Broken Bots – Preview
Follow Genre: Action, Shooter, Early Access
Developer: Bunnycopter
Publisher: Bunnycopter
Platforms: PC

Broken Bots – Preview

Good: Great visuals, sound design on par, intuitive gameplay, customization, super-fun
Bad: Nothing bad to mention
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Broken Bots is a top-down shooter in which you command a robot. This fast-paced action packed multiplayer game is under development by the Belgian studio Bunnycopter and is currently available on Steam as an Early Access game.

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As Broken Bots is a multiplayer game, the game has no narrative to explore nor is there a solo player campaign mode to venture in. Of course, these are features that can always be added in at a later time but the game feels great even without a campaign mode.

The visuals in Broken Bots are in a top-down 32-bit style, although the graphics has been polished to a more suitable modern 3D-like-style. The atmosphere is dark and technical futuristic which works great in a shooter concept like this. When your bot malfunctions, the visuals turn to a more double drunken visual which may cause headaches or motion sickness but luckily these visions don’t appear too often. The user interface is kept minimalistic but it’s easy to understand at a quick glance.

Broken Bots does not lack ambiance sound. Just like the technical futuristic visuals, the game features some techno-styled up-beat soundtrack which does not get lost in translation during the action-packed shooting. The shooting on the other hand does sound very mechanical but then again, you are shooting with robots. Through the shooting and ambiance sound, a clear voice will let you know when the hill has changed location so there’s no real need to turn your sound down too much as everything is perfectly balanced. If you do wish to turn the sound down, the game always offers a text in the midst of your screen to warn you.

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As an early access game, Broken Bots is fully playable and enjoyable, with glitches that will rarely happen. Having the game offer five different game modes this early on, only increased the replayable of the game. The first mode is the most common mode in shooters, namely Team Deathmatch. The second mode, another common one, is Capture The Flag mode or CTF in short. King Of The Hill and Crazy King are two modes that are very alike, as they both have a hill – or in this case a circle – that you need to capture. The only difference is that the hill in Crazy King will change location at steady intervals. I did notice that these locations are not random and there is a clear pattern as to how they “move”. To prevent players from abusing these patterns, it would’ve been great to randomize these as currently they only move around in the middle of the map.

The fifth mode, Tournament, is only available in the offline mode and can be looked at as the single player mode of the game – without any campaigns. In Tournament, you will matched against three other teams in any of the previous mentioned game modes. In the meantime, these teams will also battle it out against each other which means the “leaderboard” can change in the blink of an eye.

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Broken Bots may seem like just another multiplayer shooter with robots but what makes Broken Bots so special is the core feature of bots that can malfunction. This malfunction feature is unlike anything you’ve seen in games of the same genre. Your bot can and will malfunction upon taking damage, or when the other team has attacked your generator. There are two kinds of malfunction effects: positive ones and negative ones. Positive effects will reward you with an increased speed or spread fire mode, while the negative effects can effectively destroy your controls or aim as they will become inverted. These effects happen at random so you are never sure when you’re getting what kind of malfunction which increases the fun factor.

The chance of these malfunctions happening is also determined by the energy levels of each team. This information is found at the top center of your screen but is not something that you will take into consideration when playing this fast-paced game. Knowing what the energy levels does is certainly a big help, especially since you can locate and destroy the generator of the enemy team. Once their energy has been depleted, the generator will “explode” and will cause the entire enemy team to malfunction. This can help your team greatly, at least if the enemy team doesn’t get too many positive malfunction effects.

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Before starting a match, the game let’s you choose your setup. As you play, you’ll gain ranks which will unlock different robots, weapons, skills and passive abilities. In total there are six robots you can choose from, each with different stats and weapons. There are three weapons: assault, flamethrower and rocket launcher. These weapons are “fixed” on your weapon thus you cannot choose to have a flamethrower on the most epic looking bot. However, the customization doesn’t stop here.

Each bot can have two skills and four passive abilities active. In total the game offers six different skills: heal, shockwave, EMP, shield, mine and a turret. You’ll unlock these gradually, just like you will unlock all ten abilities at some point. These abilities range from increased fire rate to increased health to increased speed. There are also some that can decrease your malfunction chance or skill cooldowns. Overall these abilities can really help you up your game but you will also need some skill to overpower your enemies.

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This brings me to the AI bots in the game. The AI bots are incredibly intelligent and are a blast to play with, although they don’t feel exactly hard to overpower. In fact, all games I’ve played so far with bots ended up in being victorious. Because the game is still “new” to most, the player base is really low and thus most online multiplayer games will be played with bots. I sincerely hope this will change soon as Broken Bots is a brilliant game. Other than that, Broken Bots is easy to learn but difficult to master in the long run.


The Early Access version of Broken Bots is fully playable and enjoyable, albeit the player base could use a boost for some more “random” games. Even so, the AI’s are a blast to play with so don’t let this discourage you from getting the game. The core feature of malfunctions is an unexplored concept but the developers have executed it well and it blends in perfectly with the various game modes, the general gameplay and the visual style of the game. Broken Bots is a brilliant game and it can only get better from here on.

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Hi! I'm Jess and I’m a writer, dreamer and gamer at heart since the early ages. I primarily game on PC but occasionally also on PS4 and Xbox One. I have a tiny obsession for World of Warcraft and caterpillars but you may also claim I have a devoted passion for the gaming industry in general. If you want to hit me up, find me on twitter!

1 Comment

  1. […] and you can even bash your friends in local co-op. At any rate, we’ve gotten the chance to test this game and we loved […]

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