CGRundertow UPBOT GOES UP for Xbox 360 Video Game Review

Uploaded by CGRundertow on 03.09.2012

Adjective Noun Verb Adjective. Overused meme is overused. Let’s get over that and focus
on the important part: what makes a good puzzle game. As anyone at Nintendo can tell you,
all you really need is a very basic idea, executed perfectly. Upbot Goes Up has a very
simple premise: You have blocks, they move when you press a button, you need to get them
to certain places. Kinda like Boxxle, but on the 360 instead of a Game Boy. Sounds easy,
right? Not as easy as you think. For Upbot to get where he needs to go, he’ll probably
have to have some help from his friends, Leftbot, Rightbot, and Downbot.
As you may have guessed, the reason it’s called Upbot Goes Up is because that’s the
only way Upbot knows how to go. By pressing Y, Upbot goes up, one section of the grid,
pushing any of his friends what might be in the way. Similarly, X controls Leftbot, A
controls Downbot, and B triggers Rightbot. It’s worth noting that all bots of a particular
color activate simultaneously if you wish to activate any of them, thus increasing the
complexity of the puzzles. Aside from those buttons, all you need to know is that the
left bumper rewinds your last action, and holding the right bumper resets the current
puzzle. That’s all there is. The trick comes in figuring out just which sequence of movements
you’ll need to get these bots from their starting points to their similarly-colored
destinations. And there may or may not be some tricky maneuvers to accomplish in doing
so, like running a bot through one of the chutes on the walls that transports it to
the corresponding output port... potentially turning it 90 degrees in the process. Upbot
may, in fact, go left, thus breaking the paradigm and making my head hurt. Fortunately, there’s
no time limit nor is there a limit on rewinds, so you’re welcome to experiment.
You get 60 puzzles - 20 each in the easy, medium, and hard categories - for the $3 you
spend for this XBLA indie title. And for an indie game, Upbot Goes Up shows an impressive
level of polish. Admittedly, it’s a puzzle game, so there aren’t really that many technical
issues to screw up, perhaps explaining why this genre is so appealing to indie developers.
But the effects are shiny, the game runs smooth, the music - while a bit repetitive - isn’t
bad... It’s a quality little game, despite being based on a played-into-the-dirt turn
of phrase. The one thing I’d ask for in any further versions is the one thing I wanted
most after playing this game: a level editor. And maybe the weird little devil-angel children
from Bombastic. I think they’d have a fun time here.