Destroy the enemy robots in this territorial strategy game and try your luck with the fruit machine spinners.

Gameplay: This is a slot machine combined with a tactic game where you test your skill and luck in getting different combos.  The overall aim is to destroy the computer opponent before he beats you.

In the top left hand corner you have your three spinners, and underneath them you have three different sets of spindles to choose from.  After each spin, the images which are on the turnwheels will trigger actions that happen around your robot.

Unlike real fruit machines, one of the dials is turning at a very visible pace, so you can almost choose one of the icons.  So the skill comes in two parts: First you need to select the correct set of actions (offense or defence), and then you need to trigger your spins at the right time so you at least get one of the actions you would like.  If you get two or three of a kind, then you get a more intense action – i.e. a stronger robot, or a more powerful laser attack.

Once you destroy the enemy then you get experience points which contribute to levels.  As you level up you gather more bonuses and power-ups.  There are also these “coins” which you can use to purchase extra abilities for your fights.  Although initially these seem unhelpful, they actually turn out to be the key to winning, and you end up chasing the victories in order to get these upgrades.

The three action sets are quite important in this game, they are: robot creation, robot relative power-ups, and direct mother robot attacks.  Once you understand all the icons you can go about strategising your attack.

If the game sounds confusing or you’re unsure about any of the options or actions – you can simply click on an icon to get more details about it.  The tutorial is very good for practising and perfecting your strategy.

Beautiful gambling: This is probably one of the most beautiful Android graphics you can get.  The great detail, subtle background drifting and the different polygons moving in the game are really awesome.  The shimmering glow effects combined with the well suited futuristic music really show the polish in this game.

I’ve already spent a fair number of hours playing this game.  Although initially, I was annoyed at the game balance, I’ve figured out the tactics, and so far I’m winning most of my matches.  The thing that keeps me coming back is the territory map with all the different bases and computer difficulties.  By just having the world map there I feel inclined to conquer all the locations!

Verdict: 4/5 Mainly because the game polish is so good in Robotek, but also because the gameplay is unique and woven together well.  In essence it’s just a fruit machine, and a game of statistics.  But the element of chance and luck seems quite intruiging and addictive for some reason.  I haven’t given the game 5 stars because it’s not for everyone.  Also, there’s quite a big imbalance in the game.  At some crucial points, the AI is able to throw 2 three of a kinds in a row which can then tip the game in his favour so you’ll lose.  There’s In-App Purchasing built into this game – so you can buy your improvements and obliterate your enemies easier… but I’m wondering whether this coin and skills purchasing eventually becomes a mandatory requirement since the AIs may be too hard to beat?

Go and download the game and check out the graphics anyway!

Gameplay tips: I think the trick initially is to use the actions going from left to right.  So you first get units, then you get defence for your units, and once those are in place then you do direct offence actions.  I’ve found that it’s always best to do the most statistically advantageous action – i.e. gather your forces and keep raising / increasing your shields.  This means the offensive attacks are very rarely done by your main robot, and instead, the job is left to the underling robots you summoned.  As long as you have a robots and a shield, you can stay ahead of the opponent and muscle down on them.  Also, if your units stay alive through more battles, they gather more experience points and inflict more damage / seem more resistant to attacks.  Although this sounds helpful whilst you have the upper hand, it also means it’s difficult to turn the tables when you’re on the losing side.

If you’ve come here to find out gameplay tips then you can get the gist of my approach above, but for much more detail about the game balance & statistical odds, then go to Hexage’s blog & strategy guide.

Hexage’s Promotional Video

Hexage’s QR code (Scan or click on the icon to goto Android Market)

Developers: Hexage