It’s only been a few days since I took a look at a Simulator game – and here we are with another. With this one, however, I wasn’t sure what to expect at all. I hadn’t seen any prior coverage of it; no screenshots or videos at all, so I was going in to Robot Squad Simulator completely blind. From the name, my mind conjured up images of leading a team of Power Rangers-esque heroes into battle against wacky, expanding monsters.

Sadly for me, considering the love I have for the colourful and often wonderfully bizarre Power Rangers, what we have instead is a sober take on controlling robots that can – and do – exist in the real world. You’ll be taking on tasks that are grounded in reality too, with tasks such as safe bomb disposal being undertaken right from the opening tutorial levels.

Though I can’t claim that this is a review, having only experienced the first few missions and not even going as far as unlocking any more of my squad than the Skutter-esque claw robot (that’s a Red Dwarf reference there for any of you as, ahem, mature as I am), I have to say there’s real promise in Robot Squad Simulator. It’s plain, visually, but I think there’s an expectation that games will lack graphical embellishments when the word ‘Simulator’ appears in the title – so, in my opinion, that was anticipated and isn’t a disappointing aspect of the game. Likewise with the audio, which isn’t spectacular or particularly memorable, but is perfectly functional.

Beyond the robot I’ve already used, it looks like there’s a decent variety of other machines to take control of, including a drone and other robots too. The controls can be very tough to get used to and just picking up an object is quite labour-intensive – though perhaps it should be, given that this is a simulator after all, and this likely reflects the expertise needed to pilot one of these machines in the real world.

Once I’ve had a chance to further explore what the game has to offer, I’ll be back with a more complete overview. For the moment though, I have to say that what I’ve seen is very promising – not to mention unusual in terms of its premise. Though very challenging and deliberately, unhurriedly paced – at least in the levels I’ve tried – it seems to be a satisfying game to play once you’ve got to grips with the robot you’re in charge of.

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