Designed by Paul Brook and published by East Street Games, Robot Royale is a fast-playing shoot ‘em up where players pit their robot against those of their opponents and manipulate the 4 x 4 grid of tiles in order to create a line-of-sight firing opportunity. Create an obstacle-free line of sight at any point in your turn and you score a hit. The first player to score three hits over the course of a game is the winner.
This is a game that plays quickly because the rules are simple and easy to learn. In your turn, you can optionally rotate the tile your robot is on, you must move off your current tile and you can choose to rotate any other tile that is not occupied by your own or an enemy robot. Simple and straightforward rules doesn’t mean play is lacking in tactics, however. Far from it. You’ll need to think and plan ahead to use the obstacles on the tiles to keep your own robot safe while setting up opportunities to fire on others. Despite the robot theme, this is actually a thoughtful abstract game which is entirely dependent on skill. A planned expansion is due to introduce card-driven randomness but the core game has no element of luck whatsoever.
Robot Royale is a much less complex game than CGE’s similarly themed Adrenaline and it could well appeal to fans of that game. Because turns can be taken more rapidly, however, you will find that Robot Royale delivers more actual adrenaline during the course of play.
Robot Royale is currently running on Kickstarter, so the version shown here is a pre-production prototype.