You've stumbled upon The Robot Club, a group of students who have a secret lab in the basement of a High School. They design and build helpful robots that solve problems around town. In order to join the Club, you need to prove yourself by learning to build " 'bots" using the Club's own programming language.
Start a new game, or load a saved one. There is an option to duel that allows robots to combat against each other. It is best to do the missions in order - each chapter has a number of parts to it, and it is good to start with chapter 1 to get used to the programming language used. Each mission starts with a video clip of the kids in the Club explaining the upcoming mission. There are 6 levels and 31 missions in all, and they become progressively more challenging as you go along.
Each mission requires doing the following in the Workshop:
Other variables to consider are the energy and health gauges.
- Building your Robot: Creating your "virtual hardware" involves attaching the parts given to the robot chassis. In the earlier missions, the parts in the parts bins are all required for the mission, but later on, there are more parts to choose from, and some of them are not necessary. If you feel like having fun, personalize your robot.
- Programming: This involves creating instructions and tasks (groups of instructions). Sometimes it will help to create global tasks that run throughout the program. Instructions may require a condition and an action.
- Run Program: Test your robot on the playing field. Expect to do this often as you fine-tune your robot programming through a series of trial and error.
Once you get the hang of robot-building and programming, you may be up to entering a duel and combat another robot. Fight a computer robot, build 2 robots to fight each other, or duel with a friend's 'bot. An interesting option is the ability to trade hints and even robots over the Internet.
At the beginning, there is a tutorial button that will give some hints, and later, you will always find a "Tips" button at the top of the screen. These give some general hints for completing the missions. If you're really stuck, there's always the Hintline, but you'll have to pay $.95 US, or $1.50 in Canada, for these automated tips.
The Robot Club is wonderful for kids who like a challenge. My computer programmer husband thinks the game provides an excellent mental workout for kids, especially ones who aspire to be computer programmers or engineers. Although my 8 year old son needs lots of help from his dad, this game holds tremendous appeal. If you're looking for a light-hearted breezy game, skip this one. On the other hand, if you really want to get your kids to think, this program is an excellent choice. Many adults will enjoy it as well.