How Metroidvania is it? High Fit. Some of the games within Robot Wants it All may skirt the boundaries a bit, but overall each game uses “Metroidvania” as its central focus.
Primary Challenge: Exploration Focus, Ranged Combat
Time to beat: ~12 hours
Review Info: The Steam review code for Robot Wants it All was provided by the Publisher
Buy Robot Wants it All if you like…
- Mini Metroidvanias
- Diverse Mechanics across multiple games
- Speed Running
- Steam Achievements
- Meme Humor
▼ Review continues below ▼
Robot Wants it All is a compilation of some excellent mini-metroidvania flash games with a new coat of paint, a boatload of features, and an entirely new game added to the mix. If you enjoy short, bite-sized experiences that you can throw in between larger and more time consuming games, then this compilation is a no brainer.
I do want to address what is something of an elephant in the room. I don’t normally talk about pricing since, because this is Steam, just about every game will eventually hit your purchase price if you wait long enough. But talking about it with this game is a nice way to frame into some of the other features I’d want to talk about anyway. The biggest negative reaction I’ve seen for this game is that it’s selling for $20 when five of its offerings are available for free on the internet. I think this concern is completely valid, and I’m not trying to downplay how you manage your money – if you want to wait for a sale, that’s up to you. I would like to break down a bit exactly what you’re getting with this game however, since that may be helpful in deciding what your price point should be – whether it is the full price or a deep discount.
Your typical Mini-Metroidvania at full price runs about $5 for 1 to 2 hours of gameplay. Robot Wants it All comes with 6 games that provide a similar game time (albeit slightly lower production value). On top of that however, each game has an “Easy Mode” and a generally more difficult “Remix Mode”. These new modes aren’t just retooled enemies – they’re essentially entirely new games using the core game’s power ups. Beyond that, there are even more bonus games to unlock, from mini games to some even harder remixes designed by Satan himself.
Robot Wants it All is also, at its heart, a score chasing game. Each individual title is meant to be played multiple times for the best speed or for other achievements. To add to this replay value you can unlock a host of mutators that change up the gameplay, either by making the original objective more or less challenging, or by adding new objectives entirely. My favorite of these Mutators adds letters throughout the game’s Metroidvania stage that you have to collect in order, while on a time limit, for some bonus points in the end. Even after you’ve completed every game, Robot Wants it All becomes a fun sandbox to play in, with an incredibly diverse number of ways to customize and refresh the experience – which is something I can’t say about basically any Mini-Metroidvania I’ve played.
To encourage you to use some or all of these options, the compilation makes you unlock everything using money that you earn while playing the game. You get more money by completing levels quickly, with higher accuracy, and when finding secret optional power-ups when applicable. You lose money on completion if you die too often, or take too long, and some Mutators that make the game easier also have penalties. Your score for each level is the completion time, which will inevitably look nothing like your actual play time because there are a lot of factors that adjust the number. Killing enemies reduces your clock, there are items that specifically lower your time, and while you have infinite lives, dying will give you a penalty of several seconds depending on what mode you’re playing on. There’s nothing really preventing you from just replaying Robot Wants Kitty on easy mode if you just want to grind out all the unlocks, but even doing that for a while was something I enjoyed optimizing to the best time I could achieve.
Being originally a flash game, Robot Wants it All in general uses simplistic AI and controls, which is a pro or con depending on what you’re looking for. Sometimes this simplicity can be a problem since because a lot of enemies use seemingly random pathing, it can lead to frustrating situations where you die just because your brain can’t reasonably predict where a bullet will be as you’re rushing through things. In some of the titles, Robot can sometimes move faster than the scrolling can keep up, meaning you’re going to be completely blind heading into places. With a couple of exceptions, namely on the Remix stages, you’re never going to be placed too far back on your progress if you do die, however. Being that these games are all intentionally short, they’re also intended to be memorized for you to get the best score possible. Not everyone is going to enjoy that kind of design, but if you’ve found yourself optimizing your gameplay and enjoying it in other games, this is the mini-metroidvania for you.
With the broad strokes out of the way, I’d like to put in a 3-4 sentence mini-review for each of the compilation’s titles:
Robot Wants Kitty
This was one of the games responsible for me procrastinating studying for finals back in college. It is your vanilla Metroidvania where you can’t even jump at the start. All three versions of this game are great, and this was my favorite one to go back and add objectives to since its design is based on tried and true mechanics.
Robot Wants Puppy
This one mixes up the formula by taking your gun away and replacing it with the hilarious attacking cat from the first game. Since you don’t kill enemies outright, and since your target goes absolutely crazy once the cat is on them, you have to pay attention to where you can wait while the cat does the damage – putting as little more emphasis on dodging attacks and collisions. On the remix mode this gets a little frustrating, especially since it has these psychic mantis enemies that I never really figured out what their range was. The original game is still a really fun twist on the formula however.
Robot Wants Fishy
This is the game for those who just like to explore – it’s the biggest of the bunch and includes fifty optional collectables to sniff out. There is also a lot more puzzle platforming elements as you figure out how to use your powers to get places, though the emphasis isn’t as high as Robot Wants Y. I really liked playing through Easy and Normal Mode once, but since these are maybe the longest in the compilation it’s a lot harder to repeat the experience. Also, the Remix Mode is almost Kaizo levels of difficulty, for better or for worse.
Robot Wants Ice Cream
The philosophy behind this game was obviously “More Power-ups = More Fun”. You get your core abilities pretty early on, and the rest of the game is deciding when your power level has reached a point where your skill level can complete the game. You can spend long periods of time finding all of the power-ups and then go straight up trash the final boss, or you can try and rush it with your minimum requirements for the lowest time. Since the emphasis here is on powering up, for actual completion this is probably the easiest game of the bunch, even on the remix mode. However, for the best time, I’m willing to bet that there could be some hard competition among players trying to optimize it.
Robot Wants Y
The puzzle platformer of the compilation. Everything is much slower paced and relaxed, but as usual the goal is to complete the thing as quickly as possible. Like most puzzle games, this is really interesting the first time you play it, but once you’ve figured everything out it loses a lot of its value. However, there might be some that prefer its more methodical mechanics when it comes to speed running.
Robot Wants Justice
Robot is aggressive and mean this time around, with all of his attack options being melee, fitting in with the rage-filled premise of the title. The bosses in all the other games are pretty simple, but in Robot Wants Justice, they all have more complex patterns and puzzle-like weaknesses. They’re also pretty hard – on the “Classic” mode I probably had an extra half-hour added to my time from the deaths. The furious pacing of your abilities is a lot of fun to play with, but it’s also annoying that regular enemies don’t die unless you knock them into a hazard. I also am a little ambivalent about how some of the collectables are in cages in the two harder modes, forcing you to backtrack around the whole level once you find the key if you want them. Overall it’s a fun addition to the collection, but I think I like some of the other games more.
Overall, Robot Wants it All is a great collection of challenging and fun games that provide, in my opinion, more than enough features to set them apart from the free browser-based counterparts. I wouldn’t try to beat all of these games in one sitting; that’s not really what Mini-Metroidvanias are about. They’re for when you have a craving for a satisfying Metroidvania, but don’t want to pour in the whole 8-15 hour average that some of the more recent modern Metroidvania titles require. At whatever price-point you decide is best, this is a great compilation to have in your library as a treasure trove of little bite-sized Metroidvanias that you can munch on occasionally as a break from other games or from life itself.
Very siimple - which can lead to some issues with the random patterns of the enemies - but fun
Since I have no ''Speedrunning Category'' I am putting the rating under Platforming. Getting to the end quickly requires precision maneuevering
While the mechanics of each game change in significant ways, the common thread is exploring to power up - which each game does very well
Not a focus of some games, but Robot Wants Y in particular has some challenging spatial reasoning puzzles
The title of each game summarizes the whole thing
Based on ancient flash games, the graphics are very simple
Catchy tunes enhance the experience nicely
All of the games are short and there are many combinations of mutators you can use to change up every experience
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