Robotherapy is an utter joy to experience, a journey of self-discovery, confusion, and conspiracy. Being a short title, it’s most definitely worth picking up and trying out. It is a simple visual novel with some comedic and occasionally philosophic elements, delving into the meaning of humanity.
This title follows Smokes, the self-proclaimed “best” Robotherapist in the world. After humans were wiped out in a war to hopefully find happiness, they realised a world without humanity wasn’t all they had imagined. Smokes comes into contact with other robots in need of his services, such as Quantum —a poet — or simply people he meets along his journey. Robotherapy is a wonderfully well-written title, with some straightforward but quite charming comedy. This is commonly done through the narrator, who will regularly directly contradict Smokes, helping develop Smokes in an interesting and charming manner. All the characters are incredibly enjoyable and distinct in their personality, despite not being with them for long.
While the game takes a strong focus on Smokes’ patients, it ends up focusing on his own journey. A combination of narcissism and depression makes Smokes a character who, on the surface, I wanted to dislike, but the flaws were apparent and oftentimes hit a little too close to home. Although I wanted to focus on the comedic aspect of the game, I felt I could associate too closely with some of the themes, leading me to see where the game was going instead of seeing it as nothing but a comedic romp.
There’s a beautiful profundity in much of its writing, especially within Quantum’s poetry, revealed slowly throughout the game. This, along with the slowly revealed story of Smokes’ past, makes the whole journey that little more interesting. I also found the music and sound design to be very pleasant, fitting the general vibe and energy of the game completely. While the visuals are simple, they’re nicely stylised and are very pleasant to look at.
The gameplay was relatively simple, primarily just talking to other people with some occasional choices. However, I didn’t really notice them making much of a difference. There are also a few “minigames” however, I think they somewhat lacked any actual mechanics and were more visually distinct than anything else. For example, the second minigame only consists of clicking a green square every so often. While I feel these definitely have room for improvement, I also don’t feel as though it’s an important change, as the story is the game’s prime focus.
Robotherapy is a game in which I found a lot of value. Despite its short playtime and relatively straightforward progression, there’s a beautifully written story here, along with some great characters. The comedy also manages to land incredibly well while not taking away from the more serious moments.
Robotherapy (Reviewed on Windows)
This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.
Robotherapy is a beautiful game with an incredible message and story, only slightly bogged down by its incredibly short playtime. (taking only an hour to beat).