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VOLT: Robot Battle Arena» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Father Geek's Review of VOLT: Robot Battle Arena rss

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Cyrus Kirby
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Note: This is a summary of a larger game review. The full review is available at http://fathergeek.com/volt-robot-battle-arena/

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It took every Child Geek who played the game, our youngest at age 6, a few rounds to get the hang of programming their robot. After that, they were super stars. How you play the game was a bit less intuitive than I originally thought, but the difficulty curve is still low enough to allow players to easily learn how to play during the game without being put at a serious disadvantage. Every Child Geek we played with demonstrated an excellent understanding of strategy and tactics. My 6-year-old even baited me a few times. You should have heard him laugh when he pushed me and another player into a pit when resolving movement. According to one Child Geek, “This is a really fun game. I like all the different weapons you can use.” Another Child Geek said, “The best part about this game is blowing up your parents!” And finally, one very happy Child Geek said, “This reminds me of FRAG, but I think I like this better. It’s faster.” All the Child Geeks voted to approved VOLT.


My 6-year-old pauses for a moment to reflect on his programming decisions

The Parent Geeks were very pleased with VOLT, finding it to be an entertaining and engaging family game. They liked how easy it was to program their robots and how much fun it was to see how everything played out in the arena when the Player boards were revealed. According to one Parent Geek, “I really like how you can plan all you want, but in the end, what you need to really consider is how the other players will move their robots.” Another Parent Geek said, “I found this game easy to understand, fun to play, and enjoyable from start to finish. I only wish it could play up to 6 players.” All the Parent Geeks voted to approve VOLT.

The Gamer Geeks either found the game to be “OK” or “really good”. A number of the Gamer Geeks who played VOLT were RoboRally veterans. They couldn’t help but compare the two games at first. A number of assumptions were made and VOLT was classified as a “simpler version of RoboRally“. After a few games, that classification changed. According to one Gamer Geek, “I think the game is OK. Not sure if it’s a Gamer Geek’s game, but it’s an excellent family game and I would play it.” Another Gamer Geek said, “This is an outstanding game and so much better than RoboRally. It’s rich with strategy and tactical game play. Simply excellent.” And finally, another Gamer Geek said, “This is the kind of game I’ve been looking for. It’s light, easy to set up, and will entertain me for hours.” When all the votes were counted, VOLT won the Gamer Geek approval.



Two Gamer Geek generations battling it out on the family gaming table (!!awesome!!)

I found VOLT to be a lot of fun. It plays very well with mixed groups and has a lot of different game variants to use. The 16 Module tiles are fun to mix and match and the game rules are flexible enough to allow players to create their own game and rule variants. For example, my little geeks and I created 3 new Module tiles. Feel free to add these to your game, if you like.

o Grease Gun: On a hit of 1, the targeted robot suffers no damage but must now move 1 extra space after they finish their movement. Remove grease by rolling over or stopping on Repair Center.

o Scramble Beam: On a hit of 6, the targeted robot must randomly roll one of their 3 dice still on their Player board. Dice location does not change. Regardless of number rolled, the targeted player will go last for the die color that was rolled.

o Anti-Gravity Treads: Robot can move through pits, but cannot stop on them.

I feel the game is lacking a few things. First, it could use more Arena boards. It comes with 2 that are double-sided, but after playing the game 20 or so times, the Arena boards are no longer interesting. Second, I would have preferred to have seen the game come with 6 robots instead of just 4. My family has 5 individuals, which means someone is always left on the sidelines. Most gatherings includes more than 4 individuals, too. With 6 robots, you could play with 3 teams of 2 or 2 teams of 3! Admittedly my complaints are exceedingly trivial. I’d even go so far as to say “petty”. Heck, I could upgrade my own game by making the components if I really wanted to, but there is no real need. I have yet to have a bad experience with the game as it is.

VOLT provides Gamer Geeks with a game that requires strategy and tactics to win, but is accessible enough to allow their children and non-gamers to join in on the fun. Miniature game purest will be disappointed with VOLT. Much of the traditional miniature movement and combat rules have been either removed or simplified to allow for quick game play. Decision making has also been simplified, but is still very important. Players must think carefully how they want their robot to move, consider where their opponents might move, and determine how important timing is. That’s still a lot to consider and makes each round feel very important, but the weight of the each decision is not crushing.

If you play this game, I suggest you play it with 4 individuals. Playing with 3 is fine, but it feels unbalanced when 2 players go after 1 unlucky player. With only 2 players, the game feels slightly uninteresting since robots can easily avoid each other. I suggest you use our House Rule if only playing with 2 players. With all 4 robots in the arena, you have yourself a really good time. Do sit down and play VOLT: Robot Battle Arena when the opportunity presents itself. Good clean robot carnage fun for everyone!

This game was given to Father Geek as a review copy. Father Geek was not paid, bribed, wined, dined, or threatened in vain hopes of influencing this review. Such is the statuesque and legendary integrity of Father Geek.

Respectfully submitted by Father Geek

Full review avaialble at http://fathergeek.com/volt-robot-battle-arena/
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Joel Hansen
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This is a super thorough review, and i found it really helpful to have so many different perspectives offered in one review.
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Cyrus Kirby
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Thanks for reading the review and leaving a comment.

I have stopped posting my reviews to BGG due to lack of time. You can read all of our work at fathergeek.com.
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