Being a technology “geek” and Star Wars fan to boot, I was very compelled to try the latest Bit Golem Games‘ endeavor ported to the Nintendo Switch. Originally, released on Steam PC as Robot Squad Simulator 2017 the premise sounded quite intriguing. You play an elite pilot of a squad of robots! You remote control robots to tackle some of the hardest jobs around that are too dangerous for direct human hands-on intervention. While this ported game is not terrible in itself it is a tale of patience and perseverance. This is our Nintendo Switch review of Robot Squad Simulator!
An Auspicious Start
Going into this game not knowing anything about its past history seemed like a good thing. I naively went into the initial gameplay thinking it was an entirely new game. Those expectations were quickly dashed when the shortcut on the Nintendo Switch start page read “Robot Squad Simulator 2017“. Ah Ha! So this is a port and based on a game from three-plus years ago.
From the start of the game, you’re thrown directly into the mission select screen replete with beep and blip sounds. The aggravation started right away for me. I dislike interface selections based on highlight colors for good reason. Is what I want to pick supposed to be “white” or “yellow”? In addition, another unprecedented design decision cropped up right away. Initially, the only available mission is a tutorial mission. This is completely fine and makes sense. The oddness was that it requires you to need certain robot accessories. Wait, I didn’t even start playing yet, oh I have money to spend already? Okay. This seemed odd versus just starting me off with a robot with those accessories.
I’ve Had These Droids For Three Or Four Seasons
Robot Squad Simulator is played in the third person and ends up being a cross between a slow driving game and stealth tactics game. The game has six training missions and sixteen story missions. You’ll pilot several different robot types and be assigned, linearly, different types of missions of the rescue, spy, exploration, and military variety.
On paper this all sounds wonderful, unfortunately, the port itself just seems awkward. For instance, the visuals which seem lacking and outdated, especially things like laser lights that are supposed to be sniper scopes. Sorely missing was a way to zoom out the camera. Not being able to do resulted in some awkward close-ups on my robot when I needed to zoom out a bit to avoid detection by a timed sniper laser.
In some cases, Robot Squad Simulator would do well to give better feedback. It was awkward to tell if my claw was actually closed tightly onto an object. In one training mission, I couldn’t get the camera to close in on the claw and the bomb I needed to pick-up. This, of course, was a timed mission that I failed. Thankfully, within each mission, the game automatically saves at checkpoints. I restarted from that checkpoint and got the close-up to work by using the camera. However, now I couldn’t zoom out. Unfortunately, I tried to turn, the bomb clipped a cabinet and ba-boom!
In conclusion, I know it sounds like a lot of complaining but there are kudos in order for the fun factor of the game. It is quite fun driving a Star Wars-like mouse droid around city streets, parks, etc. As you go along you can also upgrade your robot’s “parameters”, i.e. stats, and accessories which adds an RPG element to the game. The overall problem with Robot Squad Simulator is the fun moments are dampened by irritating things like control and the inability to adjust the camera in certain instances.