A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that while this online game is free to play after a download, it can cost more than a console-based video game. That's because upgrade items and robots cost between $6.50 and $10 for per year. Plus weekly use of a robot costs about $.60 to $1.50; and powerups, armor, and body parts all cost money. This is a fighting game in which robots explode after being hit or bombed. This online game also has chat, a feature Common Sense Media doesn't recommend for any children under age 12.
What's it about?
On the face of it, BOTS!! seems like a great idea. You can download the game and play it for free. You don't need a fast PC to use it. Plus, its a fighting game that doesn't include blood and decapitations. When you begin the game, you're told that the task of bots is to defeat other bots and destroy viruses inside your computer. Yet that's about all the story there is here. Even for a free online multiplayer game, that's little more than a pitch line. It certainly doesn't make for a compelling tale.
Is it any good?
The idea of fighting others online with tricked out robots gets pretty dull after a few hours. Sure, there are three ways to play, player versus player, a team battling a larger, more powerful robot, and battles in which you blow up another's base of operations. And, yes, there are loads of upgrades for your robots, even robots you can purchase, er, rent for about $10 for a year. And, yes, it's a wonder to see your robot temporarily transform into a huge, powerful behemoth ready to wreak havoc on the opposition.
Another drawback is that the game doesn't present enough of the tougher "boss" battles. A boss like CodeRed, with his very strong whirlwind attack, is fun to watch and tough to kill. Almost as awesome is Blaster, with his larger than life gun and stunning jumping attack. Unfortunately, there's just aren't enough of these tough boss opponents. The bottom line is that this MMOG can be real fun for a while, it's just not that deep. You create your Bot. You get online. You throw some punches and some bombs or raise an energy field. You kill or you die. You upgrade your Bot. Then you repeat the same process.