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Requirements: Active internet connection, Macromedia Flash Not Rated by ESRB http://www.robostrike.com
I love strategy games. I admit it. They?ve got to be the best games out there, in my opinion. So, imagine my delight when I find a free multiplayer strategy game called RoboStrike on a list of multiplayer internet games.

Gameplay

RoboStrike is, to quote itself, the ?free Single and Multiplayer robot fight game. [It?s] a turn by turn real time game mixing strategy and action within a crazy robots race. Lead your robot to victory avoiding traps and enemy laser fire through Death match, Race or Puzzle game mode.? That pretty much sums it up in two sentences. The gameplay is very original. You have a robot which can be one of eight colors. (If you register, for free, you can create your own robot with your own original name) You battle on a board, which has many different obstacles and items. The items include conveyor belts, bottomless pits, things that push you out of the way, and power-ups. You have two weapons onboard: one that shoots straight lasers and one that does sort of a shield blast. As soon as you get hit by an enemy weapon approximately three times--you?re dead. You have three lives, though, so it keeps the game going. The gameplay is sort of like a tabletop game: turn by turn. But unlike most games, you choose six moves (which includes go forward, back, left, right, shoot, use power-ups, etc), then click the button to execute the chain of actions. The twist is, everyone moves at the same time, so you can get pushed out of the way, be pushed into pits, or be shot unexpectedly. You typically miss your target, unless you?re either lucky or good at guessing what they?re going to do next! The three modes of battles you can have are Death match, Race, and Puzzle. The one I typically play is Death match, which is where you ?fight? to the demise of the other robots. This is the most popular. You go around the board and try to blow up the others three times, and be the last survivor. This type can have up to eight players. Race mode is where you have to get all the microchips before the other players do. You race around the board, scurrying to land on the chips while avoiding the other players, traps and little arms that extend and push you out of the way. This is exciting, but sometimes discouraging! This mode is also up to eight players. Finally, Puzzle mode is a single player mode where you have to get past about ten missions. (They constantly add on to the boards; you can actually submit some boards if you are a registered member) This is a challenging mode, especially since you have to use your brain and try to match par! This mode is only one player. Now, since these are other human beings playing, the difficulty level greatly varies. You can usually tell how good the registered members are by how many points they have compared to how many games they?ve played. (The unregistered members don?t get any score) So, you can tell whether you want to fight them or not!
Gameplay Score: 18 / 20

Graphics

The graphics in this game are not the best. They do have room for improvement, but you do have to take into consideration that it is an overhead view. The robots themselves were done nicely. The lighting on them is very good, and it really looks like a robot is sitting there. The animations of the bots turning, shooting and beeping are pretty, too. It?s very smooth, and very realistic looking, for lack of better terms. You can tell the creators put quite a bit of work into it. The things I don?t like about the graphics, though, are the extra things, like the power-ups and the walls. These didn?t have the elbow grease poured on them; but still, they?re decent. The laser shots are pretty good; though you don?t see them but for a split second. And the backgrounds are just checkerboards, but nice checkerboards. I haven?t found any graphics glitches.
Graphics Score: 7 / 10

Sound

The sound is pretty flat, to put it bluntly. There is a little background music, but for some strange reason, it just stops for me at the end of a little techno-sounding bridge. It?s a little disappointing, because it would sound good, even if it went all the time! They also have a few beeps and whirs when you click the buttons, and they do sound nice. When you shoot a laser, it sounds like what a laser shot should sound like. (At least, with Star Wars as your guide! ) It is a bit short, but good all the same. There is no sound for the movements of the robots, and the sound effects for the explosions aren?t as grand as they could be. But, when you get a power-up or get pushed by the ?extending arm,? it has a decent sound effect. So, you might as well just leave your speakers off for this one, unless you just love hearing what?s going on.
Sound Score: 5 / 10

Stability

I have had no problem with this game. Its loading times were fast and it has never booted me off.
Stability Score: 5 / 5

Controls / Interface

The controls for this game is basically just your mouse. You choose your moves by clicking on the move icons, in sequence, and the robot does it after you have entered in your six commands and clicked ?Validate.? You can tell what each button does by looking at them; they are very plain icons and are easy to learn. I really like the interface, too. It is self-explanatory: click ?Back? to go back to the last menu, ?Multiplayer? to go to the Multiplayer mode, and so on. Very simple. I didn?t find anything I didn?t like with the controls or the interface.
Controls / Interface Score: 5 / 5

Appropriateness

The whole object of the game is to destroy the other robots. While this is the case, the animations are not graphic at all. When you get shot, you just flash. When you get blown up, your robot (or their robot, as hopefully is the case ) just explodes into a few pieces, then you start back on the first microchip. Nothing graphic at all; nothing I wouldn?t let a four year old see. But if you are against the games with ?robot wars? in them, this may not be the game for you or your child. Now, I have only seen one explicit word. Unfortunately, it was the F-word, and it was in a name. They do have a built-in filter, and I have been told that if you do cuss a lot you will be ?punished.? So, I am very happy for that. The people there are, for the most part, polite. It is a French-based game (though it starts out in English unless you go to the French website or turn it to French), so the majority of the people speak French. And I don?t. So I?m not quite sure what they are saying most of the time, but they are very good to play with, and I never hear a cuss word out of them. The last thing I don?t appreciate is that some of the names aren?t exactly pure, if you get my drift. (e.g., Ratkiller, Satan666) But these names aren?t too terribly common, and the people are still okay to play with. I found no occult/magic, moral, racial or ethical issues in this game.

Game Ratings

Gameplay: 18 / 20 Graphics: 7 / 10 Sound: 5 / 10 Stability: 5 / 5 Controls / Interface: 5 / 5 Total: 40 / 50

Appropriateness Ratings

Swearing: 6 / 10 Sexual Innuendo: 10 / 10 Violence: 6.5 / 10 Occult / Magic: 10 / 10 Moral / Racial / Ethical Issues: 10 / 10 Total: 37.5 / 50

Final Rating: 77.5%

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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