Thunderbolt logo

Shoot Many Robots

No robot, no matter how big or small, escapes the crosshairs of P. Walter Tugnut: the beer-swilling, vest-wearing protagonist of Shoot Many Robots, a game where you do just that. Shooting robots is all Walter does, and he’s surprisingly good at it. Unlike everybody else whose been preparing for a zombie apocalypse, Walter has instead been stockpiling weapons and supplies for the real threat: robots.

Shoot Many Robots is a downloadable title that mimics the manic, arcade shooting found in games like Contra and Metal Slug, but adds a few RPG elements in there to diversify the experience. Players guide Walter left and right while taking aim at any robot that comes across his path, which happens quite a bit. A handful of robots are easy to deal with, but the game attempts to overwhelm players with hordes of enemies jumping over each other for a chance to hack Walter to pieces.

screenshot

There are a few strategies involved in taking down particularly irksome robots like shooting them in their vulnerable spots or knocking back their projectiles, but mostly victory comes down to staying mobile and never letting up on the fire button. At least Walter has plenty of weaponry to choose from. As he levels up, he unlocks deadlier weaponry along with hats, backpacks, and pants that affect various stats and even grant abilities like sliding and slamming.

Unlocking the insane amount of armaments and articles of clothing is the most rewarding part about Shoot Many Robots. With so many different combinations, there’s bound to be something to fit each player’s taste. The flip-side is there are weapons and clothing that just aren’t ideal, such as shotguns and other short range weapons that don’t put enough distance between Walter and his robot enemies.

screenshot

This is especially problematic in single-player, which doesn’t really support unique playstyles. To get a chance to use some of the more unconventional weapons, it’s best to go online and get a four-man crew of Walter and his multi-colored clones going. Once online, the divergent playstyles begin to compliment each other, and any slack in defense or offense is taken care of by your teammates.

Online is where the real action is. The game experience is vastly different than the single-player campaign, which usually doesn’t provide nearly enough enemies for a satisfying challenge or for enough currency to buy anything worthwhile. Multiplayer is a different story, with no shortage of enemies to plow through and rake in the robotic nuts used as currency. And unlike the main campaign, players can revive each other which alleviates any roadblocks to progress.

screenshot

The main problem with Shoot Many Robots is its strict adherence to its core concept. There is nothing to Shoot Many Robots besides, well, shooting many robots. There are no platforming sections, no vehicles, and nothing beyond the sheer number of customizable options that elevates the experience above the primal enjoyment of making the earth run black with the motor oil of slain robots.

Blowing away robots isn’t the only thing that quickly becomes repetitive—the level designs continually get recycled through the lengthy campaign. Derelict farms and desolated streets constantly repeat, and the handful of bosses show up far too many times. Shoot Many Robots could’ve used a lot more variety in many regards, with the same, indistinct levels blurring into one another.

screenshot

At its core, Shoot Many Robots is fun, especially with three other players, but the serious lack of variety hurts the game and keeps it from reaching the lofty heights of other old-school arcade shooters. There’s a point at which Shoot Many Robots becomes more of an RPG grind, with the only reward being higher levels and more items to buy and equip. Just like its redneck hero, Shoot Many Robots enjoys the simple pleasures of life—like shooting robots—but it desperately needs to broaden its horizons.

7 out of 10

The author of this fine article

is an Associate Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in March 2010.

Gentle persuasion

You should follow us on Twitter.