Frobot Starts You With... 30 Lives, 50 Lives On Easy

Frobot is a WiiWare game that mixes Robotron shooting with gameplay riffing on the dungeon design of the original Legend of Zelda. It adds an afro-wearing robot and is tough enough that you'll start on normal difficulty with 30 lives.

We last covered the game at PAX East in Boston, where it was revealed that the guy making Frobot, Andrew Lum, is a huge Nintendo fan. It's his dream, when not making money off of casual games such as Cakemania, to put out a game on a Nintendo platform.


Lum brought Frobot to PAX Prime in Seattle. In the six months since I'd seen his game last, he told me, the levels had all been redesigned. They still remind me of Zelda dungeons. You're going through room after room from a top-down view, trying to reach an exit while hitting switches, riding moving platforms, dashing to reach closing doors and bombing walls to find hidden passages. I burned through many lives trying a new build of the game at PAX in Seattle. Then I had Lum breeze through it while I filmed him. Even he failed to finish the level's sidequest.

Hype for Frobot has been minimal, maybe because the adventure is caught between its old-school gameplay and a 3D graphical look that makes it look sort of modern. I can, nevertheless, vouch for the level design of what I played. If you like solving Zelda dungeon rooms, then you would probably like Frobot. Or, if you like multiplayer, the game has a bunch of arena combat modes that can be played locally on the same Wii.

Lum is hoping Frobot will be out by the end of the year as a downloadable title for Wii. If you get it, expect to fail a lot, enjoyably.

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