Welcome to a very special confessional edition of Flashbang. The confession of course is mine. Until very recently, I have never actually paid for a Flash game. I’m not saying that I pirate them or anything, I simply mean that I play through whatever free version is out there and that’s enough for me. That all changed once I got my hands on Robokill from Rock Solid Games.
Robokill is a top-down shooter featuring an upgradeable tank fighting his way through a space station. You collect money, weapons, and upgrades along the way to make your tank stronger, and each and every upgrade is extremely important. The game does a great job of giving you a board where you feel overpowered followed immediately by a board where you feel like you need a bit more firepower. I felt like I should clear every single room on every level simply because there was a chance that I may miss something that would help me on a later board. It’s not strictly necessary to do this, though, if you can find all the keys that you need to advance.
The sound here is excellent. The blasters have a satisfying deep “thunk” to them, and the high pitched ringing of picking up objects never grated on me at all. The character models are solid. You won’t find them in Halo or Crysis anytime soon, but they are better than a good portion of the Flash models out there. The tiles that make up each level are well rendered and allow for quick and easy level building, I would imagine. The game play itself is simple to pick up but still takes a little bit of practice. The arrow keys (or WASD) control your movement while the mouse controls your aiming and firing. If you start to concentrate too much on one, you will inevitably run yourself off a walkway or suddenly find yourself shooting the hell out of the wall. (There’s no ammo, so it’s really just your pride that gets hurt there) Whenever you enter a room, the door behind you and any other doors lock until you have killed everything in the room. My number one suggestion is to never stand in a doorway. Ten angry robots with a stationary target don’t miss often.
The free version of the game is quick, only four levels in total. For me the allure of stronger weapons and new rooms was overwhelming at that point, and I found myself plunking down ten dollars (via Paypal) to open up the rest of the game. There are some complaints on the Rock Solid forums that there are only six extra levels for that ten bucks, but I would like to remind anyone with that particular complaint that these are bigger levels with more rooms, new mobs to kill, and more firepower. Wait until you get a hold of weapons that rebound off the walls or shoot through barricades, and then tell me that you wasted your money.
I am having some trouble finding any information on Rock Solid Games themselves, although I fully intend to continue digging. I would highly suggest that anyone looking for a distraction (and you should have some time on your hands) hit up their website and play through some of the games. These guys make really nice games, very polished and most of all fun. (One might say they are actually solid) With all apologies to Ben Olding (who really did go back and fix the script error in Crunchball 3000) I am going to name Robokill from Rock Solid Games the first Flashbang perfect 10. The only thing I would ever want from this game is more levels.