Robotic Emergence 2

Robotic Emergence 2: Rise of the Humans - Innovative tower defense action in a post-apocalyptic world

Introduction (the non-scrolling kind)

You can’t beat a game with a long-winded introductory tale of the road to a post-apocalyptic situation that scrolls ominously over a silhouette-drenched background, particularly when said long-winded introduction is about the rise of machines to the detriment of mankind and is accompanied by a hauntingly repetitive piano melody and the sound of crackling thunder that bellows out over a now-scorched landscape that turns out to be Earth in the year 2031. Due to the fact that the title ‘Robot Emergence’ is simply a synonym phrase for ‘”the rise of the machines” that made Terminator and Terminator 2 (but NOT the subsequent sequels) such brilliant films, my intrigue in this game peaked after simply looking at the title. As a moderate tower defense enthusiast, this game was sure to tickle my fancy the moment I laid eyes on it, and tickle it did.


The basic structure of the gameplay is true to the classic tower defense format, only based on a robots and machines theme in order to fit in with the title/storyline/post-apocalyptic sob story in the introduction. Simply put, you must build factories on a designated section of terrain that lies behind a wall that divides your land from the enemies’. Factories must be constructed in order to produce robots which venture towards and beyond the dividing wall, firing at any enemy combatants that happen to come into attack range. Once you have defeated the enemies, you essentially take over their structures and are able to use them in the next battle for your army. As I said, the concept is simple, and you can pretty much just up the game and play it immediately (though a helpful tutorial is there if you wish to have your hand held whilst the training wheels are still on).

The action takes place in a birds-eye view format, looking down on all the action as it unfolds below. The graphics are fairly simple, with the factories and robots being represented by little more than moderately-colourful and pixelated drawings that scurry about on the screen. The game doesn’t need anything more fancy, however, since this kind of genre usually highlights substance over style instead of focusing too much on the aesthetic of the whole thing.

Industrial Revolution

The variety in the game as well as the longevity of the gameplay comes from the ability to purchase different factories that produce robots at increasingly fast rates. You begin with purple factories and are able to construct, red and yellow smoke plants, the production of which is higher and more rapid. You are also able to unlock a fourth factory type by progressing further into the game. Upgrading the factories is also an addictive feature of the game, allowing you to increase each of the various attributes of the factories such as the rate at which they create robots, their health, speed, range, and shooting rate, the improvement of which makes your team all the more formidable in battle. You can also purchase various decorative items which improve the production of any structures within their designated radius.

You also possess a Health and EMP function: health allows you to restore the condition of your wall whilst the EMP sets off an electromagnetic pulse which decimates all robots in its radius and is handy if you find yourself being overwhelmed by enemy robots. These functions can be handy if the situation gets rather tricky, and though they may not be required in the early stages, you may find yourself using the EMP if you allow the enemy to build up a presence on your side of the dividing wall. You will find yourself progressing through 8 levels including Barren Wasteland, Desolation Peak, Snow Country, Judgement City, and a final endurance-mode stage called Final Destination (and the movie references keep on coming). Eight levels is certainly enough to keep you going for a considerable amount of time and is unlikely to leave many players desiring more.

And Now over to John for the Weather Forecast

Weather conditions are a gameplay innovation, with changes in the weather having effects on the performance of factories/robots: rain slows the production of factories and lightning can strike robots and damage them. The forecast feature notifies you of the weather coming up in the next 30 seconds, allowing you to plan ahead and adjust your strategy accordingly. The inclusion of weather as a variable in the game is an extremely clever idea since it augments the simple genre of ‘tower defence’ by adding another dimension of strategy that goes beyond purchase and strategic positioning of your factory/robot towers. The weather function ensures that the game is almost in a constant state of flux, keeping you on your toes and not allowing a dull moment to arise.

Power Down

Robotic Emergence 2 is a tower defense whose overwhelming simplicity is also its strength. Challenging enough to frustrate at times, but also easy enough to pick up and play, this one will run down the coffee break of any tower-defense enthusiast.