Spoilers, You will die.
Apart from the obvious leap in graphical capability and even more realistic gaming experiences, the PS4’s best contribution to gaming in the 2nd decade of the 21st century must be the platform it provides for independent games developers. Over the past year or so, cracking indie games such as One Upon Light, Screen Cheat, Blaze Rush, Capsule Force, Journey and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture to name but a few, have taken up many happy hours of our time. The latest in this long line of excellent games is Don’t Die, Mr Robot from Infinite State Games.
Don’t Die, Mr Robot is the old skool arcade experience in its purest form, it is a fast paced “bullet hell fruit-em-up” which is an absolute blast to play. The game itself is incredibly simple, you are a square shaped robot who must collect fruit and refrain from biting the bullet for as long as possible; however there is real hidden depth to this game.
There are 4 main game modes to choose from, each offering a unique challenge. Remix mode has 50 rounds of action each with different rules, whether it be collecting coins, surviving as long as possible or scoring as much as possible. Time Attack mode challenges you to get as high a score as possible within a 2 and ½ minute time limit, there are infinite lives but each death costs you time and points. Chill Out Mode is a slower paced version of the Arcade mode, that although is slower in speed is not any the less challenging. Finally there is the Arcade mode, this is the mode which I spent the most time with and, on which I had the most fun. Arcade mode goes on forever, with enemies getting faster and more prevalent, as you try and get the high score.
Although on first glance, Don’t Die, Mr Robot looks like a mindless arcade blaster, it is actually anything but. Players that wish to make it to the top of the global leader board will require strategy and plenty of skill. The fruit which pops up around the screen must be exploded to destroy enemies, each enemy that is destroyed is worth points, however, it is in the chaining system where the real points lie. To activate these chains, make sure you leave time for a good few bits of fruit to appear on the screen before exploding them, this is similar in a respect to the chaining system on PS2 cult classic Fantavision. The more fruit explosions you can chain together the higher your score will be, this is paramount to obtaining a high score as once the speed kicks up, staying alive for a long period of time is very tricky.
The further you progress in the game, the more extras can be unlocked. Different hats and robots can be unlocked which can be combined in over 5000 different ways, so that you can create your own unique Robot aesthetic.
Don’t Die, Mr Robot is an absolute masterpiece of gaming, I was absolutely hooked from the start and I think I actually did serious damage to my bladder by holding off going to the toilet for so long (the Vita version would have come in handy here). This is true old skool arcade perfection, which rewards persistent play, and you will be hitting retry again and again, as you strive to better your own personal best score.
Gaming in 2016 is a totally different beast to the gaming world I grew up in, in the 80’s and 90’s. The focus now is on achievements and to 100% games, however there is nothing more satisfying than seeing your name on top of a leader board. Don’t Die, Mr Robot brings that long gone arcade experience back onto the PS4; and the PS4 is all the better for it.
DON’T DIE MR. ROBOT!
Don’t Die, Mr Robot is out now on PSN for PS4 and PS Vita
Developed by: Infinite State
In order to complete this review we were provided with a review code from the publisher.