Destrobots – Review
Follow Genre: Top down shooter, Party game
Developer: 7Levels
Publisher: 7Levels
Platform: Switch
Tested on: Switch

Destrobots – Review

Site Score
7.0
Good: Accessible for all kinds of players
Bad: Could have been fleshed out more
User Score
8.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
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Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Destrobots bills itself as a top-down shooter that’s easy to learn but hard to master. With an appealing visual style and a price that’s easy on the wallet, we can imagine that many gamers will want to give this one a go. Ever eager to blow up opposing androids, we gave 7Levels’ robot game a spin ourselves.

Story

Although the characters are appropriately cartoonish, and the game features a single-player mode, there is no story to be found here. It’s a bit of an odd decision as the game’s quirky character designs lend themselves fairly well to a bit of storytelling. 

Graphics

Destrobots sports no less than 36 themed arenas, ranging from the surface of the moon to the deck of a pirate ship. These are wonderfully crafted areas, with remarkable attention to detail. These battlegrounds form the background for the titular Destrobots, a group of adorable-looking robots. The chibi-esque robot designs are characterful and appealing and really add a lot to the overall look of the game. Destrobots utilizes a cartoonish style that isn’t too taxing on the Switch, resulting in a game that also performs well graphically. There’s the occasional frame drop or stutter when the action on-screen gets really intense, but overall, the graphical performance is quite good. 

Sound

The arenas don’t just feature extensive visual theming but each stage is accompanied by suitable music as well. This adds another layer of immersion to the game, and although it wasn’t a particularly necessary inclusion, the fact that this was done is still greatly appreciated. The music isn’t the only highlight in Destrobots’ soundscape, as the sound effects utilized are appropriately cartoonish and emphasize the fun and silly nature of the game. 

Gameplay

In Destrobots, players take control of a cute little robot and try to shoot the crap out of each other. It’s essentially a party game, where up to four players enter an obstacle-filled arena. Depending on what game mode is chosen, players will either try to rack up as many kills as possible within the allotted time, or just try to be the last robot standing. The game is very much a local multiplayer affair. There is a single-player mode as well, and we’ll get to that a bit further in this review, but it’s obvious that single-player was an afterthought. Controls are simple and the game suggests playing with a single Joy-Con for each player, with the buttons, rather than the joystick used for aiming. The stick is used for moving your robot instead, and while it takes some getting used to at first, you’ll get used to the control scheme rather quickly.

Robots can either take down their enemies from afar with a shooting attack or get up close and perform a spinning move. Besides these basic moves, power-ups will spawn in the arenas randomly, and these will either improve your attacks or your defense. The arenas themselves are filled with obstacles and traps. These include angled reflective surfaces that allow you to ricochet your laser shots, portals that will transport your shot to another part of the arena and grids with spikes that pop out from time to time. With 36 arenas available, each with its own layout and set of obstacles, there is a decent amount of variety here. Surprisingly, the game does not support online multiplayer, and the multiplayer mode cannot be played against computer-controlled opponents. 

Taking control of one of Destrobots’ robots in single-player becomes a different affair. Controls remain the same of course, as does the arena-based gameplay with powerups and obstacles, but instead of dealing with your friends trying to destroy you, your goal is to fend off waves of enemies. Survive long enough and you’ll unlock the next arena, rinse and repeat. It’s a fun way of picking up a few tricks and familiarizing yourself with the subtleties of the controls, but overall, this mode feels tacked on and probably could’ve been fleshed out a little more. Adding a story certainly would’ve helped here, or perhaps even adding earnable upgrades that you could then use to customize your robots in multiplayer mode.

Destrobots plays to a lot of the Switch’s strengths. The single Joy-Con controls and easy-to-learn gameplay make this one of those games that are perfect for short and sweet gaming sessions during a lunch break with coworkers or even to spice up a board game night with something else. The gameplay is tight and well balanced, both in single-player and multiplayer. It’s a polished game but it does feel quite light on content overall. The arenas, while varied in appearance, tend to feel a bit samey after a while, and the lack of variety in combatants is a big miss. Given that the game is all about robots, it seems like a given that you’d be able to tinker with your fighter of choice, even if any changes you’d make to the fighters would be just cosmetic upgrades. The lack of depth does come with the advantage of the game being very accessible, as it allows people to get stuck in immediately without having to worry about optimizing their fighter.


Conclusion

Destrobots is one of those pick-up-and-play games that’s perfect for adding a bit of variety to a game night with your friends, as there’s certainly fun to be had with it, but it’s more of an appetizer than a main course. The polished presentation and tight gameplay offer style over substance, and we would’ve enjoyed a more fleshed-out experience but given the low price point, Destrobots comes highly recommended for a fun romp with your friends. 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.5/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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Destrobots - Review, 8.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Sebastiaan Raats
Sebastiaan Raats


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