Two minutes ago, I was controlling a robot in Ukraine. Thanks to Isotopium: Chernobyl, you can too – right from your browser and all.
Remote Games have set up a scale model of Chernobyl and populated it with tanks hooked up to the internet. You can jump into one within a minute, though you’ll probably only get to play for just as long before you’re asked to throw down some cash. I’m not sure about that part, but this is otherwise fantastic.
Currently, your only goal is to collect isotopes from containers strewn around the arena. Those can be traded in for playing time, though I confess I spent most of my 60 seconds trying to tip my robot over some stairs. I like to think I wouldn’t have felt so destructive if Dave and Ollie hadn’t been watching my screen, but that’s probably a lie. Success would have meant treating someone to the sight of a giant human lumbering their way through the city to turn my tank over, though, so the real monsters are probably those that don’t go for it.
“Players will solve puzzles, explore the hazardous ghost city of Pripyat, take part in contests and quests, and fight for survival”, goes the blurb. I’m not sure how much of that is actually in yet, given that the chap in the video below doesn’t get up to much other than exploring. Though there is a neat bit eleven minutes in where he waves at another tank and starts wrestling with it.
Planned features include upgrading to bigger “crusher” robots, unlocking secret doors and capturing territory.
It’s £9/$9 for enough isotopes to last about an hour, which does seem steep. That’s if you frame it as a video game though, rather than something like a fairground attraction. However you see it, the mini-trial is worth jumping into for the novelty alone.