5 August 2018

REVIEW: Hexbug Robot Wars Arena

3, 2, 1... ACTIVATE!

Is there anything more fun than watching radio controlled robots hammer the shit out of each other on TV? Well, yes, but the BBC's now-cancelled Robot Wars was a lot of fun for the many years it ran. Hexbug have picked up on that excitement by producing a living room (and kid) friendly version, allowing one and all to do battle with killer bots without parents having to worry about anyone actually getting killed. We check out the Hexbug Robot Wars Arena.

We've had a lot of experience Hexbug's robotic toys; the most recent being these fighting spiders. Always fun, Hexbug radio controlled robots use the small and blocky controllers that are super easy for both kids and adults to handle, while keeping the controls simple. The two robots included in this arena set can be controlled either forwards or backwards, turn left or right, and to activate their special weapon.

Actually, despite looking very different, both bots are the same thing. The spinning disk of 'Impulse' and the red axe of 'Royal Pain' are clip-on units that attach to the same base robot. Therefore you could, in theory, add other weapons - either ones that may or may not be available separately, or ones you build yourself. Either way, we like the simplicity of the robots' design.

Other than the robots and the two remotes, the set includes a large cardboard base plate and a tonnes of plastic accessories, both to 'dress the set' with transparent window-like safety shields, and clip-on static weapons for the bots, such as spikes and wedges. Couple all this with a sheet of stickers, and kids can customise the crap out of not only the robots, but also the arena. Fun, even before the fighting starts.

Once built and ready to go, with the remotes paired to each robot (it's very easy to accidentally pair one remote to both bots, with hilarious results), you're ready to battle. You might wonder how the aforementioned weapons can do any noticeable damage, and how, therefore, a winner of each match could be determined. Fortunately Hexbug have used the customisable capabilities of the bots to good effect here, featuring two magnetically attached bumpers on each combatant. 

So, drive up to your opponent, activate your weapon, and try to twat them in such a way so as to knock the bumpers off. Skilfully (fat chance) remove both, and you're the champ. Doing this, as we've implied, is tricky at first, as the robots are somewhat overly-sensitive. However, after a while you will get a feel for them (they both manoeuvre the same, as you might expect), making battles more directed and less smash-the-controller-and-hope-for-the-best gameplay.

Of the two bots, our favourite was definitely Impulse, the spinning disk one. Get that thing up to speed in a few seconds, ram the other bot right, and a bumper is sure to go flying. Seriously. We discovered that the plastic guards around the arena are there for a reason.

All in all, this is a great set, and a very good (and cheap-ish) way of getting hold of a couple of Hexbug Robot Wars robots. And once you're bored of fighting you can always drive the around your house, scaring the shit out of the cat. Good buy.

Around £65

Available from www.amazon.co.uk

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