Isaac Asimov was a robot fanatic, to say the least. His work has inspired countless sci-fi tales across a broad range of mediums, including the interactive world of entertainment. In this particular case, a collection of robot-related material was composed (with a little inspiration from some old-school PC gaming) to give Moonpod a basis in which Mr. Robot would be built. It’s an adventure game like no other, especially when compared to the current market. Any PC gamer who is truly looking to rekindle the nostalgic adventure experience that seems absent from a lot of games in this day and age, Mr. Robot is the perfect place to do so.
Moonpod's latest release is a stylized 3D isometric game that has players assuming the role of Asimov, a lowly maintenance droid who wants to become something more. Moonpod takes an almost clichéd hero archetype and transforms the entire story into something completely different; immersing gamers into a world that is governed by imaginative characters and a plot that’s nothing short of mysteriously engaging.
What’s interesting, though, is that the story literally evolves through the course of Asimov’s rise to the hero status. Player’s aren’t just thrust into the position of saving lives, but rather, there’s a steady climb to the crux of the story’s emergence. I really liked how Moonpod paced gamers toward the growing threat on the ship that Asimov and the cryogenically sleeping humans are trapped on. What’s more, is that Mr. Robot isn’t just a sci-fi story-game, it’s an adventure that has players performing all sorts of radically entertaining feats that fit within the context of the game's plot.
The first couple of tasks players will perform are simple: moving boxes around. It’s a common function that players will return to often, but rarely gets dull (yup, I was surprised too). Platform jumping is also plentiful, but the most ambitious feature of the game is Ghost Hacking – it turns the entire game experience upside down. In Ghost Hacking, players will tap into one of the ship’s terminals and then venture through the ship’s networking systems. Various tasks must be accomplished while Ghost Hacking, though, and moving around in the odd looking interface is rather straightforward, yet simple. What makes Ghost Hacking so fun is that there are often viruses or corrupt programs that must be dealt with in classic JRPG turn-based battles! Now I bet you didn’t see that coming!?
Each battle in GH mode is literally like the classic Final Fantasy games, where players will pick from items, special attacks, or defensive strategies to take on their enemies who are standing opposite of them. In GH, players can also have a team of robots to help them do battle – this is usually accomplished by retrieving the ghost, or “soul” of another robot (think Pokemon). Each team member can be upgraded, along with Asimov, as you battle foes in Ghost Hacking. Outside of GH mode, players can purchase new equipment and items to help them along the way, just like in a standard RPG. And like so, there are plenty of characters, each with their own personality to interact with and help Asimov along the way. There are also plenty of encounters with robots that would rather see Asimov turned into a pile of rubble. In such cases, players can approach them head-on, or they can Ghost Hack into their system. The different approaches offered to players in such instances add extra replay values to an already addictive game.