Review: Twin Robots: Ultimate Edition
Posted 14 Mar 2018 at 20:50 by Gregory Moffett
Twin Robots is a 2.5D puzzle platformer where protagonists Watt and Volt must escape from a factory in which they have been labelled defective.
While one robot being black and the other white may draw the ‘Twin’ assertion into question, both robots look and control identically in every other aspect, for better and for worse.
Each of the 40 stages begins with either Watt or Volt facing impending doom by being trapped in a locked room about to be crushed. Taking control of the free robot, you’re initially tasked with releasing your imprisoned companion before it’s too late by searching around the level for a button to shut off the power and open the locked door. This portion of the game is generally quite straightforward but occasionally the level design will leave you heading in completely the wrong direction and unable to find the button before time runs out.
Hang in there little robot! We wouldn't want you to fall into that green corrosive liquid...
Once both robots are liberated, you’re able to switch freely between Watt and Volt at any time with the touch of a button in order to reach the end of each level with both robots, though you can also play co-operatively with a friend. Despite the concept offering up plenty of potential for intricate puzzles with a necessity to make use of both robots to overcome obstacles, this is rarely realised. Often, it is a case of reaching the end of a level easily with one robot then having to basically repeat the process again with the other, albeit having to focus on each robot’s power levels to ultimately succeed.
Frustratingly, there are many occasions when a section of a level will require both robots to be available and you may either have already walked through the exit with one of the robots, meaning they are no longer available to control, or there’s simply no way of getting both robots where they need to be from your current location which forces you to restart the stage.
Reverting back to the beginning of a level is something that will occur frequently throughout the game for any number of reasons including mistiming a jump, running out of power, leaping blindly into the unknown only to discover you now have no way to beat the stage or even falling victim to a falling spiked cog where you were given no indication of its presence beforehand.
Wat(t)ch out for those spikes! They look awfully pointy...
Needless to say, the level design is generally poor and extremely repetitive with the same bland aesthetic throughout.
In fact, first impressions from starting up the game for the first time already flag up concerns. There is a disturbing delay when trying to select options in the menu and this only helps to highlight a universal imprecision of the controls throughout.
Twin Robots isn’t all bad, however. The music is at least serviceable and there is a clever mechanic at play where both robots have a certain amount of battery charge and this is depleted by performing actions such as jumping and moving boxes or coming into contact with hazardous poison or other impediments scattered throughout. In order to increase charge, you’ll have to walk over glowing tiles along the ground or collect one of the hidden batteries in each level.Â
Don't fall in! *controller battery dies* Oh well...
You can also transfer energy between Watt and Volt by holding a button when both robots are in contact with each other. All of this has an effect on which robot you wish to control at any given time and what direction you wish to go or make you question whether you have enough energy to go after all of the collectables and still make it to the end, especially when you need enough energy to plus yourself into a socket and open the door at the end of the area.
Unfortunately, what the game does right is largely hindered by what it gets wrong and having to repeat levels over and over again because of irritating and unfair design decisions can really make your blood boil.
N-Europe Final Verdict
Twin Robots is a potentially interesting concept held back by dull and broken level design that seldom offers fun scenarios to overcome that make full use of the robot-switching mechanic. What you’re left with is a game that is just about OK but one that is almost impossible to recommend.
Energy management can make progress challenging
Exasperating design choices
Controls aren’t always entirely reliable
Dreary and monotonous aesthetic