Robot Tsunami Review – Intense arcade, like no other for iOS

On June 16, 2014

App Type: iPad, iPhone

Robot Tsunami Review – Intense arcade, like no other for iOS

Our rating:

By: Ground Up Games

Version #: 1.0

Date Released: 2014-05-13

Developer: Ground Up Games

Price: 4.99

User Rating:

There are few real arcade games for iOS. You know what I mean, those games that are intense, with short levels and where you need a lot of coordination and knowledge to reach the latest games. Intense, short, hard. Robot Tsunami fits with this scheme, and it’s pretty good at it. Robot Tsunami does not have much, as far as story goes. It doesn’t matter, since it doesn’t aim to be a story-driven game, but a real, hardcore arcade game.

There are two modes, Campaign (the real deal arcade mode) and Challenge (where you have certain gameplay limitations, like powerup availability, and less time than usual.) In both you control your player in a dual-stick shooter style, while having to defeat a fixed amount of some type of robot. There are several different types of enemy robot. From the very stupid, armed with a sword and almost unable to hit you even if you stay quiet to fast-moving flying robots armed with slow plasma bullets to slow moving tank-like totally deadly robots. Campaign mode needs 100 waves to unlock all playing areas and challenges. Playing areas are

  • Industrial Yard
  • Gas Plant (unlock after wave 10 at Industrial Yard)
  • Deep Sea Rig (unlock after wave 15 at Gas Plany)
  • Processing Plant (unlock after wave 20 at Deep Sea Rig)
  • Energy Source (unlock after wave 25 at Processing Plant)
  • Docking Station (unlock after wave 30 at Energy Source)

And after each unlock some new challenges will appear. The first 20 or so levels are basic training (this is likely to change in an upcoming release, when you are thrown into a little more hardcore beginner experience). You’d wonder “why do I need training to play a dual-stick shooter?” and of course you’d be right in wondering. The thing is, basic robots are easy as pie. So for the first levels you get a huge amount of very silly enemies to train your aim, dodging and strategy. “Strategy?” I hear you mumble. Yeah, strategy. In Robot Tsunami there are a lot of weapons. Swapping weapons depending on the enemy robot is mandatory. Weapons are collected as power-ups, and accumulate during campaign mode. So, by wave 7 or 8 you’ll have seen most stuff. And you’ll wonder Automated turrets!? or Laser walls!? Yup, some of the power-ups are automated turrets. They are indestructible and will help you clear up the robot enemies faster. And walls are the next weird one: you can place laser walls or fences to block (some) access to areas. So, yeah, you can lure enemies to an area, wall it, place a couple towers, finish the wall and see them die in hordes. Yeah!

At What’s on iPhone we’ve been thoroughly impressed with the amount of detail when playing. Not only there are a lot of enemies on-screen, but since you can place turrets, the amount of bullets and enemies running around is staggering. The areas I’ve explored also show some destructible terrain. As you’ll see in the gameplay video below you’ll see how I stand behind a low wall firing it to pieces, felt a little like playing Space Invaders there. Also most areas also feature explosive additions (so far I’ve seen barrels in the Industrial Yard and gas canisters on the Gas Plant.)

As hinted already, this is not a pick-and-play game. At least not for the first couple of gameplays. After a week of playing though, I can easily open it and defeat a wave (or die trying.) But since a wave can take you at least 3 very intense minutes, you won’t be playing while on queue. And you’ll definitely attract weird looks if you play Robot Tsunami on your commute. Believe me.

Finally, you’ll catch a glimpse of Robot Tsunami‘s soundtrack in the video below. It includes 17 original tracks, which suit perfectly Robot Tsunami‘s frantic gameplay. I think the soundtrack would suit also programming and/or writing, so I’d love to see it available outside of the game. Here you can see a gameplay video of one of the first few challenges, from yours truly (iPad Air.) It was recorded via AirPlay mirroring, so actualy gameplay speed and smoothness is far, far better:


And here you can see one from the developer (also iPad Air.) Not only does he play better, he also gets to showcase laser walls, decoys and more turrets. Enjoy!


Quick Take


Would I Buy Again:Quite likely

Learning Curve:Medium

Who Is It For:Arcade die-hards

What I Like:It's very complete, a really high quality arcade game

What I Don't Like:The lead-in is a little slow in the current release

Final Statement:If you like real arcade games, this one is for you

Read the Developer's Notes:
Robot Tsunami DOES NOT offer ANY FORM of in-app purchase or advertising!

Robot Tsunami is an insane, fast paced and unique arcade style twin stick shooter, tower defence & shoot 'em up game all in one.
The best way to get an idea of the fun, frenetic action & sheer quality this game provides is to watch the short game play trailer:


Article By

Ruben Berenguel is finishing his PhD in Mathematics while writing in about being a 'geek of all trades'. He also happens to be the senior editor in the What's on iPhone network: any complaints go to him!

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