Atomic Robo-Kid promised an ambitious foray into the world of side-scrolling shooters. Developed by Treco, this game aimed to offer an intense experience filled with menacing bosses and a variety of weapons.
However, as we delve deeper, it becomes apparent that the game’s potential is hampered by significant gameplay issues.
Gameplay: A Frustrating Experience
The core of any side-scrolling shooter lies in its gameplay, and Atomic Robo-Kid falters in this crucial aspect. Right from the start, players are greeted with a protagonist who moves at an excruciatingly slow pace. This sluggishness becomes a persistent issue, making even basic navigation through levels a tedious affair.
One of the most frustrating elements is the lack of speed power-ups. In typical shmup fashion, your initial movement is akin to a galactic cow – slow and unwieldy. Unfortunately, Atomic Robo-Kid offers only a single speed augment, which does little to alleviate the problem. Losing a life sets you back to square one, subjecting you to the same plodding pace.
The game introduces the vexing “One Hit Death Syndrome,” where any contact with enemies results in immediate demise. This unforgiving mechanic, combined with the protagonist’s snail-like speed, creates a relentless challenge that feels more punishing than rewarding.
Adding to the frustration is the reappearance of enemies. Leaving a section of the screen only to return often means facing the same foes again. This becomes a significant issue, especially when navigating vertically. Reencountering enemies, particularly turrets, in confined spaces leads to tight situations with limited room for evasion.
The Boss Battles Conundrum
While Atomic Robo-Kid boasts impressive, detailed bosses, their execution leaves much to be desired. The sheer size of these formidable adversaries overshadows the confined rooms in which they reside.
This lack of space hampers maneuverability, easily cornering players and leading to untimely defeats. The absence of adequate speed amplifiers further exacerbates this issue.
Weaponry Variety: A Glimmer of Hope
In a silver lining, the game provides a diverse array of weaponry. While not groundbreaking in concept (including staples like three-way shots and rapid fire), selecting the right weapon during a governor battle can yield devastating results.
However, the challenge lies in maintaining these power-ups, which proves to be a daunting task given the game’s punishing nature.
The Merchant’s Offering
Atomic Robo-Kid introduces a unique feature – a merchant located behind enemy lines. Here, players have the option to purchase items, a potential lifeline in the midst of challenging encounters. However, this convenience comes at a steep cost of a valuable life.
The risk-reward dynamic adds an intriguing layer to gameplay, but it’s a delicate balance that can lead to further frustration.
In retrospect, Atomic Robo-Kid’s ambitious vision is overshadowed by its gameplay flaws. The agonizingly slow movement, combined with the unforgiving “One Hit Death Syndrome” and respawned enemies, diminish the potential enjoyment.
While the diverse weaponry and merchant’s offerings provide glimmers of hope, they are ultimately offset by the game’s punishing nature. Treco’s attempt to deliver an immersive side-scrolling shooter falls short of its own aspirations.
The trash can on the cover, perhaps unintentionally, symbolizes the frustrating experience that awaits players.
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