The Robot Unicorn Attack started simply enough, with a gleaming alloy unicorn prancing across a landscape filled with rainbows and flying robot dolphins. But then things got weird. The sequel saw a demonic robot unicorn trampling through a hellish landscape, and the latest sequel chronicles the charge of a unicorn that clearly wishes it was a reindeer speeding through a quaint Christmas village. And while the second spin-off, the aptly named Robot Unicorn Attack Christmas Edition, doesn’t add anything new in terms of gameplay, the bizarre and festive setting at least make it feel new.
For those unfamiliar with the series, it’s essentially a twist on the Canabalt formula. You control the titular mechanized steed as it sprints from left to right across a never ending landscape. It runs automatically, so you’ll be in charge of making sure it jumps safely from one platform to the next and that it manages to smash through any obstacles. The goal is simply to go as far as possible before falling to your death or exploding in a fiery collision. It’s the exact same formula as the previous two games, and it remains just as addictive as ever.
But where the Christmas Edition sets itself apart is with the setting. These games have always been strange, ladling gallons of style gravy over a small-but-delicious portion of meat-like substance. The unicorn now has antlers strapped to its head and wears a terrible Christmas sweater while cackling elves fly alongside it. The world is filled with candy canes, twinkling lights, snowy mountains, and cozy little cottages. And, as with the previous games, music plays a big role. The first game had you listening to bad 90’s pop, while the second was filled with blazing fast speed metal. Christmas Edition, meanwhile, lets you gallop to the sweet tunes of British glam rockers The Darkness, and their holiday song “Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End).”
It’s the same, yet different, and just as fun and strange as always.
Nov 26, 2010