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publisher: Liquid Edge Games
developer: Liquid Edge Games
genre: Action Strategy
PII-333, 64MB RAM, 8MB 3D accelerator
|ESRB rating: E
release date: May 14, 01 (released)
|» All About RoboForge on ActionTrip|
Dusan "Lynx" Katilovic
The notion to create a game that would enable you to design your own robots and then let them fight some others is not exactly new. We've seen it at work in several titles like BattleBots and Robot Wars. However, RoboForge did introduce some fresh and interesting novelties to this concept and its realization, which make this game an original challenge.
RoboForge had been developed by the independent New Zealand-based developers who sell their masterpiece over the net, thus avoiding the publishers. The game uses the pay-to-play on-line concept, and you will have to pay about $5 to participate in the advanced tournaments. If you, by any chance manage to win a tournament, you can win thousands of dollars.
RoboForge is so specific, that it would be somewhat inaccurate to describe it as a game. It is something that will make your brain work a bit, unless it already died from RPG, FPS, RTS (or some other three letter acronym) overdose. RoboForge will give you a chance to design an ultimate robot, whose overall characteristics will be better than the characteristics of any other robot. You will do this in the programs graphic editor, where you can live out all your cyber-bent fantasies. You get a number of basic component classes to work with, each with a decent selection of items to choose from. Power cells will, naturally supply the robot with the power it needs, and the CPU controller is its crucial component as it defines it reactions to the surroundings and combat behavior. Other component classes include weapons, shields and external sensors...
The controllers (bots' "brains") are rated in computations per second, while multiple (parallel) controllers allow faster processing, which is important as it presents the underlying infrastructure for bots' AI. As for your robot's external sensors, you have to balance their range and field of view. A variety of shields and armor help decrease damage. Swivel, ball, radial, and telescopic joints let you add a range of different appendages, most important of which are the weapons. Their selection is wide enough: you'll find a decent range of mÍl'e armaments such as jackhammers, rams, claws, axes, and scythes, some of them very original. Considering the nature of battles fought in RoboForge, it is clear why there are no ranged weapons. A weapon's damage capability is primarily determined by its weight, multiplied by striking velocity (physics classes, please), with a bonus added for certain weapons. The physics engine is realistic and plays a significant role in your way to success (or failure), depending on whether you comprehend it and use it efficiently.
The tricky point is that each component installed on your bot adds to its total build cost and that, with some other specific match restrictions, prevents everyone from constructing a superbot. Instead, you'll have to pick and choose your parts carefully based upon how much damage they can do, how much damage they can withstand, how much weight they add to the robot and how much they cost, in order to stay within the given limits. This is how things are done if you decide to build your robot from the scratch, using the "Build New Bot" option from the "Workshop" screen.
But, if all these choices sound a bit much, the "Bot Wizard" feature lets you quickly assemble a robot based on predefined templates. I must warn you, though, that using this option will deprive you from enjoying the essence of this game - the challenge that drives you make the best possible bot creation straight out from your ingenious mind. Even worse, such an "instant creation" will most likely end up as an average or ever loosing tin can. This feature is only handy as an introduction to the countless design possibilities, but nothing more.
8.1 Very Good
Refreshing gaming principles;
Low graphics and animation quality.