Robocraft Royale stomps into early access this month

While some battle royale games send players scouring levels for such thrilling treats as backpacks and off-brand energy drinks, Robocraft Royale will have us scavenging for mechs, hovertanks, fightbikes, planes, spiderbots, warwhales, and other big smashy vehicles. Robocraft Royale will enter early access as a paid standalone game later this month, developers Freejam have announced, following a short stretch of public alpha testing. Freejam initially described this spin-off from their bot-building battler Robocraft as an “experiment”, and evidently the results pleased them.

Plain ol’ Robocraft lets players build their own bots bit-by-bit, but Robocraft Royale focuses more on action than activities so it instead drops in pre-built bots made by Robocraft players. Freejam are picking their favourites from the vast pool of creations and yup, they certainly aren’t skipping over the weirder ones.

The game rains 100 players over a big ol’ map, in that battle royale way, in vulnerable little buggies to find bots they like then blow the dickens out of everyone else. This being built on Robocraft, it has locational damage so players can try to blow specific blocks off other vehicles to cripple them. Players can bail out in their buggy to find new vehicles, but doing that under fire will probably end badly.

I am enjoying seeing battle royale get weirder as it continues its transition from a game genre to a game mode.

Dominic Tarason played a bit when the game began public testing in February and came away hoping Freejam would continue the experiment. “I think they’re on the right track here; a chunky, vehicular combat game full of surprises and improvisation, and I can’t wait to see what they do with it next,” he said. Your wish is granted, young man.

Robocraft Royale will hit Steam Early Access on March 26, priced at $20. Freejam expect the early access phase to last about three months. They plan to use this time to add team play as well as traditional battle royale aspects like crate drops and pick-ups. They’ll make tools for players to submit robots via Robotcraft too.

The next free alpha test begins on March 8, so do sign up on its site if you’re interested.

Also, a round of applause to RPS commenter “DeepSleeper” for coining the riffed nickname ‘Plunkbot’. Well done, you.

9 Comments

Top comments

  1. DeepSleeper says:

    It occurs to me that I should trip report, because I did in fact go and play this after offhanding Plunkbot down in the comments. I enjoyed it quite a bit up until things shut down, and plan to play in the second alpha too.

    I rather enjoyed that the game provided a wide spread of different robots to inhabit. There was always this sense of: Do I stay in this velociraptor and use the medium-powered rotating laser blaster, or should I hop out of it and get in the El Camino which doesn't turn as well but can dish out damage straight ahead?

    More than once things dissolved into a weird chase scene. You're not out of action until your last block is destroyed and your meter hits zero, and you can dump your rover out of anything you're riding given enough time. On one occasion I was inside half a torso of a stormtrooper rolling down a mountainside, both legs shot off and hoping to roll far enough from the spiderbot that shot me to have a moment to pop out of the trooper and scurry away.

    (It didn't work out.)

    What was lacking in the alpha I played was explanation. I'd load myself into a mech and stare at the three weapons options presented to me and have no idea what they actually did, so I'd have to experiment and discover oh hey this thing has a cloaking device. I rarely saw that used, so I assume other people didn't notice it at all.

    Then again, perhaps they were cloaked.

    I also never learned how to fly downward. I'd end up piloting a bomber around until I got stuck against the skybox, then abandoning it in the middle of the sky and just airdropping down into whatever was below. (Usually a pissed-off dude I had been trying to bomb.)

    In conclusion: Plunkbots are fun enough to spend a few evenings on. I'm debating that $20 price point with myself now.
  1. DeepSleeper says:

    My single minute of fame begins.

    … And there it was. Ah, that was nice.

    • Evan_ says:

      Loud applause for DeepSleeper!

      • shde2e says:

        *insert scarcastic clapping gif*

      • shde2e says:

        Unfortunately, this article lacks the vaunted Plunkbot tag.
        Your fame will have to be consigned to the comment section and below the “read more” link.

  2. DeepSleeper says:

    It occurs to me that I should trip report, because I did in fact go and play this after offhanding Plunkbot down in the comments. I enjoyed it quite a bit up until things shut down, and plan to play in the second alpha too.

    I rather enjoyed that the game provided a wide spread of different robots to inhabit. There was always this sense of: Do I stay in this velociraptor and use the medium-powered rotating laser blaster, or should I hop out of it and get in the El Camino which doesn’t turn as well but can dish out damage straight ahead?

    More than once things dissolved into a weird chase scene. You’re not out of action until your last block is destroyed and your meter hits zero, and you can dump your rover out of anything you’re riding given enough time. On one occasion I was inside half a torso of a stormtrooper rolling down a mountainside, both legs shot off and hoping to roll far enough from the spiderbot that shot me to have a moment to pop out of the trooper and scurry away.

    (It didn’t work out.)

    What was lacking in the alpha I played was explanation. I’d load myself into a mech and stare at the three weapons options presented to me and have no idea what they actually did, so I’d have to experiment and discover oh hey this thing has a cloaking device. I rarely saw that used, so I assume other people didn’t notice it at all.

    Then again, perhaps they were cloaked.

    I also never learned how to fly downward. I’d end up piloting a bomber around until I got stuck against the skybox, then abandoning it in the middle of the sky and just airdropping down into whatever was below. (Usually a pissed-off dude I had been trying to bomb.)

    In conclusion: Plunkbots are fun enough to spend a few evenings on. I’m debating that $20 price point with myself now.

  3. MajorLag says:

    I am genuinely intrigued. Usually, multiplayer (and BR especially) are very much not appealing to me, but something about the colorful and ridiculous blockbots makes this seem like it’s made by people who’ve actually heard of ‘fun’.

  4. phlebiac says:

    and what has this stupid game to do with playerunknown’s battlegrounds ? especially in the steam client news? do we really have to endure such stupid news every time they have the slightest to do with pubg? really?

    • shde2e says:

      I’m confused. You saw this pop up in the steam news with a PUBG tag or something, so you came over here to complain?

      • ousiibii says:

        The game always has 1-6GB updates, and when you click ‘View News’, you expect an update note. And oftentimes we get random stuff like this, proceeding to wonder if we just downloaded a robocraft update or what the hell is going on.