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Hopefully these reviews will offer potential players short and helpful pro/con reviews for those trying to make their mind up about playing or purchasing this game.
GAME: ROBOCOP VCR GAME (1988)
- Robocop Theme. If there's anything good to say about this game, it's that it is about Robocop. Robocop is one of the great Asimov-like robot stories of the 1980s, and as a lover of board games and Robocop, you've got two good ideas in one box.
- Useless VCR mechanic. Games like Nightmare use the VCR in an interesting way by having the players run the tape throughout the game, with the 'Gatekeeper' calling out pre-recorded commands to the players. While repeated games of Nightmare didn't quite hold up, it was always worth pulling out on Hallowe'en. The Robocop VCR Game, however, does not have Robocop calling out to the audience. All the tape has is recorded scenes from the movie. When you land on a specific space, you are to play the tape and fast-forward to the frame that shows the spot you landed on. Then watch the scene and follow the instructions at the end of it. (For instance, "Make an Arrest" or "Lose a Turn"). The VHS tape seems absolutely perfunctory.
- Terrible components. Cheap cards, bland playing pieces, and a boring and small gameboard gives the impression that the publisher tried to make this game as cheaply as possible. There is nothing in the presentation of the game that makes a Robocop fan proud to have it on their shelf, or to show it off to their friends.
- Poorly thought-out rules of play. There are several instructions regarding arrests that make this game quite arduous. Having to arrest criminals from different parts of the board means you must go in circles around the board in order to reach your objective. As well, you need the right cards, land on the right space, and be at the right part of the VHS tape in order to arrest any of the bigger criminals in the game. It's not necessary to arrest them to win the game (but it does make the game go faster if you do!) However, so much "being at the right place at the right time" stuff in a game makes you realize there is nothing a player can bring to the game to really influence their chances of winning.
Chances are you are like me and bought the Robocop VCR Game because you are a lover of Verhoeven's 1987 movie of the same title. It's true - before opening the box you are promised a game where you "become part of the battle" and offers "awesome action" and "non-stop adventure." And what Robocop fan wouldn't want to be part of the Robocop action... Especially in a board game? Unfortunately, the game calls only on your skill of throwing a die and handling a VCR in order to make this work. Whoever wins is completely arbitrary. Usually, this is expected from games that were themed from films or television shows from the 1980s. In that sense, Robocop could have been at the very most a boring game, decorated with Robocop chrome. Instead, its terrible handling of VCR technology makes for extremely tedious and frustrating play that feels inane and useless. You never once feel rewarded for going through any of the motions of game. For those who collect in the niche of themed board games from the 1980s, you would not be missing out by not purchasing the Robocop VCR Game. It is such a bad game, it is not even cute. Not even by Robocop standards.
Lookee what he can do! He wants a job!
Would you buy that for a dollar?
I'm gonna keep signing my posts so just let it go already.
Sorry to say I paid way more than a dollar for it. Still one of the most memorable lines in the movie though!
Kraken Fan #69