Have you ever wondered how to get your kid’s remote-controlled robot out of a building? Well, Twin Robots transports you inside the mind of a child.
This charming platformer will keep your mind ticking over. With its enjoyable progressive difficulty and slightly dainty aesthetic, the lack of a story-based campaign is negligible for the sole purpose of a fun time.
Twin Robots takes place in an abandoned factory, which is now the unintentional prison of bots Watt and Volt. (I thought we were the ones to come up with the puns?)
Marked by their creators as defective, the pair must help each other to escape and reintegrate into the modern world. However, after a very brief cutscene, there is no story to speak of. Basically, you are playing as two escapologist robots stuck in an endless trap-riddled factory. How are the traps still working if it’s abandoned? Maybe Skynet really did take over!
In terms of the platforming, Twin Robots is a traditional side-scroller utilising environmental aspects. The plan is to get both robots through each level and deliver enough power to open the exit doors. Movement and verticality of the levels have a rudimentary feel of Limbo or Inside.
Your routes are blocked by numerous obstacles, such as moving floors, falling blades, floor spikes and collapsing bridges. The feeling of co-operation and urgency is on display from the outset of each level, with either Watt or Volt being trapped, with a crusher beginning to bear down on them. The other bot must free their captured buddy and both must make it to the exit.
There is a decent amount of complexity to the levels right through the 40 in total. Not all environmental objects are a hindrance though; fans, lifts and the odd Portal-styled box are utilised to reach higher levels and quell other dangers.
Watt and Volt are your most basic of basic bots – they can run and jump. Also, they run on batteries, which drain energy for every action they take. Ever wanted to see how wireless charging will be created? Well, look no further. Energy management is key to getting Watt and Volt to safety with enough energy to escape. Holding down the Y button allows you to seamlessly transfer energy from one to the other, if required. Energy can be recovered by walking over power platforms throughout the level and there are a set number to collect, but collecting all is not essential. Being left in an abandoned factory, maybe technology had moved on, plug and charge may have become obsolete.
The bots can also launch themselves off walls and ledges in order to gain access to higher or secret areas. These areas mainly hide away battery power ups, which refill the energy of the bot that collects it, although some are spike wielding death traps, so you’ll need to explore at your own risk.
Bear in mind though that at times the interactions with the environment are a little inconsistent. On the odd occasion, the bots would fail to boost off a wall face or failed to grab a ledge when jumping to it. This leads to some cheap deaths, but in my time with Twin Robots it was infrequent enough to ensure it didn’t become too frustrating, instead forcing me to adjust my timing and positioning.
Controls feel responsive and well balanced in the main. One tip, don’t switch bots while moving with the other or you’ll, unintentionally, end up sending the other bot to their doom.
Performance-wise and the game is rock solid; very consistent frame rates and slick animations do Twin Robots a world of good. Only once did I encounter a glitch, but it was so hilarious that it just has to be mentioned. After falling off a ledge, into the waiting spikes, the bot shot off into the background through the acid pits into the abyss. After drying my eyes, I’m glad to say there have been no other issues throughout my time with this little adventure.
In fact, the only question I have been left with is – Why do the bots look like they’re breathing when they stand still? I hope this is not a prequel to Five Nights At Freddy’s!
As soon as you are dropped, literally, into a level, you notice that Watt and Volt look like a mix of Wall-E with the arms and legs of ATLAS from Portal. Considering their predicament, both have a permanent smile plastered over their boxlike faces. This plasticky look of both bots compliments the feel of the factory setting. The grey platforms contrast with the coloured obstacles and objects which hinder your progress. Sometimes the colours look slightly desaturated and the backgrounds do tend to repeat; a little variety would make the progress through each stage feel like the end is nearing.
In regards the audio though and the music by Levi Bond that has been included contains some relaxing beats which go with the overall theme of the game. Sound effects are basic but portray each situation admirably, such as the falling gears, electromagnets and moving platforms.
Thinice Games has done a solid job by creating a fun (if slightly bland) platformer. Levels hold enough complexity to keep up the challenge and the sense of progression is balanced very well. Its lack of a story-based campaign is sorely missed and the repetitiveness of the environments is noticeable at times, but despite the infrequent flaws a good time can be found in Twin Robots.
- Watt’s and Volt’s cuteness cancels out the slightly bland background
- Solid platforming with a nice sense of progression and difficulty
- Great for speedrunners
- Lack of story undermines the feeling of wanting to continue playing sometimes
- Some inconsistency in environmental interactions
- Odd unresponsive controls at points
- Massive thanks to - Ratalaika Games
- Formats - Xbox One (Review), Nintendo Switch
- Release date - August 2018
- Price - £7.99