The Hugh Jackman flick Real Steel made $85 million domestically with its “What if Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots was a real thing?” concept. That may or may not be enough money to warrant a sequel, but Reliance Games feels there’s more life in the franchise to make Real Steel: World Robot Boxing for iOS and Android. It’s free-to-play, simple to learn, and full of cool visuals, but some unfortunate design decisions keep it from being a knockout.
Set after the events of the movie (and knowledge of the film is absolutely not necessary), World Robot Boxing features Atom, Noisy Boy, Midas, and some of the franchise’s other stars, but also expands both the scope and the cast of characters. Your ultimate goal is to dethrone Zeus, the WRB champion, by fighting your way through multiple increasingly difficult circuits of robot fighters. Three bots are yours to choose from to start, with a fourth available if you can convince a friend to play too.
Let’s get the obvious part out of the way: boxing robots is just a flat out awesome idea, and one that appeals to the five-year-old boy or girl in all of us. This game doesn’t disappoint in its efforts to bring those clashes to life, sporting better graphics than the first Real Steel mobile game and some creative robot designs. The themes are great – there’s a football-inspired fighter, one with a blackjack motif, a cowboy bot with arms shaped like six-shooters, and more.
Pitting them against each other is fairly straightforward, with a virtual d-pad on the left and buttons on the right. Boxing is a strictly 2D affair here, which limits you to punching and blocking, but there’s still some strategy required as you look to counter when your opponent’s guard is down. The game doesn’t explain this fully, but pressing the pad while hitting the light or heavy attack buttons throws a slightly different kind of punch for each direction, so there are more options than it may initially appear. Read more »