I’m a sucker for games built around a simple concept but can take up hours of your day and that’s Insane Robots in a nutshell. Recently released, Insane Robots is a simple turn-based strategy game where you play a robot who traverses different area maps in a battle royale style. In this card battler, you explore the area, collect and buy items, and find other competitors (NPC or multiplayer) and kill them. Now, it isn’t as grim as it sounds, in fact, the insane robots you play as and battle are adorable.
With cute names and even cuter designs, the robots are fun to look at and finding them in the wild of your area. But the cuteness can only last so long. Once you encounter an enemy a turn-based system of card battles is used to defeat them or be defeated. Each turn of the battle, you gain tokens – called chips — based on the turn number and then exchange them for the ability to attach cards to your robot’s circuits. You have attack cards, defense cards, and special cards.
When you encounter an enemy robot you will add cards to the circuits attached to your robot. Your goal is to fill your attack circuit and your defense circuit, or at the very least have more than your opponent. As the turns progress you gain more chips and use those chips to play your cards. Now, you also need at least three chips to attack meaning that building up your offense and defense before your third turn can be crucial depending on if you get the first or second overall turn from the start of the fight. You also unlock different special cards. My favorite is the first specialty card you encounter: the hack.
The hack card is essentially the roll of the dice, a card that you can add to one of your leaving everything to RNG. You can play a hack card in your circuit or your opponent’s space, triggering a change in how much that circuit is charged. That being said, the RNG is in control once your hack card is played. You can not pick whether to increase or decrease the circuit charge meaning that if you’re lucky you drop it in your opponent’s attack circuit drops to two, if you’re not, it could fully charge to 10 which also goes for playing it on your side as well.
All in all, the gameplay is simple and quite addictive. Because your encounters with other robots go by quickly, you can traverse multiple maps and battle for quite a long time. The multiplayer capability also keeps me coming back for more. At only $20 the game is worth picking up on Steam (currently 10% off), Xbox, or the PlayStation Store.