When I hear words like "innovation" and "variation", I often start to wonder what those words really mean when it comes to game design. Isn't the number one goal of any game to entertain the people who play it? I believe that is an accurate statement. I honestly believe that every game designer in the industry wants to make a game that people will love playing. Do you think the guy who designed Nintendogs was concerned that his game wouldn't be popular enough because it didn't have cutting-edge real-looking graphics? I doubt it.


At that point the question becomes does "innovation" and "variation" CREATE fun? I think we can answer that question pretty sufficiently by taking a closer look at RoboBlitz.


RoboBlitz is a Third-person action game with puzzle elements. It is developed by Naked Sky Entertainment, and is powered by Unreal Engine 3. RoboBlitz also uses Allegorithmic's ProFX Procedural Textures, however this is mostly used for the small footprint of the Xbox Live! Arcade version of the game (50mb). I should mention up front that this review is based upon the PC version of the game only. I have not tried the XBLA version.


Say "Hello!" Blitz

The story in RoboBlitz is pretty simple. You, as Blitz, are, what appears to be, a maintenance robot on an orbital defense weapon when a group of "space pirates" called the NOEDs invade your station. With your friendly repair bot friend Karl as your guide (and also your research partner), you must enable the six substations of the weapon and destroy the NOED threat.

Throughout the game, you can buy upgrades to your body using Upgradium. There are several kinds of upgrades, but most of them are weapons and armor. You also get the very awesome P2P Beam, which we'll discuss later.

Each substation of the weapon has three different tasks which you reach through entryways called HUBs. In these HUBs you choose the level you would like to play by performing some kind of task, for example to enter the levels for the cooling substation, you turn a fan on to various speeds. Using the fancy Unreal Engine 3 streaming technology, there is virtually no wait between entering an elevator to enter a level and actually being placed in the level. We'll talk more about the levels later on as well.

I started down there?!

At the beginning of the game you are asked if you would like to have Hints turned on. If Hints are on, then throughout the game, you will have opportunities to have Karl help you figure out what to do next. Depending on your style of play, you may or may not want this feature turned on. I played with it on and found it distracting sometimes as it will occasionally popup even after you have figured out what you are doing (or have gotten the hint already).

Overall, I found the story very entertaining, and for the $15 price tag, a nice catalyst for the events in the game.


The characters in RoboBlitz are, as you would expect, all robotic. Still, the pretty graphical effects and the relatively original design make up for the plausibly bland robots.


Careful with that P2P Beam

Karl seems to be the "brain" of the orbital defense weapon. He gives you helpful guidance throughout the game, as well as knows when each subsystem is ready. He also designs and develops upgrades for Blitz while he is off fighting the invading pirate force.

Blitz is your standard fare maintenance robot. That is, until he gets upgradium and upgrades his systems.

The NOEDs are the invading enemy force in RoboBlitz. As Blitz, your job is to destroy them or drive them off. You pretty much won't run into anything other than different types of NOEDs as you struggle to enable the systems of the weapon.

Boss NOEDs

Does he look upset?

Boss NOEDs are the big NOEDs that you fight in the third stage of each subsystem's levels. Defeating the Boss NOEDs requires you to do things in tricky ways, in other words Boss NOED's aren't really effected by you shooting them in the face.


The weapons in the game are original and very unique. There are some real stand-outs here that make the game even more fun that you would anticipate. Like they say, don't judge a book by it's cover.

Blitz' Arms
Your first weapon, odd as it may sound, are your arms. Well, as I played along I would say they were both a weapon for you and against you. Many of the puzzles involve grabbing things, and sometimes results in your arms getting stuck in various places or dropping things if you don't have a good grip on them. Pressing 'Q' will do a spinning move that damages/destroys NOEDs, though, and can also be used to toss objects which is very helpful in several puzzles.

EMP Rifle
This is what Blitz is fitted with when you start the game. The EMP Rifle emits an electromagnetic charge that is designed to disable the NOEDs for a short period of time. This allows you to use your arms to grab them or destroy them.

Pulse Cannon


The Pulse Cannon is a strong weapon that fires accurate plasma bolts at your target. This weapon is good for destroying NOEDs and was one of the only weapons I used consistently throughout the game.

Anti-grav Gun
The anti-grav gun lifts your targets a short ways up off the ground. This immobilizes them and makes them an easy target for one of your other weapons. It works on any object in the game world.

Rocket Launcher
This isn't just your run-of-the-mill rocket launcher. When you hit an object or enemy with these rockets, they lift them high into the air and explode, dropping them back to the ground.

Suck Mortar
When you get this weapon later in the game, you will have a lot of fun with it. When you fire the Suck Mortar, it explodes upon impact creating a vortex that sucks anything (including Blitz!) into it while delivering explosive damage.

P2P Beam
P2P Beam stand for Point to Point Beam. The P2P Beam comes in two incarnations. The first is a beam that allows you to attach two items together, which will then pull them together as if they were magnets drawn to one another. This is useful for attaching NOEDs to walls, impairing and immobilizing them.

The second incarnation is a beam that pulls Blitz towards objects. In some of the later levels this is required, and since you don't get this beam until you have defeated at least one Boss NOED, it is recommended you do that right away. The nice thing about this P2P Beam is that it will allow you to swing from various places, or climb up walls or other objects to get where you need to go.


UEd4 still looks the same

There are 19 different levels in the game. The first 18 are the three stages of each of the six subsystems and the last level is the actual weapon being fired. Overall, I found the levels plainly unique, they were always in a different "area" of the subsystem, and I didn't care about the use and reuse of textures and objects throughout (come on, you are in a space station weapon thingy, it wouldn't be practical to make each subsystem have it's own planetoid uniqueness).

Editing Tools

The game comes with a full set of Unreal Engine 3 Editing Tools. This may be the single area people are the most interested in, as who can argue with a $15 to get a great single player game, as well as UnrealEd4 to start playing with? Recently, a 1.1 patch was released for RoboBlitz that also included the ability to compile UnrealScript Scripts with the game. Naked Sky has also set up a RoboBlitz wiki on their site with loads of good tutorial pages for anyone wanting to learn how to use the Kismet Visual Scripting tool, UnrealEd to create maps, or UnrealScript to make original mods.

Some of the things that have changed in UnrealEd 4 are the addition of Kismet, a brand new Materials editor that makes combiners much easier, and, most strikingly to me, the "game world" is no longer subtractive. What this means is that you no longer have to carve levels out of an existing world. This will make level creation alot more familiar for people coming from other games, though UnrealEd 4 has an option to allow people to go back to the subtractive method (the new method is called additive).


After playing through the game and having a completely satisfying experience, I have to say this is probably one of the most polished and entertaining games I have played in a long time. It was really a breath of fresh air to have a budget game come out that was exactly what it said that it was. The editing tools being included makes it 1000% more interesting to any kind of gamer.

The last thing on my mind in this review is, why not go buy it!? Who doesn't have $15 to spend (heck, I spend that on going out to dinner one time!) and the gameplay is certainly worthwhile. It took me around 6-8 hours to complete the game on my first go around, definitely worth it for the price. My only recommendation, if you can stomach it, is to purchase the game through Steam. You'll get updates much faster that way.