Platform games have been around for well over 30 years in games, but the basic principle hasn't changed. You run around, jump, shoot, solve puzzles and generally work your way up to beat all sorts of monsters and things. Lately, indie games have been dead set on a pattern, where it seems like the same basic game of all that is there, but re-skinned each time for a different theme. I know that isn't the case, but with Botlike, it seemed like it was just going through the motions.
All we have for story is an opening title card in the beginning, which the game allows you to skip. Like....why, first of all. Yeah, sure, it's all running and jumping and shooting, but we should know why. Right? Well, apparently not. So I'll just give the extreme basic: You are S.I.R., you're a robot, you need to beat other robots, and you wear a top hat. There's something about evil robots and massive destruction, but if you aren't going to integrate that, why even go on here?
Controls through Steam were fine. Your basic AWSD, with holding E to open things and so on. Nothing really innovate, yet also nothing crazy or missing. If you're playing with a touch pad, aiming might be a bit off, but otherwise, pretty good.
Gameplay in Botlike is like any other indie platformer. Run, jump, shoot. You shoot different robots with different skills with a variety of weapons, and you upgrade through disturbingly frequent shops. Really. This was bizarre. As you go through, there's suddenly a shop somewhere that makes no sense. And they can save you. All skill in preserving your health or weapons or whatever is chucked right out. This really upset me for some reason. I understand this is a robot world, but couldn't you have made economics more of a thing? Having a store in a warzone is a terrible idea. Think of all the damage incurred!
Otherwise, gameplay is functional. Again, nothing innovative, but also nothing game breaking.
Sound and music are good by comparison. The music seemed a bit action movieish, which I loved, so aces there. Really fit the setting. Sounds were at a minimum, but they came in when they counted. I liked that there wasn't a lot of noise to blot out the soundtrack except what was needed and what made sense. This isn't sarcasm – they really did this well.
There's something off about the game – it wasn't the frame rate. That was fine. And it wasn't glitches...I think. Like, I would swing my gun around and shoot, only for it not to shoot half a second after pressing the button instead of immediately. Other times it was immediate. I don't know if the game was trying to kill me, but it was noticeable. Otherwise it ran fine.
Botlike is a relatively normal platformer, but with a few glaring issues, and a few quirks that will spark endless questions or fury. It didn't need a story for you to know what was going up, but the story they had they seemed to not care about. Gameplay was fine, but certain points made it too easy and certain points made it too hard – if the difficulty scale was a roller coaster we'd be dead from the g-forces. They even made fun of you in unique ways when you died. I did have fun with it, but those parts really made it hard to enjoy. I'd say it's worth a shot, especially if you like old-school platformers, but don't get hopes up too high.
Final Score: 6.5 out of 10
A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of review.