Windows Phone Game Review: Robots from Mars
Here's a simple game for your Windows Phone that has a lot of potential but a decent amount of room for improvement. Robots from Mars is a 3D platformer styled game that has you controlling a robot across the Mars' countryside.
Along the way you have to use your rocket boosters to navigate over obstacles. Your robot is also equipped with a weapon to help defend off any Martians that may appear. The 3D graphics are nice and gives the game a little bit of a retro feel. Robots from Mars is a decent game for your Windows Phone but still has some room for improvement.
The main menu for Robots from Mars is simply laid out with options to start a new game, continue an existing game and access the help page. You control your robot by touch. Touch the left side and it moves left, touch the right side and it moves right. To activate the rocket boosts to jump over or on to objects you tap the upper center of the screen. To fire your weapon, tap the center of the screen. I would have like to have seen ghost buttons in place but you get used to things after a while.
At the top of the screen you have your statistics (health, lives, and rocket power) along with controls to return to the menu and mute the sound. Game play has you navigating across the Mars landscape jumping over obstacles, avoiding jagged spikes that crop up from the planet's surface, jump across floating boulders, and avoid other dangers.
Game play was decent and the graphics nice. Every now and then a giant mushroom will be in the foreground and obstruct your view but that just adds to the 3D effect. I'm not sure about any marathon sessions with Robots from Mars but for shorter periods, it's a fun game.
While Robots from Mars has potential it is held back by one critical design mistake, the ad banner. The ad banner is positioned towards the left of the screen and extends across more than half the screen. Simply put, it gets in the way and easily activated when you're moving the robot to the left.
And it's not just the game screen the banner gets in the way. On the Help Screen the ad banner blocks the last few lines of text. I would have much rather seen it centered at the top of the screen, out of the way. Get the ad banner out of the way and Robots from Mars will be a much better game. As is, the ad banner placement really holds back a decent Windows Phone game.
Robots from Mars is a free game and you can grab it here at the Windows Phone Marketplace. It is a mango app so you'll need to upgrade to Windows Phone 7.5.