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Jump Leads For Goalposts: Roboduck Football 2030

“The rocket launcher in this turn-based future-football game doesn’t have the best aiming mechanism.” That’s the worst thing I have to say about the half hour I spent with free Ludum Dare offspring Roboduck Football 2030 and if that were my strongest criticism of every game, I’d be altogether happier and healthier. Roboduck has other issues, including AI that seems to slap down orders at random and catchy music that has worked its way deep into my brain. It’s best played with two, swapping the mouse back and forth, and like many Ludum Dare games, I’d love to see it expanded.

How does it work, you might well ask. Each player has two robots – I don’t know if they’re actually Roboducks and I don’t know what a Roboduck is – and must utilise them to place a ball in a goal. Rather than having direct control, players drop arrows onto the pitch/court/arena and robots change direction every time they touch those arrows. You’re setting up routes, essentially, for your own team and for the opponent.

Powerups appear randomly, including the aforementioned rocket launchers and the actual kick command needed to score goals. You can’t simply run the ball into the net. Destroyed robots reappear after a few turns and trundle back into action and they’re probably as numb to the whole process as I was after a few rounds. It’s not a long-term habit, this Roboducking, but it’s an interesting platform for expansion. Turn-based sports games make sense to me – they allow for tactical decisions and development of team-work while fitting strictly within a ruleset.

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Adam Smith

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