13 January 2014

REVIEW: Battroborgs Battle Arena

Robot wars!

Finally the time has come! Skynet has gone self-aware and Judgement Day is upon us. THE ROBOTS ARE PREPARING FOR WAR! Fortunately the robots in question are just a few inches tall and are more interested in fighter each other, than destroying our towns and cities. Phew. That is because Battroborgs have finally been unleashed: the pint sized robotic-warriors that you can control.

It'll be like a really weird small-scale version of Pacific Rim.

To try the punching bots out, we were lucky enough to be sent the Battroborg Battle Arena, containing two Battroborgs, all the controls, and also a place for them to duke it out. We charged up our controllers, tried to be as cinematic as possible, and get to the duelling.

Battroborgs, as we dramatically introduced them, are essentially small action figures that connect via Bluetooth to a pair of Nintendo Wii-like remote control controls. While holding the remotes in both hands, when you punch, the little bot will punch, allowing you to fight vicariously as a six inch plastic solider. Which is every young boy’s dream.

Apart from the distinctive colouring, both Battroborgs included in the set are identical, as are the remotes that control them. However we were quite impressed with the build quality of the fighting figures themselves – something we were glad to see, considering they will be knocking several shades of sh*t out of each other.

You’ll need eight AA batteries for the controllers (not included, but considering the number we’re not surprised) and it is from these remotes that the Battroborgs themselves are charged up. Each robot takes about 20 minutes to get a full charge, which will then provide around 20 minutes of punching time. So just make sure you and your opponent have charged both robots at the same time – you’d hate to run flat in the middle of a bout. You’d have your metal teeth kicked out!

Speaking of which, scoring hits on the robots face-plates is what determines the victor. We found that the remotes were pretty good and quite responsive to our own punches and fist lashes making attacking the enemy robot really simple. However, manoeuvring around the included arena was slightly more tricky. As the robots can only be moved by the jerking action of the punches, we found that often they became separated and wouldn’t re-engage for more carnage. On more than one occasion we had to physically pick them up and place them facing each other to play on. Fortunately there is one slight fix to this: the ropes of the arena can be moved to narrow or enlarge the fighting area. We found that the narrower, the better; if only to keep the bots on track to each other.

One thing we really loved about the Battle Arena set was the option to play one-player. Auto drone mode makes it possible to pit your robotic knuckles against one of the bots on autopilot, which make random attacks toward your Battroborg. It's a great chance to practice and get a feel for the controllers, and to save yourself from looking like a total wally when your mate comes over play.

Of course, because of the 2.4 Ghz controllers, up to 20 Battroborgs can be fighting in the same bout without signals getting crossed. If everyone you knew had their own borg they could bring them round for a late night battle royale. That we'd like to see.

So Battroborgs, especially as part of the Battle Arena pack, are certainly a winner with us. Like with the laser chess game Khet 2.0, its great to see toy manufacturers taking on computer games with their own technology.


Available from www.amazon.co.uk

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