game quick to learn and easy to play. I did find some irritation with the controls when clicking on items. Often one of the robots would be too close to an object and thus would be selected instead of the object I had thought I clicked on. This is a minor nuisance but it creates a lot of unnecessary clicking to get to what you want.

As you’ve probably guessed by now, this game is quite family friendly. The game promotes teamwork and is simple enough that nearly anyone can enjoy playing it making this a fun family activity. This game was definitely a joy to review. I would love to see sequels to this game with some additional gameplay and an extended storyline. The real down side to the game, as far as families are concerned, is the out of place and unnecessary displays of “romance” and flirtatious nature the female character. The second female in the game has some depressive tendencies, but this too is mild. I would reiterate that these things are very ‘PG’ and shouldn’t be something that keeps you from enjoying this game as a family.
-Roger

 

Graphics: 84%
Sound: 91%
Replay/Extras: 82%
Gameplay: 95%
Family Friendly Factor: 87%
System: Personal Computer
Publisher: Wadjet Eye Games
Rating: 'NR' for Not Rated

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Roger@familyfriendlygaming.com