Any Transformers fan would struggle not to grin starting Transformers Rescue Bots: Hero Adventures. Sure, it’s clearly aimed at a 6-10-year-old audience, but it looks great thanks to its colorful graphics and brilliant presentation.
But the developer, Budge Studios, manages to take this style and instantly squander it on a collection of simple mini-games and overpriced in-app purchases.
Two robots, two forms...
Transformers Rescue Bots: Hero Adventures asks you to join the Rescue Bots in saving people from natural disasters. The moment you start you are instantly getting alerts about an exploding volcano causing fires and stranding people in the city.
Jumping into action, you must pick two Rescue Bots to roll out! Sure, you may WANT to use Blades and Boulder, but you only have Heatwave and Chase available to you unless you want to make a sizable in-app purchase to unlock them.
Hitting the tarmac, you must first select the right mode for the level – robot or vehicle. This is done beautifully with a slider that gives you complete control of the transformations. You can move it slowly or quickly, and watch the process that changes your hero from one form to the next, with all of the appropriate noises.
Two levels, two mini-games...
Once ready, it’s in to the simple mini games. Each bot has two possible styles of game, one for each form, with only the setting changing as the levels progress. In the case of the fire engine leader of the Rescue Bots, Heatwave, he can either use his robot form to put out fires like a game of Whac-A-Mole, or use his engine’s ladder to evacuate people.
All of this is simplicity itself, with you just having to tap where you want the water or ladder to go. Chase isn’t much better either, with a Where’s Waldo style game in robot form or a two lane racing style game in police car form.
Which is where the fun ends… After playing Transformers Rescue Bots: Hero Adventures’s two opening levels, you are required to take three Bots into action if you want to continue - which is pricey, particularly as the two additional characters only unlock two mini-games each.
Two purchases, too much
If your kids are fans of Transformers Rescue Bots: Hero Adventures I can certainly recommend giving the demo a download, if only for its amazing presentation. However, if they are likely to want more than the free levels, I would suggest caution.
Were the in-app purchases a quarter of the price, then maybe I would bit more generous - but for the quality and the amount of content you get, it just feels exploitative of its young audience.