I've heard that sort of thing so many times that it makes my head hurt. Yet, in a way, a sort of souped-up Pong is exactly what Robo-Squash is. But before you dismiss the game, let me mention that this game adds a dimension that Pong never had: the third dimension of depth.
Robo-Squash is a paddle-game in 3-D. Your paddle moves left, right, up and down, and the ball zips into and out of the screen in perspective. That's not innovative enough? Okay, what if I told you that there are bonus targets in the middle of the field that you can hit to gain special "power-ups"? Power-ups add abilities to your paddle such as being able to grab the ball or show you where to put your paddle to return the ball.
Still not enough? Fine. What if I told you that a missed ball goes splat on the inside of your Lynx screen, sort of like a big ripe tomato, and that the splatter mark won't go away until the end of the round, and you have to play with it hanging in your face?
Now the coup de grace. Not only are all of these elements in play, but each round is played for a different "world," one of 16 in a four by four grid. You must not only try to win as many matches as possible but also try to win them in worlds alongside each other in order to make lines of won worlds for bonus points.
To be honest, it's hard to be fair to Robo-Squash in a review. It sounds simplistic in the extreme, and in many ways it is simple. At the same time, it's a fun game and quite a challenge. The graphics are good, and the sound is decent. There are several different playing speeds and a nice animated introduction sequence that explains how to play the game. The real fun comes when you ComL-ynx with a friend for a two-player contest. Playing against the Lynx is one thing, but being pitted against a fellow human (or Gorn, Vulcan or whatever) makes the game a lot more exciting and a heck of a lot of fun.
I thought the game was going to be silly, and it really is kind of funky, but it's simple and fun, and I enjoyed myself immensely. You may want to try before you buy, but for my money Robo-Squash is a blast.
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Robo Squash is an odd-name for what is essentially a nineties version of the Atari classic, Breakout! You get the same ball-breaking-bricks challenge, with a paddle that is used to return the projectile back at the tiles, but in this twist you get to play the game in 3-D! Everything comes at you with smooth scaling, and a two-player feature lets you face off in a tunnel of doom where three strikes means you're out.
Robo Squash is about the silliest name I've heard for a game lately, but putting that aside, the game suffers from few faults and delivers what it promises: a 3-D breakout. The splats from missed balls should leave, as they end up filling the screen and making it hard to play.
Granted that Atari needs more titles for this great piece of hardware but this is not the way to go about increasing the inventory. Nothing great here. The 3-D effects just aren't a good enough reason to try Breakout again.
Robo Squash is the first disappointing game I've played on the Lynx. It's just 3-D breakout. I can't stand the way the ball splats against the screen blocking your view of the court. The game just doesn't have any outstanding features for being on such an outstanding system.
Robo Squash is power glove for the Lynx, but you hit the ball back instead of throw it. The graphics aren't the kind of graphics that you would expect from the Lynx. You'll get really tired of the ball splatting against the screen and blocking your vision. It's fun with two players.
Although Robo-Squash isn't a sports simulation, it's the closest thing we've seen to a regular sports game for the Lynx. If s actually a futuristic cross between tennis, squash, and racquet-ball.
Like tennis, in Robo-Squash players take turns whacking a ball back and forth across a court. But like squash and racquetball, the court is an enclosed room without a net. The walls, floor, and ceiling are all inbounds.
The only exceptions are the back walls at each end of the court. If you allow the ball to get past you and hit your back wall, you lose the volley and your opponent gets the next serve.
The immediate goal in Robo-Squash, then, is to get the ball past your opponent and hit his back wall. When that happens, the ball splatters like a juicy tomato and leaves a big red splotch. The first player to do this to his opponent three times wins the round.
But there's another reason not to miss the ball — when it splatters against your wall, the red splotch seriously hampers your vision. That's because the back walls are made of glass, and you are actually positioned behind your wall, not inside in the court. To hit the ball, you control a transparent paddle floating in mid-air directly in front of your wall. You can move the paddle in any direction with the control pad. So far, Robo-Squash sounds like a relatively uncomplicated sports game. Butit'snot quite thatsimple.
To begin with, each volley starts with a number of bricks floating in the air at mid-court. If you hit a brick with the ball, the brick shatters and you get bonus points. If all of the bricks are cleared before the round ends, a spider suddenly appears and starts crawling around the court. The first player to hit the spider with the ball automatically wins the round.
Scattered among the bricks are power-up items. By hitting a power-up with the ball, you gain a special ability — but only until you miss the ball or hit another power-up. For example, the Spiral Disk enlarges your paddle; the Mouth allows you to catch the ball, so you can aim your shots; the All-Seeing Eye predicts where the ball will arrive when it's returned by your opponent; and the Dragon allows you to shoot fireballs at the bricks and other power-ups.
The goal in Robo-Squash is to outscore your opponent, and that means winning as many rounds as possible. Each time you win a round, a ball on a 4 x 4 grid changes to a particular color. You get bonus points for lining up rows of balls that match your color. You can also choose from four difficulty levels (Klutz, Terrific, Outrageous, and Insane) and play against a human opponent by hooking two Lynxes together with a Comlynx cable.
Despite its apparent complexity, Robo-Scjuash is actually easy to learn. It's also very challenging (especially at the higher difficulty levels), and the graphics are well-done.
Some players may feel that Robo-Squash lacks variety. Trying to outswat the computer does get a little tiring after awhile. It's the type of game that's more fun if you can play a human opponent.
But this is a minor point. If you like sports simulations, you'll probably find Robo-Squash an interesting combination of three popular court games.