Slowly, I am becoming more of an iOS multiplayer fan. Original hesitancy spawned from my unwillingness to invest large quantities of time hovered over my iOS device learning the ropes on a new app. As I have said time again, there is no personal interest in long complicated games for my portable Apple products.
Because of my predilection for quick pick up and play games, multiplayer was typically out of the question. However, with the advent of time shifted multiplayer, made famous but not created by Real Racing 3, I now dabble in other similarly crafted apps. For example, one of my new favorite games, that I never knew existed, is Top Bot, a multiplayer robot racing challenge for best speed…
Cartoony crisp, which I may develop as a new standard – see my Mittens review – is a great looking game that is obviously and intentionally cartoon like, but still beautifully designed. This simple race game also utilizes a simple and sharp interface and well designed levels. Both the fore and backgrounds are visually stimulating in their simple ways.
I am not trying to blow this out of proportion, however. It is not the best game I have ever looked at, but it does do a nice job of combining fun graphics in an attractive manner.
Here is the best part: it is a one touch game. During each race, you control your Bot by either tapping to fire his boosters or letting gravity carry him down. Think Jetpack Joyride. This simple and intuitive control system eliminates the learning curve, allows gamers to get straight to the action, and will keep me coming back for more.
The goal of each level is to race against other Top Bot players in a time shifted race against their prerecorded times. Each race is three laps and you will need to avoid hazards like smog, exploding mines, and walls. Along the way, in Mario Kart fashion, blocks containing tools are there to give you different powers.
Rewards, upgrades, coins, and daily bonuses also add to the fun. Your Bot is completely customizable, from skin tone, hats, and colors to hands and feet. Upgrades are earned by the coins collected during races.
To begin a race, either begin hosting your own or challenge a previously set group of racers. If you choose to host a challenge, you will name the race and be prompted to invite friends via Facebook or their Top Bot community name. However, you do not have to invite friends to set a challenge.
Each race board is different thanks to a random board generator that constructs smaller predetermined sections into a seemingly limitless assortment of linear, yet looped, tracks. Even offline, you can still play, then your progress will be uploaded the next time an internet connection is established, which is good news for iPod touch owners.
I did find it interesting that a limited number of games were available for play. Until Top Bot gets a larger community, you may be challenging the same people very frequently. Additionally, if you are already placed #1 on your particular races, you cannot re-race to improve your time. Then, find a random game to continue racing. There is no arcade style option with Top Bot, you must always race against other human players by selecting a game or starting your own.
Top Bot is a free iPhone app, and consequently, there is no reason to pass it by. I always worry about great games that slip through the cracks because mainstream news media never gives them a chance. Top Bot is one of those games. Released December ’12, I have not seen this game advertised or covered anywhere. If it were not for a tip from a friend, this game would never grace my Home screen. When I say they are still new, @TopBotGame only has 18 followers at the time of publication.
With a catchy electronic 1980′s soundtrack and quick, fast-paced turn-based multiplayer fun, I give Top Bot a big thumbs up. After all, nothing beats a free game that is easy to play and fun with friends.