Author Topic: Robo Dunk (Switch) Review  (Read 28952 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline lolmonade

  • I wanna ride dolphins with you in the moonlight until the staff at Sea World kicks us out
  • *
  • Score: 29
    • View Profile
Robo Dunk (Switch) Review
« on: October 17, 2023, 05:46:30 AM »

Dunk is the meaning of life.

Robo Dunk is a fascinating specimen. A blending of robot combat, NBA Jam, and roguelike on paper sounds like it came from a random game generator. In practice, the mish-mash of genres blend into a coherently fun party game that should excite anyone looking for 2v2 sports-adjacent combat.

Fundamentally, Robo Dunk is a 2v2 slam fest on a basketball-like court. You get different robo players to choose from with different attributes, including optionally being able to select specific perks for each such as longer jumps and reduced damage. The controls include passing/switching bot, shoot/jump, a knockdown dash, a weapon (like a gun or bomb) unique to each player, and an alley-oop. Level hazards, featuring the likes of laser beams and explosives, also add to the chaos. It’s a neat twist, but in practice some courts have too much chaos for my taste.  

The gameplay itself is much slower than something like NBA Jjam, to the degree where it’s almost sluggish, and as suggested in the title, the robots can only slam dunk.  Because of this, it opens up the middle space as a free-for-all combat zone that feels like a war of attrition.  It’s still manic fun, but would love a means to get a longer-range dunk in, even if just as a one-time power up.  It makes it so that if you’re on the opposing team’s side of the court at the end of a match where you’re down in points, there isn’t even a glimmer of hope to win.  This leans the matches towards a slow, defensive focused, low- scoring affair where you get small windows to dunk before getting swarmed and knocked down.  It took a bit of time to get acclimated, but after getting the rhythm down the ongoing, slow pressure gave more time to think through my next action.

The bulk of content comes in the way of campaign mode. No overarching story seems present, but loading screens often come with flavor text giving details and attributes about the different robot teams and the world of dunk.  The roguelike elements come about with currency gained by winning games that can be allocated for permanent attributes and unlocking new robotic characters.  A neat tidbit is that each mech has a biography.  The summary text is fine, but they showcase each as an action figure with the names of people who helped develop the design.  It’s nice to see people being attributed for the contributions they provided.  

Robo Dunk is uncomplicated in its controls but messy in its chaos, which is pretty fun as long as you’re not expecting something akin to legitimate basketball. The slower paced gameplay won me over as I learned to use that limited toolset to outright embarrass the other teams.  The rogue like campaign, as threadbare as it is, does give the game a sense of longevity that’s sorely needed.  You’ll be in for a fun time, if not for a long time.