It’s a mobile app, but don’t knock it just yet. Walking War Robots is developed by Pixonic, and was first released back in 2014. I’m writing this review though because when it comes to mobile titles it is rare to find a game that isn’t a turn based strategy game or a card battle game. Walking War Robots actually lets you play your giant robot hands on, similar to an arcade version of the MechWarrior games.
Before we get into combat, let’s first talk about all the options in the main menu. Players can upgrade and buy up to 16 different robots, each with their own unique stats and appearance. As you progress through the game you will be able to unlock more high level robots to purchase from the shop. From here, you can equip your robots with a variety of different weapons to mix and match equipment to your liking.
Winning battles gains you experience and credits (called AG silver), and you can use those credits that you earn from combat to upgrade and level up your robots and weapons to make them more powerful to deal more damage or gain more armor to survive longer. Certain robots or weapons are locked behind level caps, so you have to win more battles and earn enough experience to level up to unlock the more powerful content.
This now brings us to the cash shop. Every time you want to buy another robot slot you will need to use AU points to do so, which is the cash shop currency. You can earn these from completing achievements and goals, or buying them using real life money. You use AG silver to purchase and upgrade equipment normally without paying out any real life money.
After you upgrade though you will have to wait for the upgrade counter to finish before it completes, this can be a bit annoying because it can take up to three hours or more with certain upgrades to finish, and you can only do one upgrade at a time. Imagine a Mech with four weapons, that is a lot of waiting if you want to upgrade everything. If you want to rush it and speed up the process you will need to pay out money (AU) to complete the upgrade sooner.
However, Walking War Robots starts you off with about 100 AU or so, then you can earn about 200 more by completing a few of the beginner tasks, so I earned about 300 AU in total to spend on equipment and upgrades. This gave me three Mechs to play around with in battle, with a few AU left over to spare.
Now for combat! This is where Walking War Robots really shines. Battles take place as 6 vs 6 PVP arena style battles, normally with a timer for about five minutes or so for you to complete the round. Matchmaking is very fast and you can normally start a battle within a few seconds. I’m still not sure if I was playing with bots or humans, because both play very similar (and the default names are almost just alike if the players don’t change them).
There are two teams of robots, allies appear as blue names while enemies show up as red. You move around using the left side of the screen’s digital pad and the right side is to shoot. you can also press the individual guns to use a specific weapon, or the big button to just fire everything at once. You can rotate and move the camera by touching a empty space of the screen and rotating it around, but if you are shooting you can simply hold the button down and look around while shooting to adjust your aim. There is also an auto targeting feature to help you lock on and follow your targets (more on that soon).
In Walking War Robots you can win in either two ways. One, you kill all enemy robots. Two, you capture all the bases. There are normally about six or so beacons scattered across the map, players start with nothing. There is a small loading period where you can look around the map to locate the beacons and get a feel for the map, then everyone does a mad dash to capture the closest beacons. Neutral beacons appear as white lights, captured ally beacons are blue, and enemy controlled beacons show up as red.
When you capture a beacon it will change from red, to white, then to blue if you can hold it long enough. The maps are large enough to maneuver around, but small enough for you to quickly find and engage enemies. Oddly enough, the game is also quite strategic, as the bots and players normally try not to rush in to get killed. If you open fire, most will take cover behind a building or will wait for allies to help assist them. This makes the game quite fun as you work with your team to flank and corner the enemy so that you can take their beacon to gain more points.
Certain weapons have cool down times as well as reloading, so just holding the gun down to shoot endlessly could get you in trouble as your guns run out and you have to wait for them to recharge. This also can work in your favor if you hide and wait for your enemy to run out of ammo so that you can unload on them to chip away at their life.
One thing I found really interesting is that the players and bots will lay down suppressing fire to pin you down. This actually works too, because if a large group of enemies shoot at you and you get hit, the damage actually shows up and affects your robots performance. For example, guns can get shot off your Mech so you can’t use it anymore, or your legs can get damage so you move slower and can’t run around the map as fast. As a result, suppressing fire is dangerous if you get caught in it and can’t make it behind cover in time.
Walking War Robots isn’t perfect though. The slow upgrade times are annoying the way the system is set up. The UI also has problems and on smaller devices the screen is cluttered and certain menus can’t easily be accessed, such as getting to the store to buy new weapons (it was blocked behind the “Battle” button). The auto targeting feature is a mess and constantly snaps the screen around in weird ways, really messing you up as it targets an enemy half way across the screen instead of the one right in front of you. Because of this I just turned auto targeting off completely and used manual targeting, but randomly I would still lock on to the wrong enemy.
Even with these flaws, Walking War Robots is still quite fun. It had quite a large update when first starting the game and it also crashed as it tried to access Google Play to save my progress through the cloud, so you may have a few problems for the first time you play. Just let it update, then relaunch the game again if it gets stuck loading.
Overall, I really enjoy playing this game. If you can put up with the long upgrade times I think you will really enjoy playing Walking War Robots as well. It has really nice graphics, it is well optimized and has smooth framerate (at least for my device), and I also really like the 1980s style action music soundtrack it has going on. If you are a fan of Mech combat games, you should really check this one out.