Growing up can be really hard. From the time that we’re young teens to older adults, we constantly find ourselves having to manage our space with others we may or may not like. Sometimes, the situation’s even worse and you might actually be the one who has to corral and manage these people. Girls Like Robots seeks to visualize this effort in the form of an adorable puzzle game about love, hate, and of course, robots.
Girls Like Robots is set on the stage of the average American high school. Well, normal in that everyone in attendance is shaped liked a gigantic square comprised of only their heads. But that’s good, because it just makes them easier to arrange on this puzzle game’s playing field.
Girls, boys, nerds, and robots are just some of the blocks you’ll have to manage to reach your goal. The basics are simple, some blocks like other blocks and other blocks hate different blocks too. Girls like robots and nerds like robots, but girls hate nerds and robots are indifferent to nerds. Don’t forget that girls adore pie, but it ticks robots off for some reason. It sounds like a lot to keep up with, but the game does a fantastic job of introducing you to these relationships one by one.This is like a video game version of logic puzzles you used to do in middle school. And it’s even better.
Most stages are centered around trying to find as optimal an arrangement as possible to make as many blocks happy as you can. Fortunately, there’s never just one solution, with whatever solution that works best by the time you run out of moves being accepted. At the end of each stage, players are given the standard bronze, silver, and gold medals, giving those puzzle completionists out there something to work for. Those of you who like their puzzles on the light side can fortunately still play with ease.
Girls Like Robots manages to really mix things up every few stages with new variations on the gameplay. Sometimes it’s as simple as making as much hate amongst blocks instead of positive vibes, or hazards and moving blocks may be introduced to the boards. Additional variations come in complete gameplay shifts too. One set of stages has players placing down blocks to ricochet other blocks flying off screen into directed targets. Another one actually turns the game into a Tetris Attack style row clearing game.
There’s a surprising amount of content on display in Girls Like Robots and it’s very clear that a lot of meticulous thought went into the game’s design elements. Though, there are a few times where some of these variations might a be little difficult to grasp or feel like they don’t work as well as the rest of the core gameplay. But they never distract too much from the norm, or at least enough to bog down the experience, especially with the ability to skip stages.Hazards and obstructions make their way into stages to make players really stretch their brains for a bit.
On a another note, the aesthetics of the game are amazingly appealing. More often than not with indie games like this, visuals are kept very simple and lo-fi, but that only helps to make the strings behind the curtain that much more apparent. Girls Like Robots keeps it decidedly just as simple, but makes sure to bring as much polish to the table as possible.
The game sports a beautiful painted look to all the pieces and backgrounds which come to life not only in the gameplay, but in the little story vignettes between each section. The blocks jump around in surprisingly effective pantomime (you know, as much as squares can evoke emotion) that help to lend more cadence to each one’s relationship to another. Add in a pleasant, folksy soundtrack of strings and harmonicas, and you’ve got one puzzle game that will rarely get grating when you get stuck on a puzzle. Not to mention the game’s cute and sincere sense of humor, which even got me to smile and chuckle a few times while playing.The game’s story is absolutely charming, considering how minimalist it can be.
There are some additional goodies throughout the game as well, particularly some extra modes based on the alternative stages that pop up once in a while. Otherwise, there’s enough in Girls Like Robots to keep you playing for a few days, especially if you are a fan of puzzles and logic games. The game goes to some pretty creative places with both its gameplay and its simple story that it’s certainly worth sticking out to the end.
The game is pretty well polished, with very few hiccups, though there were a few times where the music cut out for me and I ran into a few missteps when using a 360 controller with the game, but nothing enough to proclaim the game as buggy or glitchy. Truly fresh and inventive puzzles and a style truly all its own, Girls Like Robots is one of the great new entries to the pantheon of creative, addicting, and just plain fun puzzle games. Whether you play it for five minutes at a time or fifty, the game is enjoyable enough to always give you something fun to play with every time you pick it up.
[+Creative and fresh new puzzle game][+Easy to play with a simple foundation][+From the get go, stages are creative and inventive][+Gorgeous artstyle with pleasant music][+Just look at how cute it is, guys!][+There’s ever just one solution][-Some puzzle variations just don’t work that well][-Undoing steps can be a little clunky at times]