Robot Unicorn Attack

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Robot Unicorn Attack
RobotUnicornattak.jpg
Title screen
Developer(s) Spiritonin Media Games
Publisher(s) Adult Swim
Platform(s) Adobe Flash, iOS, Android
Release date(s)
  • NA February 4, 2010
Mode(s) Single player
Distribution Browser game

Robot Unicorn Attack is an online "endless running" video game featured on the Adult Swim and Flashline Games website. The game was produced by Spiritonin Media Games and was released in February 4, 2010. The game's soundtrack is the 1994 song "Always," by the British band Erasure, in its "2009 mix" version.

With one million plays within the first week of its release,[1] Robot Unicorn Attack is one of the most popular and most played games featured on Adult Swim. As a result of its popularity, Adult Swim has made official merchandise for Robot Unicorn Attack, and has released the game on iTunes and Google Play. Adult Swim released three followups to Robot Unicorn Attack: Robot Unicorn Attack Heavy Metal, Robot Unicorn Attack Christmas Edition and Robot Unicorn Attack: Evolution.

Gameplay[edit]

The Robot Unicorn approaching a star.

Robot Unicorn Attack is a sidescrolling platform game in which the user controls the movement of a robotic unicorn in a manner similar to Canabalt, a game released in 2009.[2] The object of the game is to prolong gameplay without falling off the stage, crashing into the edges of platforms, or colliding with crystal stars (without first dashing). Points are earned with play time, by collecting pixies, and by destroying crystal stars by dashing through them. As the game progresses, the stage slides faster. Jumps and dashes can be chained together while the unicorn is airborne. The player has three lives (referred to as "wishes"), and the sum of the scores from each life count for the player's final score.

Merchandise and ports[edit]

Due to the game's popularity, Adult Swim released a Robot Unicorn Attack T-shirt,[3][4] this was the first time Adult Swim had released game-related merchandise. In June 2010, it was released for iOS,[5] in August, the game was released on Facebook,[6] making it the first time an Adult Swim game had been ported to Facebook and in the following month, a Robot Unicorn Attack hoodie became available, and in October a high definition version of Robot Unicorn Attack was released for the iPad. On April 19, 2011, the game was released for Android.

Followups[edit]

Heavy Metal[edit]

In October 2010 Adult Swim Games released a followup to Robot Unicorn Attack, entitled Robot Unicorn Attack: Heavy Metal, for iPhone,[7] later publishing it also to Adultswim.com on November 19. Robot Unicorn Attack: Heavy Metal features the song "Battlefield" from German power metal band Blind Guardian, and the presentation is influenced by depictions of Hell, as well as glam metal. It received an even better score on their website than the original.[citation needed] In January 2011, Robot Unicorn Attack: Heavy Metal was made available on Facebook alongside its original counterpart, as a single application.

Christmas Edition[edit]

On November 23, 2010 Adult Swim released a Christmas-themed version of Robot Unicorn Attack on iTunes,[8][9] entitled Robot Unicorn Attack: Christmas Edition. The game features "Christmas Time (Don't Let the Bells End)" by The Darkness.[10] Robot Unicorn Attack: Christmas Edition was released on Adultswim.com in November 2011,[11] despite reports to the contrary.[12]

Evolution[edit]

Robot Unicorn Attack Evolution plays identically to the original, but after three stars are broken in a row (four in a row in the Facebook version), the Robot Unicorn evolves into other robotic creatures: unicorn, panda, wolf, gorilla, rhino, dragon (the rhino is replaced by a sabertooth tiger in the Facebook version). There are also multiple fairies per platform. In the Facebook version, the player must keep breaking stars in order to transform to the next animal; missing a star will cause the animal to revert back to the unicorn.

Retro Unicorn Attack[edit]

A version resembling old 8 Bit Video Games was released in 2013.

Sequel[edit]

Robot Unicorn Attack 2 is the latest implementation of the Robot Unicorn Attack franchise by Adult Swim. It was developed by Pikpok and released on iOS on Thursday, 25 April 2013, and Android on Friday, 12 July 2013. This sequel expands upon the original's template by adding new maneuvers like the "Rainbow Savior" and "Gallow's Gallop." It also introduces enemies, missions, and the option to customise your unicorn's appearance.[13] The game also introduces the ability to fly, by equipping wings that you unlock in game, to your unicorn. The core gameplay remains the same as in the original browser game, the unicorn will run automatically, while you control the jump and a dash attack. But while the controls are the same, the game has also been fleshed out with a number of new ideas. You can collect teardrops that can be used to customize your robotic steed with parts from 6 unicorns (3 from "Team Rainbow" and 3 from "Team Inferno"), from a flaming tail to fairy wings. There are missions that you can complete to unlock new content and abilities. There are even enemies now in the form of giant, laser spewing golems, and friendly cyborg-unicorn-whales that fly past in the background. With the most recent update, an Egyptian-themed and a Medieval-themed Unicorn were introduced into the game, as well as the new threats of solar geysers. The visuals have also received a makeover. The unicorn itself is much more detailed and fluid, and the painted backgrounds also have much more depth and detail.[14] The newest update introduced a Celestial Unicorn, as well as a new Lava course that has to be bought with actual money to play.

This is the first Robot Unicorn Attack that includes in game purchases, in the form of buying credits to upgrade your Unicorn and additional sound-packs. Also Erasure's seminal song "Always" - which was a main part of the original game—is not part of the default package and must be purchased separately for $0.99. "I will never be able to separate Always from Robot Unicorn Attack," wrote Kieron Gillen back in 2010. "I can't even imagine wanting to do such a thing. It'd be like decapitating the Mona Lisa. It merges with the sparkles of sound effects and the explosions of light and makes it complete. ALWAYS IT WANTS TO BE WITH YOU." The song is not included with the default game due to copyright, and as Adult Swim wanted the game to be free-to-play they made it an in-game purchase. Other songs are available for purchase too by such bands as Blind Guardian, Slade, Limahl and Corey Hart.

Parodies[edit]

Combining the game with the internet meme, Nyan Cat (involving a cat with the body of a Pop-Tart flying through space and leaving a trail of rainbows), a parody game called Nyanicorn was created that mimicked the style of Robot Unicorn Attack, including the gameplay.[15][16]

Critical reception[edit]

Ivan Williams of 1UP.com stated that, "Whether it's the song constantly on an [sic] loop or the simple desire to get a better score than the millions of other gamers playing, I challenge anyone to play Robot Unicorn Attack and not have that game pop into your head every now and then."[17] In reviews of the major flash games of 2010, Eurogamer writer Kieron Gillen said, "Like a comet made of gold, glitter and Lady Gaga's eyelashes, Robot Unicorn Attack circled the Earth and filled the firmament with its irresistible radiance for the whole of 2010. It changed lives. It challenged sexualities. It involves pressing two buttons. It is undoubtedly the greatest game of all time which features a Robot Unicorn, unless you're a metalhead who digs its sequel."[2]

Scott Sharkey of UGO Networks said that while "the aesthetic is a good gag for a few minutes", the important point of Robot Unicorn Attack is that "the game itself is addictive enough to last much, much longer. At least, until someone catches you playing and ribs you about it for the next week or so."[18] Neon Kelly, Previews Editor of VideoGamer.com, concluded after playing that "Somehow the whole thing ends up being extremely addictive - despite the fact that the game's tongue is so firmly wedged in its cheek that it's in danger of giving itself permanent facial damage. If you've not yet done so, I heartily urge you to go try it."[19] Toby Green of The Independent wrote in a short review that the game was "Great fun", giving it four out of five stars.[20]

In a review of the iPhone version of the game, CNN writer Topher Kohan concluded, "Easy-to-use controls, great soundtrack, the ability to turn the sound off and get useful feedback via vibrate and fun in-game tidbits. This feels like a game you'll put on your phone, then pull out to play again and again."[21] In a twin review for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation by reviewers Stephanie Bendixsen ("Hex") and Steven O'Donnell ("Bajo"), Hex finished by saying, ""This game is utterly riDONKulous, so I'm giving it the utterly ridonkulous score of 8971. I can't wait to press Z to chase my dreams again", to which reviewer Bajo responded, "I'm not sure how to score it after that."[22]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Robot Unicorn Attack v2". Adult Swim / [bumpworthy]. 22 February 2010. Retrieved 10 July 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Kieron Gillen (December 30, 2010). "Games of 2010: Robot Unicorn Attack". Eurogamer. Retrieved April 3, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Robot Unicorn Attack 'Chase Your Dreams' Shirt — Adult Swim Shop". Retrieved 2010-09-23. 
  4. ^ "Robot Unicorn Attack 'Chase Your Dreams' Ladies Shirt — Adult Swim Shop". Retrieved 2010-09-23. 
  5. ^ "Adult Swim: iPhone Games - Robot Unicorn Attack". Retrieved 2010-09-23. 
  6. ^ Kieron Gillen (September 20, 2010). "Poke Me: Facebook Robot Unicorn Attack". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved April 3, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Adult Swim : iPhone Games - Robot Unicorn Attack - Heavy Metal Edition". Games.adultswim.com. Retrieved 2010-12-26. 
  8. ^ "Robot Unicorn Attack Christmas Edition for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad on the iTunes App Store". Itunes.apple.com. 2010-12-20. Retrieved 2010-12-26. 
  9. ^ "iPhone Game: Robot Unicorn Attack Christmas - Adult Swim Message Boards". Boards.adultswim.com. Retrieved 2010-12-26. 
  10. ^ "Robot Unicorn Attacks Christmas". Kotaku.com. 2010-11-22. Retrieved 2010-12-26. 
  11. ^ "Robot Unicorn Attack Christmas". games.adultswim.com. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  12. ^ "Re: iPhone Game: Robot Unicorn Attack Christmas - Adult Swim Message Boards". Boards.adultswim.com. Retrieved 2011-07-04. 
  13. ^ "Robot Unicorn Attack 2: EuroGamer review". April 27, 2013. Retrieved April 27, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Robot Unicorn Attack 2: The Verge.com review". April 27, 2013. Retrieved April 27, 2013. 
  15. ^ John Funk (May 26, 2011). "Nyancat and Robot Unicorn Attack Now Live in Harmony". The Escapist. Retrieved June 4, 2011. 
  16. ^ Maurice Tan (May 27, 2011). "Nyanicorn is exactly what you think it is". Destructoid. Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
  17. ^ Ivan Williams (February 27, 2010). "Dual Review: Canabalt and Robot Unicorn Attack". 1UP.com. Retrieved April 3, 2011. 
  18. ^ Scott Sharkey (February 12, 2010). "Recession Gaming: Human-Robot Unicorn Edition". UGO Networks. Retrieved April 3, 2011. 
  19. ^ Neon Kelly (June 6, 2010). "Robot Unicorn Attack, iPhone". VideoGamer.com. Retrieved April 3, 2011. 
  20. ^ Toby Green (June 25, 2010). "Games review: Robot Unicorn Attack". The Independent. Retrieved April 3, 2011. 
  21. ^ Topher Kohan (June 18, 2010). "Review: Adult Swim's 'Robot Unicorn Attack' a dream". CNN. Retrieved April 3, 2011. 
  22. ^ Hex; Bajo (May 24, 2010). "Robot Unicorn Attack". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved April 3, 2011. 

External links[edit]