G.W.A.T. (Gratuitously Weird Automated Toys) – bot vs bots?

May26 What’s the world’s fascination with bots?  Do we see a future where most machines will take over tasks we find mundane, boring, or dangerous.  Or Tiny droids that will enter our bodies and repair us or augment us?  Virtual pets or companions where the real thing is just not practical or safe?  All these things and more.  I think we’re mostly in convenience.  So what are the main sources of bot love?  Firstly Star Wars, with those loveable droids C-3PO and R2-D2.  Ever since the late 70’s they’ve been ingrained into our consciousness.  Movies, cartoons, toys, even cereal has had these two little guys.  We can hardly think of a world without them.  Secondly, the Japanese.  Their love of technology has spearheaded efforts to make robots, walk, talk, and even think, and inspired the world’s culture.  Granted things like Transformers was a Japanese and American co-creation, there’s no doubt about the influence the Japanese had on them.  In fact it was a Japanese toy line that some guys from Hasbro bought, and based a whole franchise around.  Okay with that spirit I present my next review for a game called G.W.A.T. which stands for a Game Without A Name.

What I think of it:  GWAT needs a lot more work done on it before it can be thought to be fun. Edit:  After playing it a little bit more I started getting the hang of it.  It’s not really a bad game, but there are some things that could be improved.  More after the break.

The Break.

After the Break.  Okay so you read it, are you satisfied now?  Man has to break his own review just so YOU can read it.  Okay I’m kidding here.  Let’s actually continue with the review.

GWATSS01Droids! Games about robots! Whoo!  Everybody loves bots.  Can’t get enough robot games.  So that’s what we’re reviewing.  GWAT by Westcoast-Games is a game about a robot who has to clear the board of other umm, ones.  Okay so.  Basically you have weapons to do this with.  There are supposedly about 10 weapons accessed through the keypad with numlock on.  In my preview I said you had to use the mouse for something like mouse look.  Well actually because of the way they configured the controls, WASD to move, and the keypad to use your weapons.  Mouse is only used to… uhh look.  That is turn around the camera.  You don’t use the mouse to play the game.  Okay so these robots pop up and you have to do stuff to them.  Problem here is, they come too fast, and you’re not sure what weapons you can use other than pressing buttons.  This might have worked better as a turn-based strategy game, or an outright top-down shooter.  But it’s neither.  In fact it’s rather sluggish to move your bot.  And sometimes you can’t move where you want because it’s stopping with some wall or something.  Also it takes time to turn the character around, it should just move instantly and face the direction it’s moving.  So basically the developers included free-movement but with a grid based board.  If you’re going to do a grid-based board, you should make sure the robots either jump tile to tile, or move smoothly from tile to tile before you’re allowed another button press.  I do see some potential here but it’s only that.  Personally I think they should make it a top-down shooter, where you can access all the weapons (but only a limited amount of ammo on each), but where they only affect certain bots.  The strategy part would come in, by what weapons to choose, but that’s just me.

GWATSS02 The feedback isn’t too good either.  When you destroy an enemy he simply fades out.  He should at least blow up so you can feel the thrill of blowing stuff up.  Also when you run into an enemy, you see some explosion graphic, and it moves through you and it seems as though you move sluggishly.  They should be able to attack you and stop you from moving.  I was able to use both weapon “0” which is a bomb, and weapon “1” which is some sort of shooty thing.  The problem with the shooty thing is I couldn’t tell where I was aiming so sometimes it would go where I didn’t want it to.  After playing it again to get these screenshots I found out that number 1 shoots at whatever it has a direct line of sight to.  Also I could actually select any of the weapons.  Graphics wise it’s pretty bland.  It would be nice if each of the baddies had more of a color scheme and possibly bright colors.  Edit: Instead of removing that previous line I would like to add that there is several colors for different baddies, it’s just to me it seemed kind of bland because they mix the colors with gray for some reason.  Hopefully there will be some way to pick that up in the future.  There’s no real particle effects or anything fancy that I could see.  The explosions are ok too.  The sound effects are odd, and the only music is not bad actually although at one point it started playing real slow as if there was a real drain on the game’s processing. 

GWATSS03 The developer is working on a tutorial, and in-game instructions, as well as working out the installer issues I outlined in my preview.  If they continue to improve it I think it could turn into something fun.  I don’t like giving out bad reviews.  It means that some developers can take it personally.  Luckily from the dealings I’ve had with Westcoast’s Christopher Hare, he seems to take it objectively, and seems like a nice guy.  Personally I would download the demo just for that reason.  It’s hard to make a decent game, I know, because I make games.  So maybe we can show a little indie-love and get some robot-love in return!

Name: G.W.A.T.

Developer: Westcoast-Games

Where you can get it: Here – G.W.A.T.

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