Slamming down on top of enemy heads is the lingua franca of video games, a mechanic that's encoded in the DNA of many titles and dates back to some of the earliest images to flicker across computer and TV screens. SlamBots plants itself firmly in this well established mix and delivers as advertised. It won't take long for you to get just what you signed up for after booting up this fun little title from developer Retro Dreamer: robots and slamming down on things.
Granted, it might take you a little bit to get into this game. That was the case for me. At first, I was a little unimpressed with the simplicity of things, deciding that this game was a tad thin on content. At first blush, it seemed like a cheap Doodle Jump-style game that had elements of Mario mixed in.
Then again, I did not know what I was playing and it wasn't long before I realized that this was a great Doodle Jump-style game with elements of Mario mixed in. After a little getting used to the simple set up of SlamBots, I found myself enjoying the addictive hook and uncovering more than I thought was there.
But let's be clear, this is not an RPG or anything. SlamBots has a dead simple premise. The game is all about bouncing on top of enemy heads as they appear. Being more or less an endless mobile title, the goal is to try and stay alive as long as possible. The longer you can last without kicking the robot bucket, the harder the enemies will become.
The tougher the enemies, the better the score you'll get for slamming them into oblivion. So the longer you can last, the better your score. And it's so easy to bounce together a good run that when you finish, the game does a good job of convincing you that you can beat your best score on your next try.
Slamming and bouncing around the screen is controlled by tilting your iOS device left and right to move. Your little Cyborg Ninja character is automatically set to jump, so you will have to tilt to control, much in the same way you would have to in Doodle Jump. If you hold your finger down on the screen, you will go into slam mode.
When your character is in slam mode, you will get more points when you crash down on something, but you also have a slam meter that will diminish the more you use it. In order to keep a combo going, you will have to be mindful of this and not let the meter run out.
There are several ways to perish in SlamBots. Obviously, if you're slamming down on an enemy, you will be sitting pretty. But if you let that same enemy get you from the sides or from above, well there's not much you can do. Bouncing on top of multiple enemies at once will let you string together a combo that will result in a better score and help you jump up on the Game Center charts.
Like in countless other endless games, coins are the currency of choice. And that truism holds fast in SlamBots. Coins let you unlock new skins, upgrades and levels. Above each level, there is a section that's just full of coins for you to collect.
But getting there and filling up your treasure trove is easier said than done. It's all do-able, for sure. But you really have to be ready to get your grind on in order to progress without paying money for coins. Fortunately, SlamBots offers a fun grind.