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iOS Game Review: 'Cutiebots'

"All right, you giant, hideous Teddy Bear. Let's rumble."
"All right, you giant, hideous Teddy Bear. Let's rumble."
Goodnight Games llc.

Cutiebots on iOS

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The worst part about getting older is that you eventually don’t have time to stroll over to the nearest arcade and play video games for hours.

Luckily, well-crafted mobile games are keeping the fun alive for a lot of working adults.

Cutiebots on iOS feels like it could be positioned between The Simpsons pinball machine and the basketball shooting game at your local arcade, but it fits comfortably on any iPhone or iPad.

The game takes place in a dreary world that has somehow been overrun by odd creatures that are described as “cute.” While the developers’ definition of the word “cute” is very debatable, the replay value and fun factor of the Cutiebots is not.

Gamers are able to transition mid-level between two characters, Gritch and Zitch, who each have unique powers. Gritch features a valuable double-jump and powerful punch, while Zitch has the ability to climb walls and shoot nails to kill enemies from a distance.

The simple controls make onboarding pretty quick. Users are given a directional pad on the left side of the screen and three buttons on the right side: A to attack, C to change characters and J to jump — it doesn’t get much easier than that.

Perhaps the most challenging part about Cutiebots is that gamers are only given three lives to start, and like the old-school arcade games that people have enjoyed for decades, once you lose those lives, you have to start from the beginning.

Of course, there are ways to collect extra health and lives throughout the levels, but the combination of obstacles, the need for strategic toggling of the characters and difficult bosses makes Cutiebots a formidable test for nearly any gamer.

Cutiebots is one of three clever, entertaining titles from NYC-based developers Goodnight Games, and the story behind the ideation of Cutiebots is as interesting as the game itself.

“The idea just came from us sitting around talking, and it turned into ‘how can we murder cute things,’” said Lawrence Mascia, designer and illustrator at Goodnight Games. “It went from there to ‘how can we make cute also disgusting,’ and [that’s how] Cutiebots came to be.”

The side-scrolling worlds, unique artwork and challenging gameplay add up to a great mobile arcade game that’s definitely worth the 99 cents, especially for a game that doesn’t try to milk you for in-app purchases or require you to keep dropping quarters into a machine.

— Are you an indie game developer in NYC? Tell Grant about your game on Twitter: @Grant_Engle. Also, check out the minds behind ‘Cutiebots’ — @GoodnightGames1