LadiesGamers RoboDunk

RoboDunk Prologue Early Impressions

Code provided with many thanks to Stride PR

Arcade Sports Fun

There was once a time in my youth when I actually liked sports titles in video games. Long before the genre became corrupted by micro-transactions and repetitive annual releases. Once there was a time when originality was a thing, in retro days long gone, and developers attempted various spins on familiar sports. Some of my favourites included Mutant League Hockey on Mega Drive which put a more monstrous spin on the already violent sport of hockey.

I also loved the SSX series, especially SSX Tricky, which was an over-the-top spin on snowboarding, making it more arcade fun than some of the more bland attempts I had previously played. To this day, my only exposure to sports games is still in the retro realm. Enter RoboDunk, a basketball game with robots that combines the thrills of basketball with the rogue-lite genre of all things. A prologue of the game recently released, and I have plenty of thoughts to share on this highly entertaining sports game.

LadiesGamers RoboDunk
Sports of the future

Robots Can Dunk

The game is fast arcade basketball action. There are two robots on each team, and the goal is to score as many hoops as possible. Controls are pretty easy to pick up and play, reminding me a lot of the old retro sports titles where you have a button to pass, tackle and shoot. Dunking the ball in the hoop is very satisfying. When within at least half a court’s range of the hoop, you can hold the dunk button down, charging up a dunk. The longer this is held, the more epic your dunk is and the more points you will score. Manage to hold it to its maximum, and your robot will literally destroy the hoop in spectacular fashion.

The one rare time I achieved this, I almost fell off my chair in victory at the amazing spectacle I had achieved. Remember that your opponent can always interrupt with a well-placed tackle, so expect a lot of back and forth under short time limits. It’s fast point-scoring action that’s easy to pick up and play for most gaming audiences. 

I immediately warmed to the game’s graphics which feel like handmade robots running around the court, with animations feeling stop motion-like. When you unlock new lore about the game’s universe, you are often shown the actually created robots with what seems like Lego bricks giving a nice personal touch to the experience from the developers. Matches feel like mass spectacles with over-the-top action and move like the exciting game of basketball. It’s suitable for absolutely all audiences.

LadiesGamers RoboDunk
Doesn’t get more exciting than scoring at the last minute

A Roguelite Sports Title

But this is no typical game of basketball. This version has many entertaining twists to it. For starters, you get to select from various perks to take into each game. This could include faster movement, tackle range, and jump distance. These perks can be distributed to each robot on your team, allowing the player flexibility to customise. The game itself is randomly generated with its own unique rule set, so you’re never quite sure what to expect each time you head into the arena. Some games will take multiple one-minute rounds to complete, others a longer single round. Unique traps will appear in each area, like missiles or land mines, and even your opponents will have their own unique perks to contend with. 

In the prologue mode, you can navigate each robot team. With each defeat, you gain new perks. Whether you succeed or fail, you will gain a small amount of money, which can then be exchanged to purchase a new playable robot or sink skills into each team member’s skill tree, improving their perks and making future rounds a little easier. Considering this is a free download, you are getting an exceptional amount of content. With much more promised in the final release. The game is playable with one or two players in local co-op. You can also play versus mode with up to four players locally. If you fancy, you can even set up a game with just AI opponents and sit back and watch them play while you put your feet up for a bit. 

LadiesGamers RoboDunk
Learn some lore and appreciate the real builds

Hit the Robot Showers 

The final game promises a more in-depth single-player and builds further on the mechanics already established in this prologue. The best feature on offer here is any progress you make will carry over to the final game meaning your time spent here is not wasted. RoboDunk left a very good first impression on me, restoring my faith in the arcade sports genre.

A fun to-the-point arcade delight that’s easy to pick up and play. But provides plenty of challenges to come back to round after round. Made all the more inviting by being able to play with friends co-op or versus. Check out the free prologue on Steam and watch for the game’s final release, which is due sometime in 2023. I’ll leave you with this advice from the game, which seems fitting for the rogue-lite design and, in some ways, life.

LadiesGamers RoboDunk

RoboDunk prologue is available to download for free on Steam.

One comment

  1. I use to enjoy the retro sports games as well, before micro transactions was a thing. I really like the concept of Robodunk, being able to play with friends is always a great feature. I perfer couch co-op over online multiplayer or competitive PvP gameplay.

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