Miniature skirmish games get quite the bad rep. Mostly this is to do with set-up; games that involve strategic combat mostly need loads of models, scenery, dice and patience. Which is ironic as the mother of all strategy games, Chess, has none of that. Though of course, Chess doesn’t have laser cannons. Robot Royale breaks the mould by being a simple tactical strategy game with a simple set-up and laser guns. The premise is this: you’re battling robots in some sort of arena. Think Robot Wars meets the arena scene in Flash Gordon and you’ve got the idea. The board is made out of various 4x4 square tiles that are then laid out into a larger 4x4 grid made up of those tiles.
As the robots spawn onto the arena, they can rotate a tile. Each tile has walls printed on them, and these walls are thick enough to block line of sight. If your robot can see another robot, it shoots them. This causes the robot to re-spawn. Do this three times before anyone else and you win. It’s one of those games where you need to think way ahead and look at the board constantly. It’s for up to four players, and every move matters, so you’re always engaged. Or to put it another way - it’s a tactical line-of-sight game with a moving, constantly changing arena floor and cool looking robots. It’s incredibly simple and that’s the appeal. They are no dice involved. You don’t have to worry about if the model is painted or what it’s equipped with (though the robot models we saw looked lovely). It’s an absurdly straight forward game that takes about 3 minutes to learn and then the rest of your life to master.
It’s currently crowd-funding, and if the game gets enough interest they’ll ‘stretch goal’ some expansions including some random elements. We like the game the way it is, but we’d be intrigued by the chaos element should it arrive. Remember that our rating is based on a preview copy of the game, so the final project may turn out a bit different. The core premise is a lot of fun, however. You can find out more by backing the Kickstarter here. Hurry though, it ends funding on July 5th.