Goodnight Games is an up-and-coming indie developer that claims it is "on the cutting edge of design". And its latest game, Cutiebots, is a 2D platformer about fighting through the evil animal robot army of Dr. Whiskers to save the world. Goodnight Games might truly be on the cutting edge, but is "Cutiebots" up to snuff?
Cutiebots has players take control of two interchangeable characters - Gritch and Zitch. Gritch is a little red guy that has the ability to double jump and likes to get up close and personal when he fights enemies. Zitch, on the other hand, trades the power to ignore the law of gravity for the ability to scale specific walls. Unlike his partner, Zitch prefers ranged attacks with his daggers instead of close quarters combat.
Some enemies take one or two hits to go down while others are more resilient and require a bit more strategy to defeat. Should you find difficulty bypassing a certain enemy and end up losing one of your lives; you'll respawn at a checkpoint. If you lose all of your lives however you'll have to start from the very first level regardless of where you were or how many checkpoints you've passed.
Characters aside, gameplay is pretty straightforward; get from point A to point B while killing enemies, collecting items, and avoiding the constant loom of death. Items don't seem to serve any particular purpose aside from unlocking costumes. Cutiebots has a very vivid and cartoony look to it, but the tone of the game is much darker. Enemies burst into a cloud of visceral confetti when you destroy them and even Gritch and Zitch burst open at the seams and have their "stuffing" spill out when they die.
Cutiebots uses a virtual d-pad and a three button control scheme to attack, jump, and change characters. The controls are very basic and simple enough to use but controlling Gritch and Zitch is particularly difficult. This is where the shine of Cutiebots wears off. You’ll either find yourself touching the wrong part of the touchscreen and getting punished for it or hitting the wrong button entirely. It isn't always that way but when you find yourself in this situation it can be pretty frustrating.
Cutiebots isn't the only platformer for iOS but it stands out as one of the best in a sea of recurrence. The control scheme feels as though it would be more suited for PC, but it still works. The instrumental rock soundtrack that accompanies Cutiebots is a great fit as well. Goodnight Games did a great job with Cutiebots. While it isn't necessarily a home run, with some control issues and a few nitpicks, it's still a damn good game. I give it a solid 3.5 TOV Stars out of 5.