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Shoot Many Robots

Shoot Many Robots now available on Android


Soon to arrive on iOS
Mar 20
// Conrad Zimmerman
A mobile version of Shoot Many Robots has released today through Google Play. Developed by Demiurge (creators of the first Shoot Many Robots) and Owlchemy Labs (Snuggle Truck), the shoot-and-loot 2D platformer from ...
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In case you missed it: Dtoid was live from PAX on Twitch


Apr 10
// Bill Zoeker
PAX East was pretty special this year as Twitch TV partnered with the expo to livestream tons of content from the convention. Twitch was running a dedicated channel which brought select panels from the convention directly to ...
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Shoot Many Robots hits PC April 6 w/ pre-order bonuses


Mar 27
// Conrad Zimmerman
Following its release a couple of weeks ago on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Demiurge's 2D, run-and-gun platform game Shoot Many Robots has been given a release date on Steam. You'll be able to kick mighty robot ass on your PC ...

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Live show: Shoot Many Robots with devs on Mash Tactics


Mar 19
// Bill Zoeker
It's special edition of Mash Tactics today. King Foom is being joined (via Skype) by some of the fine folk at Demiurge Studios while he plays their new automaton-scrapping escapade Shoot Many Robots. Aside from the action of ...

Review: Shoot Many Robots

Mar 14 // Conrad Zimmerman
Shoot Many Robots (PC, PS3, Xbox 360 [reviewed])Developer: Demiurge StudiosPublisher: UbisoftReleased: March 13, 2012 MSRP: $9.99 (800 MSP)  Shoot Many Robots is the first solo title from Demiurge, a Massachusetts-based developer with nearly a decade of experience working on other people's games -- including big names like BioShock, Brothers in Arms, and Mass Effect. For the first game all their own, they opted to create a side-scrolling platform shooter stuffed to the gills with big guns, bad robots, and a lot of loot. P. Walter Tugnuts, a redneck with a love for beer and explosions, is the only thing that stands between a world totally dominated by metal monsters. His home destroyed in the game's tutorial stage, he rescues a recreational vehicle from the passionate embrace of robot and hits the road with vengeance in his heart. It's the most threadbare of plots, which is totally fine since nobody really needs a reason to want to shoot robots. Wanting it isn't enough, though. Robots are deadly and, as the title suggests, there are a lot of them. Walter is going to need to equip himself effectively to deal with the horde. Using the RV's shower as an armory (because, really, what else would you use it for at this point?), Walter can be equipped with a primary and a secondary weapon as well as head, torso, and leg gear, and purchase new equipment from the in-game shop using nuts collected from dead robots. [embed]223839:43067[/embed] Primary weapons have unlimited ammunition and decent variety. Pistols, submachine guns, assault rifles, shotguns, and flamethrowers all are represented here. Secondary weapons are the heavy hitters, consisting of rocket and grenade launchers, land mines, pretty much anything that can put a serious hurt on someone. These weapons have limited use, though ammo is replenished at checkpoints in stages or by collecting power-ups dropped by robots. The complexity of equipment in Shoot Many Robots becomes apparent once you start looking at the armor options. Everything you equip gives a bonus and almost all items can have a significant effect on your gameplay style. Special abilities are conferred by wearing them, including ground sliding which can knock robots into the air for quick disposal, hangtime to let you rain death from the air in a slow glide, and a devastating ground pound. These abilities have ratings which determine their duration or strength of effect. Some equipment will even take away special abilities entirely, invalidating them when in conflict with another piece of kit. The individual variety of all of these items is significant in another way, as they force the player to consider how every item they're using affects their gameplay style. Elements of equipment which might be very negative for one type of weapon can be awesome when used with another one. A prime example of this can be found in a paper bag head item which offers significant damage bonuses at the cost of nearly all accuracy. The item is crippling to most guns, but doesn't detract from the use of a flamethrower and even can be highly beneficial with some shotguns for increasing spread. Players will have to think about it, too, as the robots are utterly relentless and placed by devious level designers. There are fifteen levels to explore in Shoot Many Robots, with maps being recycled multiple times through the course of the full 60-stage game. Every successive recurrence of a stage sees it populated with more and more powerful robots. Levels break down into two types: run-and-gun and survival. The former sees the player moving from the left end of the stage to the right. These stages feature frequent "rooms" where the screen is locked in position while hordes of enemies rush in to fight, as well as branching paths and little nooks and crannies with hidden loot crates. Survival stages are just big rooms without the locked screen to hinder movement, relying instead on the borders of the stage. Each survival stage consists of one wave which must be cleared to finish the level (and keep any collected loot), followed by four bonus stages that provide ample opportunity to earn more nuts, loot, and experience points. The enemy variety is very strong and requires that the player constantly shift their tactics to address new threats. The basic "Chopper" enemy seems easily ignored, even in whole herds, until an elite version with heavy armor manages to hide itself in that crowd and deal out massive damage. Tanks, cannons, and larger robots fire red bullets which can be hit back with Walter's melee attack and, later, yellow bullets which explode on contact. Large boss enemies eventually become almost common encounters, particularly in the later waves of Survival stages. As every weapon has its own benefits and disadvantages to fighting different types of robots, the strategic possibilities are very deep for what is, in essence, an exercise in twitch reflexes. Destroying loot boxes and larger enemies will drop either a piece of equipment or a "nut sack" of 100 bonus nuts (awarded at the end of the stage and not contributing to your final score). As the game progresses, the ratio of loot to nut sacks reaches a point where every time you see loot, there's a momentary thrill at the prospect of something new to check out and suddenly grabbing that loot item from the environment before it disappears becomes a much more important concern than the seventy or so robots converging on you. Once you've collected a loot item and make it to the end of the stage, it becomes unlocked for purchase from the shower in the RV, provided that you've collected enough nuts and have reached the experience level necessary to use it. Finding ways to earn lots of nuts is the key to progress in Shoot Many Robots and the stages are like puzzles in figuring out how to maximize score, which is also tracked on a huge range of leaderboards that breaks down each stage by the number of players involved in the game. Destroying a robot adds to a combo meter at the top of the screen, which decreases as robots are not being destroyed. Filling the meter adds a multiplier to dropped nuts, a process which can be repeated to earn up to five times the normal amount of nuts from killing enemies. It's possible to keep this combo going almost the entire way through most stages, earning a ton in the process. Good thing, too. The gear gets as expensive as the statistics for them get ridiculous. Level 50 items, the most powerful in the game, generally cost hundreds of thousands of nuts and can take a long time to earn. Players who don't want to wait around can just outright buy nuts and even some of the more special equipment in the game from the store using real-world currency (or Microsoft Points).  As the game progresses, it reaches a point of absurd difficulty. Once reaching the "Insane" difficulty stages, it even seems to become too challenging for its own good, as trying to deliver the maximum damage to enemies generally means passing on some other important bonuses like additional beers for healing or greater maximum health. Even the smallest enemies are able to kill prepared players in just a few hits and it seems almost impossible to complete these stages without a weapon which has a knockback feature for crowd control. Walter doesn't have to go it alone. Shoot Many Robots allows for up to four players to play online in conjunction with two-player couch play. So few games offer the ability to both play with someone locally at the same time that you're playing online, but it's a perfect fit here. Having additional players around is a double-edged sword, as the extra firepower and the ability to revive fallen teammates comes at a cost of far more robots to kill and stages which would ordinarily be manageable when played solo can suddenly go tits up at a moment's notice. In addition, the combo meter becomes harder to keep going, making it tougher to rack up those huge quantities of nuts. There are some other balance issues which can come into play when involving others. The difficulty progression is already rather challenging, meaning that low-level players can find themselves totally outclassed in a multiplayer game. Stages often become a game of supporting the player who can deal out the most damage, keeping them alive and acting as distractions for other enemies. It can lead to some really thrilling moments in gameplay and is no less fun, but could be frustrating for people who will observe how little impact they have when playing only a few stages ahead of where they might be prepared to deal with. Similarly, higher-end players will find themselves unchallenged by earlier stages, unless they decide to equip themselves more appropriately to the stage and relative power of the other players in the game. The Quick Play multiplayer mode tries to select a level which will be appropriate for the players in the game and while it does a decent enough job, it has its limits. Playing games with randoms online is likely to be a little bit annoying as a result, almost requiring a group of people who don't mind changing their tactics to find a balance.  Even setting that up is not as small a feat as it sounds, as the accumulation of loot results in having a lot of items to choose from all in one place and swapping can become time-consuming when all anyone really wants to do is play. They're organized by level in the shower, but it would have been nice to have a little more depth in the menu system to make finding the type of item you want to use a little easier. Even if it's unbalanced, it's still a lot of fun to play either alone or with friends and there's a ton of content here for a downloadable game, enough that most people will likely never actually finish it all (either due to quantity or difficulty). Hunting for loot is addictive and the game itself is filled with humor. Much of the loot is silly in nature and every item has a description with some kind of joke or pop culture reference in it (the series of freeze rays contains modified lyrics to "Ice, Ice, Baby," for example), so there feels like there's always another neat treasure to uncover, even if it's an item you'll never actually use. Shoot Many Robots succeeds in being highly fun. Apart from some minor annoyances in the inventory system and difficulty balance, its challenge, sense of humor and deep customization options make for a great game with long legs and huge potential for future expansion with DLC. Old school shooter fans should take heed.
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So. Many. Robots.

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Playing dress-up while you Shoot Many Robots


Feb 29
// Conrad Zimmerman
Ubisoft dropped another trailer for the soon-to-be-in-my-loving-arms shooter, Shoot Many Robots. This go around, we're shown a look into the game's deep customization system. Every piece of loot you find and every object you...
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Shoot Many Robots arrives March 13


Feb 23
// Conrad Zimmerman
I have been very excited about the impending arrival of Shoot Many Robots for nearly a year. It's appeared to be a challenging and fun game, particularly in multiplayer, and I'm looking forward to digging up loot and su...

I Shoot Many Robots (and you can too)

Jan 14 // Conrad Zimmerman
Shoot Many Robots (Xbox Live Arcade [Previewed], PlayStation Network, PC)Developer: DemiurgePublisher: UbisoftReleases: 2012  Shoot Many Robots feels built to be a cooperative experience even at the beginning. The challenge level feels just high enough in these initial stages that while playing solo you're likely to wish you had an extra pair of hands to help you out. Since the difficulty scales up with more and tougher robots as you add more players, that comfort level (or lack thereof) persists even when they come along for the ride. Demiurge wisely allows players to join a friend's match regardless of whether their own progression has reached the selected stage but it's a double-edged sword. In an effort to familiarize myself a bit and not feel totally humiliated in my playthrough with the developers, I had deceitfully snuck in a few runs of the first stage ahead of our scheduled time to play together. As a result, when the time came for us to begin, I had them at a bit of a disadvantage in terms of abilities which translated into my soundly beating them out for high scores at the end of each stage we played. Meanwhile they put me at considerable risk by adding more enemies to the mix and not being able to kill as effectively, so I had to adjust my strategy to make sure I could keep them alive if necessary. This problem (if you can even call it that in a game where the competitive aspect is such a secondary element and a skilled player appears capable of carrying another through a stage) is both caused and solved by the character customization system. As you destroy robots, they leave behind nuts which are then exchanged back at Walter's RV for new weapons and equipment. Killing consistently to maintain a combo streak earns multipliers for these nuts, so racking them up starts to happen in fairly swift order and anybody who's lagging behind in terms of experience should be able to outfit themselves with more advanced gear without much pain and suffering. Nonetheless, this could turn off some players early on, particularly if they hop on the bandwagon a fair bit later than their friends who'll make short work of enemies while the newcomer struggles to kill anything. But once that customization starts to open up, it goes swiftly into a full bloom. Walter can be equipped with primary and secondary weapons, headwear, backpack and pants. These items confer all manner of bonuses from increased health and damage to granting abilities such as sliding or hangtime which lets you drift in the air and avoid all those filthy robots on the ground. There are a ton of these unlocks available and they become very pricey the higher you go, so the completionist is likely to have a lengthy road ahead of them. The range of benefits they offer provides considerable options for the player who wants to specialize or even just goof around attempting less beneficial combinations based solely on their visual appearance. Stage design also lends itself well to this equipment system, particularly in the way Demiurge creates replay value. Some stages consist of traveling from one end to the other, while others require you to kill waves of enemies in a survival situation. This latter type offers victory in two forms, as bonus waves extend the length of the stage beyond the point necessary to unlock the next level. These bonus rounds are significantly more difficult and it's expected that you'll probably have to come back to the stage to successfully finish them once you've improved your gear and gained more experience. But they're also a fantastic way to accrue nuts quickly, as the steady stream of enemies in a confined space makes it easy to keep kill combos going. So, to sum up, we have an endless supply of robots which need shooting, hundreds of weapon and equipment unlocks which facilitate said shooting of robots and an accessible multiplayer formula whereby your friends can help you shoot even more robots. Now, if only Demiurge would just tell me when I get to do all this stuff, I'd be a happy camper. All we know is that it's coming "soon" and "soon" can't come soon enough.
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We've been watching the progress on Shoot Many Robots pretty closely since its reveal last year at GDC and it's come a long way in that time. P. Walter Tugnuts' quest to save the world from killer machines struck a chord with...

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Demiurge Renders a new Shoot Many Robots trailer


Jan 10
// Liam Fisher
I'm a big fan of behind-the-scenes trailers. Often I'd prefer a video that offers a window into the developer's world, like this one for Shoot Many Robots, to a run-of-the-mill vignette. Demiurge Studios decided to let ...
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Shoot Many Robots hero P. Walter Tugnuts is a man who recognizes style. That's why you see him sporting this highly fashionable helmet in the latest trailer Ubisoft has released for the game. Indeed, among the hundreds ...

Shoot Many Robots' survival missions are a blast

Oct 29 // Wesley Ruscher
Shoot Many Robots (PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade [Previewed], PC)Developer: Demiurge StudiosPublisher: UbisoftRelease: Spring 2012 Survival missions are exactly what they sound like: destroy wave after wave of robot enemies with the hopes of lasting long enough to acquire some sweet new loot. The one map I played saw a bevy of different enemy robots attack in hectic hordes. Choppers, Tankbots, and Small Frys all attacking with only mine and my partner's death in mind. Like Gears of War's Horde mode, thankfully, it's not over until every player has fallen and if you're quick enough, you can resuscitate a downed teammate to prolong the carnage. It's all pretty typical by today's gaming standards, but Shoot Many Robots' elaborate loot system adds to the strategy needed to make the most out of each survival mission. Messing around with some of the equipment I had available to me, my redneck warrior was decked out in some fairly nonsensical gear. Every item in the game grants some sort of tactile advantage for success. The bat wings that were strapped to my back afforded me a floating ability -- gliding me gently out of harm's way -- and my Viking helmet let me smash foes from the skies with thunderous ground punches. Ironically, this was a great combo as I was able to stay alive for a very long time. The stage I played on was fairly claustrophobic, but eventually one side of the area busted open from robots an expanded the play field. It's going to be interesting to see if this mode can provide enough variety to make it worthwhile. Survival missions like much of campaign level I played were crazy, intense fun, but as of now it's definitely an appetizer to the main course -- something you only want to snack on to get the taste buds salivating. Oh yeah, before I forget. One quick tidbit regarding the campaign and its branching pathways offered. When online -- since everyone has their own screen --teammates can split-up and go different routes. It's a nice touch for an already promising game, but a simple feature that could have made games in the past (see: Moon Diver) much more enjoyable. Shoot Many Robots aims to recapture the magic that this genre once dominated the market with. It may be a run-and-gun shooter at its core, but with all the RPG, co-op, and whacky character customization piled on top -- as Conrad put it -- "fans of classic shooters are going to have one hell of a good robot apocalypse to look forward to" next spring.
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If you haven't already read Conrad's preview about Shoot Many Robots, then you should probably take a moment to click the different colored text above and catch up. For those of you already in the know, keep reading and I...

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Ubisoft picks up Shoot Many Robots


Aug 22
// Jordan Devore
Every promising independent game goes through an initial phase where it's officially coming out for "digital platforms," and the team can't get more specific than that. In the case of Demiurge Studios' Shoot Many Robots, it'...
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At GDC, Conrad Zimmerman got our first look at Demiurge's Shoot Many Robots. What he didn't get a chance to do was interview one of the game's developers while standing in a cardboard cut-out of one of the game's characters....

Preview: Shoot Many Robots

Mar 09 // Conrad Zimmerman
Shoot Many RobotsDeveloped by: Demiurge StudiosTo Be Released: 2011 You could probably be forgiven for not knowing Demiurge Studios. For close to a decade, they've been working in the shadows, lending their talents to top-tier titles such as Borderlands, BioShock and Rock Band. After all of that time working on other people's games, they're ready to launch out with something wholly their own. The result of this effort is the zany, crass and explosive, Shoot Many Robots. Games of this nature have always slid by on the most threadbare plotlines, something seemingly celebrated in Shoot Many Robots. You play as P. Walter Tugnut (the "P" stands for "Pickles," but don't call him that), a man who -- like so many of us -- has been quietly waiting for the day when we would have to rise up against the looming threat of global robot dominance. When a decommissioned robot factory, located in the desert near Tugnut's RV, starts pumping out metallic death machines, the only thing to do is fight. Serving as the game's hub world, the RV not only allows players select which stage robots shall be shot in next, but also to pick the equipment used in said shooting. First and foremost, that means guns and lots of them. Demiurge says that the final game will include over 80 implements of destruction, and my experience in playing the demo showed submachine guns, magnums, shotguns, assault rifles and plenty more. These come in a variety of versions offering different boosts to effects such as damage and rate of fire. A second weapon slot is devoted to a mass slaughter device (Demiurge called them "Oh Shit" weapons) such as rocket launchers, Gatling guns and grenades. They say that clothes are what make the man. If this is true, P. Walter Tugnut is more of a man than I'll ever be, with an excess of 300 head, torso and leg clothing parts which he can equip before going in to a stage. Some are grouped together as a theme -- wearing three military pieces will make for a ranged damage-focused killing machine, for example -- but all provide a bonus of some kind either to stats or to your personal merriment as you watch a man in a viking helmet blow up robots. Many of the items actually change gameplay itself, lending Tugnut additional abilities. Slap on a pair of leather pants and use them to slide into robots and launch them in the air; or put a jetpack on your back and rain death upon your foes. The mix and match aspect is fantastically appealing, but you don't get all of this for free. Robots killed in the game yield bolts used to buy these items in the shop (Walter's toilet, where he presumably reads his mail-order weapon catalogs) and earning these bolts is one of the most important elements of Shoot Many Robots. Building a chain multiplier from shooting robots in quick succession is crucial to earning the most bolts possible in a level but the chain builds slowly while it drains quickly.  Having friends to help keep the momentum going can make all the difference. Shoot Many Robots supports up to four players in what the team at Demiurge refers to as "Co-Opetition" action, rewarding both teamwork and individual skill. All bolts collected during a stage go into a general pool, then dispensed to players based on how many robots they shot. In multiplayer games, you can coordinate and strategize with your teammates to maximize that combo meter, then watch that plan fall apart as one player realizes how close they are taking the lead in the kill count and starts blasting indiscriminately. Friendships will burn like the scattered husks of robots left in your wake. But what of the shooting of robots itself? It feels pure. Having a full 360 degrees of aiming capability makes shooting a joy and the "tactical stance," a stationary hold that allows greater accuracy, can be employed in a variety of ways. The stream of tiny robots that seem to come from all directions don't feel particularly threatening until you look at what they're doing, literally climbing over each other to try and get to you (a happy accident in testing that found its way into the game). That zerg-like pace keeps the pressure on while larger bots -- like the heavily-armored Gorilla -- require more finesse to dispatch.  Shoot Many Robots is silly fun in its customization and tone and deadly serious in play. The robots are all death machines in their purest form and Tugnut can be pretty much anybody you want him to be. Build him for melee and smack robots in their metal faces, build him to spray the battlefield with hot lead justice, or just put a pretty pink tutu on and prance about like a nancy-boy. Either way, fans of classic shooters are going to have one hell of a good robot apocalypse to look forward to later this year on as yet unannounced platforms.
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Once upon a time, two-dimensional "run-and-gun" shooters were a staple of the gaming landscape. But after being granted the immersion and strategic variety available in the third dimensions, it looked like the days of running...

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Your robot design could be in Shoot Many Robots


Mar 03
// Conrad Zimmerman
This week at GDC, I had the opportunity to put my grubby little hands on Shoot Many Robots. I'm not allowed to talk about what I've seen there until later this week. What I can tell you is that Demiurge Studios has anno...
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Viking helmet + tutu: Shoot Many Robots first look


Feb 17
// Nick Chester
Demiurge Studios has revealed the first gameplay for its upcoming downloadable shooter, Shoot Many Robots, and it's looking surprisingly awesome. The studios first original IP, Shoot Many Robots is a four-player cooperative ...
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Shoot Many Robots teased once again, full reveal soon


Feb 11
// Jordan Devore
Some of you might recall a game by the name of Shoot Many Robots. It's being made by Demiurge Studios for digital distribution, and so far, we've gotten nothing but teasers. And that's not changing -- at least not yet. Above ...

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