This week we have been able to make test Botworld : Adventure on the occasion of its release from the early access phase. Without really knowing what to expect, I jumped into the adventure and, in the space of ten hours of play and more, I was able to form my opinion on the experience offered by the Featherweight studio. I propose to retrace my journey on Botworld to find out if it could interest you as a player.
A classic but effective introduction to Botworld
I might as well say it straight away, Botworld offers a rather minimalist AD, with priority given to flat colours and cuteness. Even if this graphic style will not please everyone, it works very well as a reflection of the experience of the day.
It all starts when our robot-building, parts-loving parents provide us with our first bot, to be chosen from three options, in the manner of a starter Pokémon. From there, your ambitions suddenly make sense: you can become the master of robots, the greatest Botmaster. By dint of perseverance and collecting new bot plans, you think you can achieve this. And so begins your journey in Botworld : Adventure.
You then gradually discover the game mechanics. In this respect, Botworld is well thought out, with a tutorial zone that still allows some freedom. Indeed, where the impatient will hurry to accomplish the required objective, some may take the time to empty the piles of spare parts or to fight all the robots in the area to gain additional experience for their bots. This choice in how you progress continues throughout the game. But now that you know that you won't be landing in uncharted territory without any guidance in Botworld or, conversely, in an ultra-assisted universe, it's time to start this review of Botworld : Adventure proper.
PvE gameplay and event variety
To begin with, let's talk about gameplay and gameplay loops. Like other gacha, Botworld : Adventure puts PvE at the heart of the experience. While PvP is present, it does not represent the bulk of the activity you will have in the game. Your adventure consists of exploring the semi-open world around you, collecting spare parts, upgrades, special skills and new robot schematics while progressing through the main quest and completing side contracts.
Contracts allow you to collect special tokens. These tokens advance the progress bar of the season pass (for which it is absolutely not necessary to pay to get regular rewards ) and allow you to gain AI XP while making yourself useful to the inhabitants. The main quest can become quite challenging. Therefore, it is essential that you spend time on contracts to earn XP and loot.
The PvE gameplay loop works like this: when you leave the city, you leave with a certain amount of refills for your robots. This recharge gauge gives you the ability to repair damaged robots and resurrect those you lose in battle. Each time you enter a battle once you have crossed the city walls, this recharge will decrease. When it reaches 0, it becomes impossible to resurrect your robots and the fight is compromised. But don't panic!
When this gauge is at its lowest, the easiest solution is to use your jetpack, which will fly you back to the city's landing area from anywhere on the map. All your robots will be repaired and you can set off on your adventure.
However, you can only store 5 full cooldowns at any one time, which means that going through the city walls 5 times in a row is possible, but then you have to wait or get new cooldowns. Unlike other games that use this system, the use of refills in Botworld is not at all annoying. I have not really found myself unable to play and frustrated by this aspect.
However, I would have appreciated the presence of a day/night cycle or weather events from the first regions of the game to give more life to a world that is a bit too static, despite the movement of enemies.
The world regions and bots are numerous and varied, so I'm not worried about the size of the lore. The lore offers a good life span to the game with its exploration, discovery and collection of bots to train. There are currently over thirty bots, but more are already in the works. The background music and sound effects are very well done. They add depth to those little encounter battles during your explorations and embellish the environment with a cute soundscape.
PvP is not the main part of the game experience and therefore does not affect my opinion of Botworld very much. PvP is more of a bonus than anything else, from my point of view. It works with an arena system. From time to time, you will be able to fight an arena champion in the style of a trainer Pokémon to earn your badge. Or you can fight other Botmasters to earn your daily chest and trophies.
Business model of Botworld: Adventure
In Botworld, the economic system is fairly fair and does not spoil the game experience. There are optional pubs to get more bonuses and in-game shop purchases. As most of the experience and enjoyment the player will have in Botworld is based on PvE and exploration, buying boosts will not make you happier. In fact, PvP does not have a predominant place at the heart of Botworld : Adventure at present. Therefore, it doesn't matter if you spend money in the game or not as it will only change a trophy score that doesn't really affect your game.
However, some nice rewards are available in the shop if you want to support the development and the dev team. These rewards are not only decorative and can give you a boost, but this will only reduce the game's life span.
The advantage of a model like Botworld is that it is very permissive for the player. It is indeed possible to enjoy the whole experience without watching ads. In fact, I have not come across any intrusive ads interrupting the gameplay. This would not be in the spirit of this little nugget that is a pleasure to discover.
In conclusion, Botworld is excellent for what it is: a colourful and original gacha semi-open world like you probably haven't tried yet (apart from Pokémon or Nexomon). It creates its own kind of calm and pleasant mobile game, without intrusive ads or rough 3D. The game's atmosphere is soothing and the increasing difficulty spices up the content from the Great Desert onwards. I only regret that the world doesn't feel a bit more alive. The inhabitants have their own occupations, but night never falls on Botworld. After all, it's perhaps not a bad thing, as Featherweight Games' title is a little ray of sunshine on smartphones and tablets.