Looking at Don’t Die, Mr. Robot!, it is easy to write off the game based purely on the simplistic look of the graphics. There are people out there who still believe that greater visuals equal a greater game, and they will almost certainly turn their noses up at Infinite State Games’ first PlayStation Vita title. For those of you that appreciate gameplay however, regardless of a game’s graphical prowess, Don’t Die, Mr. Robot! is certainly worth a look-in.
As the title may suggest the aim of Don’t Die, Mr. Robot! is to not die. To avoid death, you must try and evade endless waves of robotic machines that seem hell-bent on stopping you in your tracks. You can stop these machines from harming you by moving around the stage and avoiding the different attacks that are launched at you. Throughout each stage, different types of fruit will appear that can be used to your advantage; when Mr. Robot tries to eat a piece of fruit the fruit explodes, causing an explosion that can be used to wipeout the attacking machinery. Chaining these explosions together will result in you earning more points as the multipliers start to rack up.
Destroying enemies in the game will earn you coins, which you can spend in the game’s shop to purchase outfits for Mr. Robot, additional characters or upgrades that can be used in the game. The character customisation isn’t something that I tried out, as I did not really care for the game’s character. I instead opted to spend the coins that I did earn on upgrades that included a magnet to attract more coins and an improvement to the blast area of the exploding fruit.
This is all there is to Don’t Die, Mr. Robot, simply avoid the enemy waves whilst chaining together combos to increase your score. The game has four different modes; Remix Mode, Arcade Mode, Time Attack and Chill Out Mode. Remix Mode is where I spent most of my time, playing through 50 missions with different objectives that score you will Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum medals based on your skill.
Remix Mode will give you objectives such as ‘Survive as long as possible’, ‘Score as much as possible’ or ‘Destroy Enemies’ for you to complete, with the aforementioned medals handed out depending on your skill. As you get further into this mode you will see how Infinite State Games like to challenge you with extra rules added to the missions; here you may find that you need to complete the above objectives, while also avoiding a certain type of fruit or having the size of the fruit reduced meaning that the blast radius of the fruit is also reduced. The missions in Remix Mode were great fun, and I often replayed one mission over and over until I could clear the level with at least a gold medal for my troubles.
Arcade Mode offers an endless onslaught of enemy robots coming for you, with a place at the top of the game’s leaderboards awaiting the most successful of dodgers. Time Attack tasks you with achieving the highest possible score in two and a half minutes. If you die you will lose time and points, so making it through the 150 seconds of mayhem without crashing into anything is the best way to make an impact on the scoreboards. The last mode in Don’t Die, Mr. Robot! is Chill Out Mode, which offers a slow, more relaxed version of the game’s Arcade Mode. I tried this once or twice but I found it rather pointless when, in my eyes, the point of this game is to challenge yourself and your reflexes.
These game modes offer a lot of frantic (yet fun) gameplay and Don’t Die, Mr. Robot!’s simple control scheme and great soundtrack play a part in getting you in the zone and at one with the game. Don’t Die, Mr. Robot! allows for you to navigate around the game arena using a choice of the PlayStation Vita’s analog stick, the rear touchpad or the gyroscope. I tried all three of these control schemes with a variety of success. With this game requiring such precision in movement when things start to get hectic, I found that the analog stick offered the best option when controlling your robot. The rear touch pad did also work quite well, although it is easy to accidentally press one of the corners of the rear touch pad with another finger and send your little robot off to an early death. The tilt controls worked, but they did not offer the precision that is required from a game that has so much going on on-screen.
The audio in the game is made up of an electro-synth soundtrack that fits in perfectly with the mechanical nature of the game. Each bit of fruit that you cause to explode adds to the background music in a way that enhances the soundtrack, in a way that is reminiscent to the Sound Shapes soundtrack.
Chill Out Mode aside, Don’t Die, Mr. Robot! is a good game that offers great fun for anyone looking for a mindless, arcade score-chasing game. Although the visuals are extremely simple, with your character and the enemies looking like sprites from games of by-gone eras, the gameplay is addictive and you can often lose hours once the hypnotic-like affect the game can have on you takes control.
With a lot of games arriving on the PlayStation Vita right now that demand you to invest hours of your time to gain the most from them, Don’t Die, Mr. Robot! has arrived wanting the opposite. I often pick up Don’t Die, Mr. Robot! for a quick, five minute, game but find myself still playing an hour or so later. If that isn’t the sign of a good arcade game, I don’t know what is!