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You Should Play: Robots Love Ice Cream

These days, keeping up with games can be a full-time job. So how do you separate the signal from the noise, the wheat from the chaff, the Temple Runs from the Temple Jumps? Allow us to help by regularly selecting a game You Should Play.

Help! The universe’s supply of frozen dairy-based treats is in peril and you, a lone ice cream truck driver, must save the day. Based on that, Robots Love Ice Cream might be worth playing for its premise alone. The gameplay is reminiscent of classic Space Invaders, with patterned robotic enemies descending from the sky while your single mobile turret tries to dispatch them.

The similarities end there, however, as Robots Love Ice Cream is a wackier, more surreal take on the genre. Your mobile turret is in fact a weaponized ice cream truck that can move along the planet’s surface, jump, and shoot down opposing robots that are not only targeting you, but also trying to steal ice cream from the various frozen factories sprinkled around the surface.

Not sold? Three other features add to the games’ sweetness:

A galaxy’s dairy products in peril: Each planet has three objectives (and a three star system) for you to complete. Completing these objectives will earn you additional Sprinkletonium (the adorably-named in-game currency) and unlock further objectives—but be warned, though the game looks cutesy, some of these challenges are harder than a candy shell. You’ll likely have to come back to even some of the low level challenges later on, with your arsenal upgraded, in order to complete them.

As you complete stars and unlock more planets, the difficulty ramps up and the terrain becomes more varied. While before you’d be content with grass-fed levels, you’ll soon encounter urban skylines and alien worlds-- and more difficult enemies to confront. There are also several bonus levels sponsored by Arby's, and it just may be one of the strangest game tie-ins I’ve seen in a while. TCBY Yogurt or Baskin Robbins I understand, but Arby’s?

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Really, Arby's?

This ice cream truck doesn’t play “The Entertainer:” Your ice cream truck initially fires a single shot out of its top, dealing middling damage at a decent pace. As you play, you’ll earn Sprinkletonium to unlock additional ice cream themed weaponry. You’ll unlock Rapid Pop, a sort of machine gun, Boomsickle, and other ice cream-themed weaponry puns. Robots Love Ice Cream is free-to-play, but it may take you several hours to unlock the required amount of Sprinkletonium to truly upgrade your arsenal. With a gameplay mechanic designed to be played in short, two minute sessions, waiting for a sufficient amount of Sprinkletonium can be aggravating—which is why buying in with real-world currency is very tempting.

They may look cute, but they have to die: Your arsenal needs to be upgraded to confront the varied enemies you’ll face. They are adorable, generally speaking, in an Android-mascot-meets-1960s-atomic-age-robot way. Seriously, I’m sure the developers’ next Kickstarter will be to sell you plush toys. And I’d probably buy them, too.

Anyway, these adorable ice cream loving creatures all unfortunately have to be blown out of the sky, and they don’t make it easy. Your initial enemies recall the fly-back-and-forth-and-then-drop-a-level tactics of Space Invaders, but later enemies will try to gunk your tires, unleash swarms of missiles, or fire a mighty laser. They become less cute the longer you play. 

Robots Love Ice Cream is a simple, colorful, way-more-fun-than-it-should-be shooter. It may give you an ice cream headache for the first few sessions, but stick with it and this might be the gameplay flavor for you.

Developer: Dragon Army
Platform: iOS (Universal), Android (Universal)
Price: $3

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