iPhone games are a dime a dozen these days. Some are good, but a majority of them are absolutely dreadful. Fortunately for Tatem Games, the team behind RoboSockets, they fall into the good category.
If I had to describe RoboSockets to somebody who was only able to give me 10 seconds of their time I would say that the game is a robotic tetris-y puzzler. That, in a nutshell, accurately describes RoboSockets and even though the difficulty increases as you progress, the game never loses its fun factor.
The cute little robots that live on RoboPlanet need energy, so you must link various robots together in groups of 5 so that the meter to the left of the screen can fill up, allowing you to move on to the next level. Even though there aren’t a ton of levels to play through in RoboSockets, the game has a lot of replay value and gameplay doesn’t become stale.
Like most puzzle games there are objects that get thrown in the mix that can either help you out or make things much more difficult, and that’s where strategy comes into play. When I was playing through the game I thought at first that it would be relatively easy, but then things like robots with only one connector would show up which really put wrench in things. To make a connection of 5, you have to line up and connect the little robot sockets. Depending on the piece that falls down you can connect with up to 4 other robots on either side, but as I moved through the game I started to get more robots with fewer connectors. Some of you might perceive that as a negative, but it actually tapped into my stubborn side where I was determined to get through every level regardless of how long it took me.
The helpful pieces came in the forms of bombs, drills, and robots that would shove pieces out of the way. There were times where I was really in dire need of help, as I had a stack of robots going almost up to the top, which is never good in a game like this, and sometimes I’d get help but sometimes the game would hang me out to dry. When playing most games I get a bit miffed when I lose because, let’s face it, nobody likes to lose or be defeated, but I didn’t mind when playing RoboSockets because I knew that when I restarted the level I would play differently which meant I was learning in the process.
When playing I noticed that there was a timer in the upper-left corner, but don’t worry, you aren’t having to rush against the clock in RoboSockets. It’s there to show how long it took you to beat said level and eventually top your score. There is a leaderboard, which can be found under the statistics area on the main menu. There are achievements you can get, facts about the robots and their planet, and for those running on iOS 4 there is GameCenter support. Also, if you are the kind of player who likes to brag to your friends about how awesome you are at life, you can post your results to your Facebook page.
Graphically, RoboSockets is awesome. I loved how each little robot had a life of its own and every aspect of the game complimented each other. As far as music goes, RoboSockets has some pretty unique tunes to jam through while you flex your brain and connect five little guys together. Sometimes the little bleeps and bloops reminded of old school arcade shooters, and then sometimes they reminded me of cutesy space sounds. Either way I enjoyed it and found that it helped get me into a groove rather than provide an unnecessary distraction.
If I had to say one negative thing about RoboSockets it’s that, if I had to quit out of the game suddenly, it doesn’t save where I am but in a game that’s like this it makes sense. If I was in the middle of a level and I had to do a few things that kept me from the game for hours, I know I certainly wouldn’t remember exactly what I was doing and I could end up losing when resuming.
Would I recommend RoboSockets to iPhone owners? Absolutely. For only $0.99 one gets a game that is fun, is worth replaying over and over, and ran perfectly on my 3G that runs the 3.1.3 OS. I sincerely hope that Tatem Games has plans to add new content for RoboSockets through updates because this is one game I see being a permanent fixture on my iPhone.
RoboSockets is available now through the iTunes App Store for only $0.99. To learn more about Tatem Games, visit their official website.