There have been a lot of attempts to romanticize the legend of Robin Hood, but Little Raiders: Robin’s Revenge from Ubisoft is probably the first instance of the legend being downright adorable. Don’t let the sweet-looking characters fool you, though. Little Raiders: Robin’s Revenge features tons of forest-bound fights, some of which get pretty hairy as the game progresses.
The story begins in the depths of Darkwood, where the evil sheriff is up to shenanigans. Robin begins his quest for justice alone by setting out and saving villagers that are being harassed by the sheriff’s cronies. In no time at all, he has a few fighters at his side – and with some persistence and some cash, you’ll be able to build a small but efficient army capable of sending the sheriff running for the hills.
Little Raiders: Robin’s Revenge is a mix of town-building and action. And though the game’s setting is based on old English myth, it also carries a touch of Hayao Miyazaki’s influence. The game’s town, which is where heroes are housed, trained, and equipped, is located on the trunk of a gargantuan oak tree that’s guarded by a forest spirit.
Feeding acorns to the spirit prompts it to make the tree grow a little more, thus allowing for more warriors to live on the tree and participate in raids. Since raids form the backbone of the action in Little Raiders: Robin Hood’s Revenge, the more you have, the better.
Each raid requires you to reach a specific goal (for instance, kill ten men, protect an innocent person from enemy fire for a certain time, kill a boss, or destroy a certain tent or object). If you succeed, you’re rewarded with new recruits and / or weapons, food, or treasure.
The top-down battles in Little Raiders: Robin Hood’s Revenge are engaging and can get pretty intense, though the tiny on-screen character make the action a bit hard to see at times. This is particularly problematic when the battlefield is swarming with look-alike friends and foes. You can make sneak attacks by using each level’s terrain to your advantage, but at the end of the day, winning fights typically involves unleashing your raiders on the enemy and praying they have more endurance than their opponents.
Moreover, fiddling with the touch controls sometimes winds up being less fun than an arrow to the left buttock. Selecting all your raiders so they’ll attack at once can be hit-or-miss, often leaving one group to gawk stupidly at the sheriff’s men while vulnerable archers are chewed on by dogs.
Luckily, losing isn’t too painful thanks to the game’s food system. When raiders take too much damage, their weapons break and they’re forced to retreat. Back at the village, they need to be re-equipped, and they also need to heal up before they can go back into the fray. They recover with a little rest, and once they’re in a fighting mood again, all their hit points can be restored with food.
Food is collected on the battlefield, and can even be hunted for during fights, or in between them. There’s even some growing on the tree itself. In other words, you may find yourself put out of action more than once, but you don’t have to wait too long before taking another crack at a failed raid.
Little Raiders: Robin’s Revenge is unique and fun, and receiving tons of loot makes victory pretty sweet. It’s a very decent game, though it’d be nice if the characters weren’t so … little.