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Buzz! Junior: RoboJam review

AT A GLANCE
  • Easy for all to play
  • 24 games
  • Novel controllers
  • Too simple for most
  • Robots not as funny as monkeys
  • Not different enough

Like its predecessor Buzz Junior: Jungle Party, Publisher Sony's Buzz! Junior: RoboJam is a kiddie-focused collection of two dozen minigames, tied together with a loose story - in this case, some sort of "basic training meets a juvenile detention center"-style competition. Like its predecessor, it's played by one-to-four players using the Buzz! controllers - meaty pads with four rectangular buttons and one gigantic red "buzzer" which lights up but doesn't actually make a buzzing noise. Or any other sound, for that matter. And like its predecessor, Buzz! Junior: RoboJam is great for the little ones, but will have questionable appeal to anyone over the age of ten.

It's not that the mini-games aren't fun. They're fine, and you could argue they're more consistently good than the ones in Jungle Party. But they're hellishly simplistic, and the controllers' lack of a D-pad or analog stick sometimes leads to odd control schemes.

For instance, you'd think that giving each robot a rocket launcher and telling them to blow each other up would be bombastic mayhem. But with no directional control, you can't actually move your robot anywhere or tell them were to shoot - instead, they stand in place, rotating. You press the buzzer once to make them stop turning (which determines the direction in which they'll shoot) and again to choose the distance of your shot. Sure, it still works, but it's far from ideal.

Another weakness, at least in our eyes, is that robots aren't as funny as monkeys. Thus, it's not as darkly humorous to see them electrocuted, smashed flat by a giant piston, or charred black by an exploding bomb. Call us sadistic, but that was the only real reason we recommended Jungle Party to grown-up gamers, and it's not recreated here.

All told, kids who liked Buzz! Junior: Jungle Party will surely like this as well because it's almost the same game in a different wrapper. But older gamers will most likley want to let this one pass.

More Info

Release date: Mar 11 2008 - PS2 (US)
Available Platforms: PS2
Genre: Family
Franchise: Buzz!
ESRB Rating:
Everyone: Comic Mischief

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