This story was originally published on The Oakland Press.
First of all, it’s not what you think.
“Drunken Robot Pornography” is the ludicrously titled newest game from developer Dejobaan, who have something of a penchant for ridiculous titles. In fact, the title “Drunken Robot Pornography” is a bit reserved from Dejobaan’s previous efforts “AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! — A Reckless Disregard for Gravity” and “3! 2! 1! KICK IT! Drop That Beat Like An Ugly Baby.”
The plot is about as insane as you would expect based on the title. Set in the skies of Boston in the distant future, the story casts you as bar owner Rueben Matsumoto, who decides to give sentience to his robot bartender, Tim. Tim responds by burning down the bar and turning Rueben’s bar workers into giant killing machines sent to destroy Boston. It’s up to Rueben to strap on a jet pack and a laser gun and take down the giant death machines, known as the 12 Centerfolds, to save Boston.
If you’re still on board after reading the premise, then you’ll probably get DRP’s offbeat sense of humor. There IS a bizarre story following Reuben’s quest to wipe out the 12 Deadly Centerfolds and save Sky Boston from annihilation, but it’s just icing on the insane, laser shooting cake. The story is told mostly through voice messages from your bartender, Tim, taunting you.
Even the menu system in the game has a sense of humor. When observing the wreckage to Rueben’s immolated, totally useless bar, I was given the option to “leave” or alternatively, to “leave in a huff.”
The actual gameplay is described by the developers as a mix of a first-person shooter with a “bullet hell” style of twitchy, fast-paced action game. You’ll use the jetpack in three-dimensions to maneuver through mazes of lasers while trying to shoot down colossal robots. Most missions end when you either get enough points by blowing up droids and collecting martinis, or when you destroy one of the giant “titan” size robots.
The action requires fast reflexes, but even the most hardcore gamers will find themselves dazzled by a screen that frequently is filled with nothing but lasers and explosions. It’s hard to tell what’s going on sometimes, but when the action is at its most chaotic it’s also at its most beautiful. The actual geometry of the world is nothing spectacular, but the special effects are impressive.
DRP is a score-intensive experience; much of the replayability of the game comes from trying to best your scores and those of your friends and climb up the leaderboard rankings. However, there is a mode that allows players to build their own additions to the game, including both arenas to fight in, and titan robots to fight against.
There’s a lot to like here for hardcore gamers who want a break from the military shooter monotony. The gameplay is frantic and fun, and the levels are short enough that you can play a few at a time without delving too deeply into it. Dodging lasers and shooting robots in these wide-open spaces has a rush to it that most modern first-person shooters are lacking. Score chasing on the leaderboard and the thrill of trying to create insane levels to force your friends to play gives this game a lot of replayability. Dejobaan is definitely onto something here. It’s just a shame that many people will dismiss “Drunken Robot Pornography” based on its name alone and never even realize what type of game it is.
“Drunken Robot Pornography” is available on the PC through Steam and on Dejobaan’s website. Dejobaan provided a review code for the purposes of this article.