Clone Drone in the Danger Zone (whew that’s a bit of a mouthful) is a third-person, high-action fighter, wherein you control a robot which now carries with it the consciousness of a Earth human. You must now fight for the amusement of an alien race of robots.
There are three different modes in Clone Drone in the Danger Zone, one being the story, where you battle successively harder waves of enemies, trying to find a way to escape. There is “Endless mode”, where you battle waves of extremely hard enemy’s, and finally there is Twitch mode. I was unable to test Twitch mode, but from what I understand Twitch viewers are able to spawn robots to fight. More details about the Twitch mode can be found in a news post we ran last year.
There are 4 types of robots that attempt to fight you with a few different classes within that. There are sword robots, with 3 classes, archer robots, also with 3 classes, with the 3rd level of that class combining swords and archers. There are hammer robots, with 2 ranks, and finally, the Spider Bot 5000, which functions as a boss.
Every level that you don’t die in, you get an upgrade from a big robot machine. You can unlock new abilities such as kicking, using hammers and bows, unlock new skills such as the ability to reflect arrows, having a larger battery, or choose to clone yourself, giving you an extra life before failing the run.
The destruction physics are some of the best I’ve seen in years, with different attacks doing different damage depending on where they were hit on the body. Hitting the enemy on the head will do a little damage, but a swipe through their abdomen will bifurcate them very quickly. If they’re jumping in the air when you swipe at them, you might chop a leg off and that will affect their speed, making them slower and jumps weaker. If you are using a bow and your hand gets damaged, they you will lose the use of your bow because well, you kinda need two hands to use a bow.
Taking on the massive spider bot 5000’s also requires taking advantage of this mechanic. Its main body is high above the ground, so the easiest way to kill it is to chop at its legs, slowly bringing its vulnerable body down to robot chopping height. This dynamic combat is one of the main reasons I like Clone Drone, the flexibility it gives the player is incredible.
Another part of the game I love are the graphics, done in a lovely voxel format. The voxel style lends itself perfectly to the destructive physics, with small chunks of voxels falling off enemies, the battlefield at the end of a round scattered with stray cubes, shortened legs and halves of asses. All the damage done to you is also reflected on your body, leaving your body with scars and holes decorating it.
The main chunk of the game takes place in an arena, and leading the revelries are two robots who present this spectacle as a form of TV-show. Announcer-bot and Commentator-bot provide commentary on how battles are going, sadness about how a human survived another round, and call out the robots to fight in the next round with maybe with a titbit of information about how to beat them. Their colourful commentary helps pull the whole game together, injecting just the right amount of humour.
Each robot you take on has an unique human soul inside of it, with your name read out at ‘birth’ and a panel in the upgrade room where you can learn their name, age, favourite colour and their job. This little bio helps anchor these humans in your mind, each transient though permanent.
Clone Drone in the Dangerzone is a beautiful little fight-em-up game, which has perfect combat mechanics, a beautiful art style and great comedy. I could almost say my heart had a ‘ride into the danger zone’.