I haven't ever played a WiiWare game but when the chance came for me to play as a funky robot with a big afro in a game named Frobot, well let's just say I was an easy target. I mean, come on, it's a robot with an afro, what's not to love? But as we have seen way too often in video games a fun sounding concept doesn't always lead to an enjoyable gaming experience. So once I got that sucka downloaded I needed to see if it was time to get my groove on or was this just a jive turkey of a game. Well...
Frobot by Fugazo is a puzzle/shooter game that wants to bring some soul and funkiness your way. You play as the titular robot who has just had his girlfriends kidnapped by the BotBlocker Corporation. Once again The Man is trying to bring the funk down and Frobot is not down with that action. No sir, no way. The game is certainly a parody of early 1970's blaxploitation films and it tries hard to make sure it's not being insensitive but rather lighthearted. The humor often times has jokes that can be both funny to a child because of the silliness and on another level funny to an adult because of various innuendos. I suppose it's possible that some people could find it insulting but I really think they would be missing the point.
Frobot has two modes: SinglePlaya and MultiPlaya (yup). SinglePlaya is divided into four areas (The Red Sprocket, FunkyTown Slums, System Restore Yard, and BotBlocker HQ) with each area having five levels. The game is a top-down shooter with very simple graphics and music. For the video gamers with good memories I found the overall vibe and even the graphics to some degrees reminiscent of the classic ToeJam and Earl game for the Genesis. The soundtrack is funky and I didn't get sick of the tunes and actually found a couple a little addicting. The goal of each level is to power a warp pad that will take you to the next level until you finally have a boss battle. The levels themselves are a series of rooms that have various obstacles and puzzles that you have to complete in order to move to the next room in the level.
Frobot starts the game fully powered with cannon shots, STUD Missiles, DynoMines, and other weapons but he quickly loses all of these except the DynoMines and the normal cannon shots. Every time he rescues one of his botnapped girlfriends he regains one of his lost powers. In the spirit of funk one of Frobots weapons is a floating disco ball that you use the remote to guide around the level trying to avoid the walls until you reach something worth blowing up. You need to use both the wand and nunchuk with the nunchuk used to move Frobot and the wand is mostly used as a pointer for aiming. The combo might take a little getting the hang of but the learning curve isn't really that steep. Oh, and you can also chose to bust-a-move Travolta style with the push of button for no other reason than just for the fun of it.
There are some rooms here and there where the puzzles are pretty obtuse but for the most part you will not get too frustrated. Besides the puzzles Frobot also needs to worry about various bad guys that want to do him some harm. You have turrets, robots that are indestructible, shots that ricochet off of walls, traps to spring, drop-off to avoid, and a whole lot of other problems to deal with. There is a small amount of backtracking, for example you might have to go back to a room and grab a box to put on a switch in a different room.
The MultiPlaya pits your bot against up to three other people. It's a pretty simple setup and I didn't find it as fun as the SinglePlaya and that's about all I have to say about that.
Final Rating: 85%. Frobot is about $10 and despite some rough graphics is worth the price based on a silly vibe with lots of smiles tossed in.