Algo Bot - PC Review

If you're a part of the admittedly small group of people that is attracted to the idea of a "programming-puzzle" game, leave your expectations at the door. All done? Good, let us proceed.

AlgoBot is a charming and quirky puzzle game that puts you in control of a fairly basic robotic AI in charge of menial tasks related to ship labour. All of the humans are frozen for deep-space transport, and it is your job to… essentially fix the problems that you created to begin with. It's not much of a story, but it is a basic premise to get you started, and it's generic enough to let you fill in as much as you need to tackle the scores of puzzles that are to be arrayed before you.

While the idea is that you solve these problems with 'programming', the reality is that you aren't truly programming anything. Imagine playing through a level of Mario Bros where you have to put all of your button-presses in at the beginning of the level, then hit play and watch it play out before your eyes. If you did it correctly, you advance… and if not, then you restart and adjust your command queue with no penalty. It's rather much the same premise as the old DOS and early-windows era game series; The Incredible Machine, if your hand was stuck to a certain track.

The difficulty is easy if you're a procedural-minded person, and fair if you're just a puzzle nut, with added complexity and maneuvers thrown in just when you feel like you've attained 'mastery' with the last command put in. The commands are varied to let you do things like advance forward, turn 90 degrees, turn 180 degrees, press a button, pick something up, drop something, Wrapping this all up into a visual package is a fairly simple UI. It doesn't need to be complex, and it's all done in a way that uses images instead of words to transcend language-barriers.

The music and sound effects are spot-on, but for a puzzle game, that really doesn't really say all that much, and they're both fairly forgettable… but we all have different music preferences, and we all have different things that help put us in the puzzlin' mindset.

Now what isn't forgettable about this game isn't the story, or the gameplay, or even the music. No, it's the dialogue. The narrator/guide of the story, a smarmy robot that goes by PAL. PAL has a dry sarcasm that took me off guard when I first played, and I enjoyed every single interaction with the pest, even when he was telling me how I had messed up my command-queue.

In short, this is a fun game, and it's easily worth what they're asking for it. Just don't expect any programming.

Game Information

Fishing Cactus
Fishing Cactus
Plug in Digital
Single Player
Other Platform(s):

Provided by Publisher

Article by Marc H.