If you’d like to read a Haiku review of Haiku, you can check one out right here. If you’d like more of an in-depth review, read on…

As indie games go, Haiku, the Robot is as beautifully crafted as they come.

It’s a wonderfully presented, beautifully animated Metroidvania title that doesn’t quite avoid the pitfalls of the genre – namely, a lack of signposting and lots of backtracking that can end with players missing the one obvious path that they should be following – but it’s a great experience nonetheless.

Haiku, the Robot – despite somewhat cutesy looks – is actually a pretty bleak, often creepily atmospheric experience. Set in a post-apocalyptic world in which a nuclear explosion has wiped out all organic life, Haiku battles his way through corrupted machines and other robots, coming into contact with a few allies on his journey to uncover the secrets of the world around him.

There’s a great feeling of mechanical tangibility and functionality to the game’s world; everything clunks and clanks, enemies drop bits and pieces of themselves as Haiku attacks them. Haiku himself has an inventive way of healing – he can use collected spare parts to fix himself at any time; as long as he had parts available, he can heal.

New abilities and special chips – used to upgrade Haiku and customise his abilities to a certain degree – are doled out fairly regularly. There are numerous themed areas too, with fire areas and watery sections, amongst others, to work your way through.

Everything feels great from a gameplay perspective; combat is fast, responsive and feels impactful – and traversal, thanks in part to the animation but also because of the responsiveness of the controls, is always fun too.

The world expands pretty fast and can get a little overwhelming to start with; it could definitely have used a little bit of signposting to assist with navigation. That said, the maps that are unlocked are easy to read – and it’s pretty straightforward to see gaps in areas that you haven’t fully explored.

The soundtrack – by Guy Jones – is phenomenal; it’s truly atmospheric and adds such a wonderfully dark ambience to the game.

Haiku, the Robot feels like a true labour of love – it’s extremely well made and is, impressively (audio aside) the work of a sole developer, Jordan Morris.

I’ve had an absolute blast working my way through Haiku, the Robot’s charmingly bleak world – and it’s a game I can highly recommend.

Haiku, the Robot is available now on Steam and Nintendo Switch. Many thanks to Mister Morris Games for providing me with a key for review purposes.

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