Roboquest review

by on November 9, 2023
Release Date

November 7, 2023


Roboquest is one of those games you won’t know you want until you’ve played it. On the surface it looks like just another run-based roguelite shooter with colourful visuals and artificial zaniness that you’ll tire of quickly, but dig a little deeper and it’s actually a pretty packed and entertaining experience.

And it should be, too, since it feels like it’s been in early access since about 1992. It hasn’t, of course; it’s actually been around 3 years, but it’s still long enough for developer RyseUp to polish the frantic gameplay to a high shine. In fact Roboquest rarely puts a foot wrong when it comes to delivering on its own promises. It’s a game where you play as one of a number of unlockable robots in a vaguely Borderlands-y post-apocalyptic world. There’s not much context to it all really, though what little story there is does its best to keep your interest. Your main role is to aid a young girl called Max by blowing things up that she tells you to blow up like you’re a badly painted, poorly-aimed ballistic missile.


Most commonly this is other robots, sometimes turrets, that litter procedurally-generated arenas. What’s a little weird is that whenever you finish blasting your way through an area, Max is already waiting for you by the door to the next one, kicking her heels while you pick bits of fried circuit board off the bottom of your feet. Not that a game like this needs context or realism; there’s a little hub-camp you return to between missions that rarely changes and exists fully in service to the meta-game.

Collecting wrenches during each run allows you to upgrade the camp which in turn upgrades your robots, adding new weapon selections or increased survivability. As with any good roguelite the pool of randomised weapons and power ups you find each run increases as you discover upgrades or new cartridges, just as you must find keys to new zones and defeat bosses to progress.

Death resets your level progress but leaves your pools of guns and gear untouched, and shortcut doors allow you to bypass early areas to an extent. But make no mistake, even on Strandard difficulty, solo or coop, Roboquest is no pushover. Levels are dense with enemies and they have multiple attacks that keep you bouncing around the place like a tin can nailed to a pogo stick. Standing still for too long is the quickest way to get your shit reprogrammed, so the emphasis is on fast movement and cathartic blasting.

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I found I needed to adjust the sensitivity when playing with a gamepad, but that’s hardly a complaint. Roboquest glides smoothly around canyons, gardens and futuristic cityscapes and barely drops a frame as cell-shaded murderbots come at you from every conceivable angle. A wonderful variety of lethal lasers labour to lacerate your ligaments and limit your lively locomotion but you’re equipped with everything from bows, dual machine pistols, and shotguns, to flare guns, rocket launchers and rocket-propelled boxing gloves. It’s weapon design off its meds at times and that’s what makes Roboquest so much fun.

Oddly though, I found sniper rifles to feel the most comfortable. I long for iron sights in games without the option, and only sniper rifles allow you to aim before shooting; every other weapon is strafe-friendly all the way. Although certain weapons like the tomahawk just feel awesome to play with because there’s something effortlessly cool about taking down a flying death-droid with a perfectly-hurled axe.

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If you feel the need you can bring a friend, (or a stranger, we’re not judging) by engaging in the multiplayer element. While it’s fun to blast away with a mate, it doesn’t add much on a real level to the action. It’s too frantic to take stock of what’s going on or trade dialogue more nuanced than a series of involuntary grunts and swears, so you’re as well served playing alone as with others, but Roboquest is solid fun either way.

The fact that it has been around for a few years is certainly a point in its favour here, but Roboquest still puts the effort in. It can get a bit samey during long sessions – especially if you’re rubbish at it – but there’s enough wild variety in the weaponry to keep you entertained for a while if only for the sake of curiosity. Overall, it’s just an uncomplicated, fun time that clears the palate after all the Soulslikes and open world adventures we’ve had this year.


Action never lets up
Solid meta-game
Looks decent


A little samey
Music grates a bit

Editor Rating
Our Score


In Short

Roboquest is just an uncomplicated, fun time that clears the palate after all the Soulslikes and open world adventures we've had this year.