Monday, January 12, 2009


IncrediBots is something of an odd product.

It is an amazing technical achievement. A community-content game with the depth and features of LittleBigPlanet shoehorned into an in-your-browser Flash application - there can be little question as to why it's a 2009 Independent Games Festival finalist for the Technical Excellence award.

In IncrediBots you use a simple yet deep suite of tools to build robots, which you can then control using the keyboard. With a little creativity, your robots can do pretty much anything, from scooping up debris through to animating home movies.

Everything is based around a robust physics engine, and you'll quickly realise that what the toolset lets you do is, as the name implies, incredible. Like any good community-content game, you can save, load, and share your work at the push of a button.

I was just blown away by IncrediBots' potential, but entirely unmotivated to use any of it. Given the ability to build realistic cars that actually move I was no more excited about making one than I am about assembling automobiles in real life. I can claim to be a huge fan of early contraption-based games like The Incredible Machine, but unfortunately I just couldn't get IncrediBots to enthuse me.

Possibly some of it is in a lack of structure. The sandboxy stuff is just a little too sandboxy - the open canvas can prompt you to ask "where do I start?". It would be great to access pre-fabricated templates for cars, tanks, walkers and suchlike to give you a leg up. Also, there are challenge levels that task you with hauling random junk around, and suchlike. They score you on speed, and while I could pretty easily complete the task, the implicit goal of doing it cleverly and quickly daunted me out of even trying.

Anyway, investigate for yourself. The genius of the game may well dwarf whatever brainpower you invest personally, but you can play IncrediBots over at Kongregate, or hit up the developers, Grubby Games, via their website.

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