The story behind These Robotic Hearts of Mine begins much like many sweet romances do. A boy and a girl meet, both young and naive to the ways of the world. They fall in love and decide to stay together for the rest of their lives. Their tale doesn't end there, however. In fact, that's where it truly begins. Somewhere along the way, they encounter a robot on the fritz, abandoned in the middle of the woods. It gets fixed, the two gain a new friend and their lives are changed forever.
If you've played any of krangGAMES' puzzle platformers (I Saw Her Standing There, I Saw Her Too With Lasers, I Saw Her Across the World), then you would be familiar with the format of narrative-driven games. Basically, you every time you finish a level, you get rewarded with a few lines of text to introduce the next puzzle. While it doesn't tell you exactly what to do, it can give you a hint to start you off in the right direction. For instance, the story may mention "swapping parts" and the solution would be to rotate the cogs so the hearts transfer from one set to the next. It's not the first game to do this but the subtlety of the tips combined with a compelling story makes These Robotic Hearts of Mine quite memorable.
The click-based controls are intuitive, which means that even if you've never played a puzzle before, you won't have much trouble figuring out how to do things. Each level has a counter which tells the optimum number of moves needed to solve the current puzzle. In case you make a mistake, pressing the CTRL key and the Z key at the same time undoes the previous move. You can also press the R key to reset the level completely.
Having said that, keep in mind that having simple controls doesn't necessarily mean that the puzzles are a piece of cake. The levels get progressively harder and the patterns become more and more complicated. Even if you're no stranger to these types of games, the later levels of These Robotic Hearts of Mine will likely entail a couple restarts. There's nothing too frustrating though. The challenge actually makes the game even more satisfying to play.
Know What to Expect
As an indie game, These Robotic Hearts of Mine may not have the budget of a triple A title but it manages to succeed in its own way. More, even, than many games that simply rely on slick graphics to sell. That's not saying that this title lacks in the graphics department. As they say, simple is beautiful and the pixel art for game couldn't be more polished. Although pixel art is as classic as the media itself, These Robotic Hearts of Mine makes use of a modern aesthetic. The dark background makes the pink hearts pop. The layout is clean, with text that is easy to read. Basically, everything fits together nicely.
The difficulty is well-balanced. It's challenging enough for veterans without being frustrating for those who are new to games in the genre. Not to spoil anything, the story is memorable. Sure, it's not all roses and unicorns, but it was delivered in a way that will leave a lasting impression. It had a lot of heart and the effort that went into making it is plain to see. Do they get to live happily ever after with their new pal? Or will there be trouble in paradise? You'll need to see the game through to find out.
Satisfying and Engaging
We love the game length of These Robotic Hearts of Mine. With 36 levels to complete, it will likely make for an hour and a half to finish for those who are new to puzzle games and about thirty minutes to complete for veterans who are trying it the first time around. It may not be the perfect game to play during a short snack break but it is great for a weekend challenge.
That being said, should you give this indie title a try? Absolutely. Play These Robotic Hearts of Mine if you're looking for a puzzle title with a heartfelt story. We guarantee, you won't regret it.