Droids Steal for Me Game Review

Making Robots do the Work with Droids Steal for Me

Droids Steal for Me

A simplistic-looking browser game created by Vlad Druchin under the banner of Grim Toyz, Droids Steal for Me certainly delivers an intriguing title. Let’s see if the game delivers accordingly.

The Ugly Droid-ling

First impressions are a mixed bag. The music, which sounds like a slightly more amped up Bond bassline with a couple of other instruments thrown in to good effect is a promising start – even if the main bassline does repeat a little too quickly. Visually, though, Droids Steal for Me isn’t anything to write home about. It’s utterly basic. The levels are bright orange, your character has been made in MS Paint and the general aesthetic is grating, at best.

Sound design is a different matter. The credits do note that the game uses some sounds from classic franchises such as Worms and Zelda – and I’ve definitely recognised some sounds from other games, too. I’m not sure how much credit a game deserves for using good sound design from other games, though.

Starting off Simple

Droids Steal for Me: Starting off Simple

Droids Steal for Me starts off as simply as possible. You walk into a door. In the next level, you have to jump once. It would be impossible for it to start off in a simpler way. Thankfully, though, it soon picks up.

On the proper levels, which start at around level four or five, you need to collect (or steal, even though it doesn’t feel like you’re stealing anything) the coins before making your way to the exit. You’re given a star rating for the speed in which you managed to finish the level.

The first hint that the game perhaps has more to offer than its basic start and meagre appearance comes with the jumping mechanic. Holding the up key down longer will allow your character to jump higher, which is a trade-off for speed as he does seem to float somewhat during the highest jumps.

Eventually you’ll come across the titular droids. Funny-shaped machines that can be used as platforms or devices to move troublesome objects out of the way. To move them, you need to make contact with the requisite coloured blocks within the level. Sometimes there will be multiple blocks to control one droid, with each sending it in a different direction.

As you get further into the game, Droids Steal for Me moves away from being a basic platformer into a challenging real-time puzzle game. It gets even more complicated later on when you have to start moving security cameras with the remote-controlled droids in order to get past them.

So from a simple and very basic platformer, we’re now faced with a puzzle game that requires thinking, as well as platform mechanics that require skill – especially when you have to set off a control box somewhere and then race back into position in order to catch your ride.

Further still into the game you’ll come across security droids. These look like blue post boxes on caterpillar tracks, and they shine a red cone of light in front of them that will detect you if you step into it – or slightly outside of it, as the hitbox appears to extend a little past the art. You can’t disable them, but you can jump on their heads and ride them – if you can keep pressing the direction key accurately enough. If you don’t, you’ll stay in place while they continue on their way. I’m not sure that’s how physics works.

Minor Issues

Droids Steal for Me does have a couple of problems, outside of the poor aesthetic. Primarily, these problems are related to the controls. There does seem to be a bit of input lag, which is especially noticeable when it comes to dealing with tight spaces and control buttons. Your character seems to respond a little slowly to input, making him delay when you tell him to jump and continue moving when you’ve stopped pressing the keys.

You do get used to it, however it will become frustrating on each new level where different precision movements are required. The hitbox of your character doesn’t help matters, either, as you can actually activate a control box even if you’re not quite touching it.

Then there’s the theme. It’s called Droids Steal for Me, and yet they don’t do any such thing. Droids Move for Me would have been more accurate. It also doesn’t really feel like you’re stealing anything. The levels are orange boxes with sparse, floating tiles, some platforms and some droids. You’re not really breaking into anything, you’re not cracking safes or picking locks. Even the coins are floating in mid-air – you’re just collecting them rather than stealing them.

Final Thoughts

This is probably one of the nicest surprises I’ve had from a free browser game. Despite the tame start and minor niggles, it quickly moves into becoming a decently challenging platformer and puzzle game. You’ll get through the levels in less than an hour if you’re good enough – these may be the droids you’re looking for, after all.

Play Droids Steal for Me

Review written by Ian Wakefield from integritas.link.

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