Robocalypse was a pretty funny game, with witty dialogue written by former Spongebob Squarepants writers Jay Lender and Micah Wright. While I never got into Spongebob, the pair did a great job with the first game in this series. My problems with the original stem more from control issues, which is why the idea of a tower defense game using the IR pointer of the Wii Remote is exciting to me. You still get the humor from Lender and Wright, but now you’ve moved it into a different strategy genre where I can safely say the controls work.
Three levels were available to play at Comic-Con, with the first being a tutorial type level. New towers were introduced on each stage as well, along with more powerful enemies. Here’s the basic setup: you have scrap to build towers, and you earn more of it by defeating enemies. You can sell or upgrade towers, and each tower has two different paths for upgrades. For example, with the basic tower, you can either improve its rate of fire or its range, but you can’t do both; if you decide you want to upgrade range after you’ve been upgrading rate of fire, you lose the progress for the latter. The final upgrade for each tower is a healing aura, which takes the load off of your repair bots a bit and keeps them from being stretched too thin. There were three towers I got to try out, the first being your basic turret type, the second a slowdown type tower–this one is my favorite, as rather than using ice or what have you to slow enemies like most tower defense titles, this turns the enemies into toasters and refrigerators so your other towers can blast them–and the third was a missile launching tower.
There are a few basic soldiers scattered across the field as well as medics and construction/repair bots, but you do not control them. They will respawn from your home base after a time though, so you don’t have to worry about them at all. You do control your commando, who, just like in the original RTS title, has a rage mode that allows him to attack with extra fury. This is good for protecting your base or a pathway you haven’t finished constructing yet, and let me tell you, you will need that extra defense, because the AI in this game immediately adjusts to your building if an easier path for them appears.
I was told they plan on introducing more enemy types into the mix before the game comes out (they are aiming for September) but the ones that are there are varied, which is nice. You have basic grunts, suicide bombers, flamethrower-wielding soldiers, and of course, the enemy’s commandos, which do not necessarily come at you one at a time to end a level. The third stage was exponentially harder than the previous two if you did not prepare for the last few waves properly, but it’s good to get some challenge out of a tower defense title. I’ve got my eye on this one, as you should; we’ll have a review for Robocalypse: Beaver Defense once it releases later this year.