It's Friday, and we know you're just going to play on the Internet until it's time to leave work. Each week we'll be bringing you a free flash game to help the time pass!
Game: Robo Trobo Genre: Puzzler Made By: Pegas Games Play at: Armor Games Rating: 4 out of 5
What makes so many of the free games that I cover in this column so great a joy to play is the ability of these independent artists to instill so much personality into their characters. It's not the Academy Award-winning depth of something like The Last of Us, but it's at least along the lines of a good Bugs Bunny cartoon.
One of the best of these I've ever seen is Robo Trobo. It takes place in a flying city, and flying cities of course need maintenance. This is handled by a solid, blue-collar construction bot that makes his way through the skyscape fixing various problems. All in a day's work.
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Initially, it's a somewhat irritating play. It's point and click, which makes for simple controls and in general pretty simple puzzles, but it's also slightly counterintuitive. For such a lovingly rendered backdrop as artist Tatiana Razgonyaeva has given us, it often doesn't really offer any clues as to how to solve the puzzle or even what the puzzle is. You're reduced to clicking around the screen looking for the interactive bits.
That's annoying, but once you get the hang of it, the puzzles are both fun and full of little jokes. It's literally like someone took those early, cute cutscenes from Ms. Pac-Man and Donkey Kong, souped them up and made them fully playable.
It's adorable. Simply adorable. Everything from your hero opening his day with a mug of oil to wake him up to watching him put himself back together after a piece of machinery crushes him. It speaks well to the struggles of everyday life, the common man and all that jazz, and that makes it a great diversion.
One of the really impressive things about the game is that it has one of the great indie game soundtracks. Really, it's more of an EP, but then it's kind of an EP game in length. Styve Bolduc, Alexis Messier and Kevin MacCleod all contributed tracks to the action and they achieve the pleasant repetitious nature of a Koji Kondo tune mixed with Jonathan Coulton pop softness. In the places where the game's interface gets a little frustrating and the puzzle design fumbles, it's often the music that keeps you invested in doing your part to get your robot to his job.