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Game Info:

Space Robinson: Hardcore Roguelike Action
Developed By: Luxorix Games
Published By: Alawar Premium
Released: October 7, 2019
Available On: Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows
Genre: Action, Rogue-like
ESRB Rating: none specified
Number of Players: Singleplayer
Price: $9.99
(Humble Store Link)

I'd like to thank Alawar Premium for the review key for this title.

In the days of yore, we had Diablo, the game series with a 2D fantasy setting and random loot drops. Later came Borderlands, which was in a 3D sci-fi setting with guns but still featured lots of random loot drops. Space Robinson is a 2D game like the former but aims to be a "looter shooter" like the latter, which mixed but mostly positive results.

Space Robinson has a rather simple story. You are a prospective space colonist who hopes to settle on a planet soon where you will be doing engineering maintenance work. While bored on the flight on the vessel you contracted to go to the planet, you look for some chips because you got hungry, Something goes wrong and you crash land on the planet you intended to settle on. Only it's just you, a colony in sore need of repair, and a lot of aliens and other things that menace your existence unless you take them out.

Space Robinson: Hardcore Roguelike Action
Highlights:

Strong Points: Simple, easy to get into game
Weak Points: Bit too grindy at times
Moral Warnings: Violence against cartoony aliens; mild blood (can be disabled)

The gameplay is split into three parts. One is a base building game, in which crystals and parts you find in the field can be used to repair the colony and grant you further survival bonuses. Another aspect is the actual "looter shooter" part, in which you must try to survive randomly generated, top-down 2D levels with a wrench and whatever guns you can find. Finally, given the game name cribs from Daniel Defoe's "Robinson Crusoe", you too have a metagame where the base building and the in-game RPG-like must be utilized to extend your survival, much like the theme of Defoe's timeless novel.

Graphically, the game has a hand-drawn, cartoony style in bright colors. It's all in pixel-based art, but very well drawn and animated pixel art. The music and soundtracks are rather generic synth tunes and noises fit for a looter shooter game. Not a lot stood out, but none of it was displeasing to the ear either.

Controls can be utilized via either the keyboard and mouse or with a suitable, Steam-compatible controller. Both work fine, but the controller has somewhat better aiming controls since you can shoot in all directions. Either way, you only really need to learn a total of three buttons (one to shoot, one for a melee attack/action button, and one to reload), can cycle different weapons if you acquire them via either type of control method with pre-mapped options, and otherwise only need to move and shoot in the desired direction you point your character.

Space Robinson: Hardcore Roguelike Action
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 80%
Gameplay - 15/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - -7/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 93%
Violence - 6.5/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

Stability is excellent, running out of the box on Windows and Linux, running on incredibly modest hardware with hardly any use of space or resources. My only complaint regarding the gameplay is that while it's supposed to be grindy, as looter shooters tend to be, sometimes it feels a bit too grindy, with too little reward for the risk. The developer has shown an active interest in maintaining and tweaking this game, so this may be ironed out in a later update.

Morally, this is a pretty clean game. Violence is against all sorts of goofy-looking alien creatures who explode in sparks or briefly fall over in a "dead" look before disappearing. Otherwise, this is pretty sterile, as even though you can "die", you get revived immediately via a cloning machine that restores you for another attempt, and your death scene is a brief fade out before you are back to normal. There is some very minor "blood" (which looks like red-purplish splotches that quickly vanish), but it can be disabled if you prefer.

Otherwise, there is no foul language, sexual content, or supernatural or occult influences. Morally and ethically, you are trying to survive on a hostile alien world and restore a space colony you were supposed to be working on to further assist your survival goals, which has no morally objectionable actions associated with it.

From a technical standpoint, it's a recommended game, if you don't mind a very grindy experience at times. Morally, you get violence on par with a Saturday morning cartoon at absolute worse. Overall, if you just want a small, simple looter shooter, this should tide you over.

About the Author

Daniel Cullen

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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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