Within moments of starting Monobot, I was drawn into the sci-fi tale that was about to commence. In this surprisingly twee physics-based puzzle platformer, it’s your job to guide the tiny chap through the levels by moving along control platforms, activating mini teleporters, and facing bosses.
The story sees Mono woken and set free by a fellow captive. What ensues is a frantic quest to escape while eluding the grasp of mechanical menaces. It’s very reminiscent of Limbo and Inside so if you’re a fan of those games, you’ll feel at home here.
To help little Mono escape you guide him through a colossal factory, sneaking past robots, upgrading his robot arms, and collecting documents to help him discover what lies at the end of his destination.
Although some puzzles require more experimentation than others, your goal is always clear and you’re never left hanging or wanting a pointer. You’ll be able to upgrade your robot arms and use more weapons which helps massively when it comes to dealing with enemies.
The controls have been kept simple (WASD), but I did find using ‘left ctrl’ to use items a bit annoying, tying my fingers in knots. Jumping was also hard to judge at times, purely because ol’ stumpy legs doesn’t leap very high. And while there are checkpoints, I honestly couldn’t even tell when I had reached one or not, which was likewise annoying.
Visually, it’s quite eye-catching, and the rich detail helps to craft an atmosphere. The cartoon cutscenes are charming, and the colour schemes are bold. I really liked how each area is different from last. The music has clearly had a lot of effort put into it, as it ramps up and becomes more dramatic when being chased.
Our playtime clocked in at four hours, including cut-scenes and taking into account a few tricky puzzles. I’m already planning a second playthrough and looking forward to seeing what I missed. If you’re into story-driven platform puzzlers, Monobot is worth booting up.
DreamSmith Studio’s Monobot is out now on Steam.