Robot Unicorn Attack

I really shouldn’t be here right now. I should be working on a big paper for one of my classes. Yet I can no longer resist the urge to post about the crazy, cool game, Robot Unicorn Attack (RUA), and its even more psychedelic rehash, Robot Unicorn Attack Heavy Metal. They’re both Flash games developed by Adult Swim Games and are available to play on iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and the Adult Swim website. And though it is (most likely) another rehash of the same game, it’s also worth mentioning that Adult Swim just today released Robot Unicorn Attack: Christmas Edition for iPhone and iPod Touch.

In a hilarious twist, I actually stumbled onto RUA back at the beginning of September or end of August when a Facebook friend noted that entering the Konami code onto the BYU Physics Department webpage magically revealed RUA and allowed you to play it in your web browser. Some sneaky web designer or hacker actually embedded the code for RUA into the BYU website. Needless to say, after only a few hours someone caught onto the “problem” and corrected it. Yet the damage was done, and I was forever and irrevocably changed.
RUA has been a great way to relax and de-stress after doing schoolwork for hours upon hours, and most games will end in a few minutes making it very easy to play during a quick break. I can’t definitively comment on the new Christmas Edition as I haven’t played it, but I think it is safe to say all three versions are essentially the same game. The only differences occur in visuals and sound. They are also very straightforward and very easy to play without being “masterable.” That is there is no ending or ultimate goal; the player simply controls their unicorns until they crash into something or fall into a pit. There isn’t even a need to control the directional movement of the unicorns as they run on their own and the game auto-scrolls with them. All the player need worry about is jumping from platform to platform and dashing into stars/pentagrams/snowflakes. Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, not really as simple as it may seem as the auto-scroll gets progressively faster the longer the player keeps their unicorn alive. Also, Robot Unicorn Attack, like many other Flash games, is somewhat of a throwback to the old arcade games where points are all that really matter. The only way to rack up points quickly before the auto-scroll defeats you is by destroying stars in consecutive order. With each consecutive star destroyed the player receives 100 bonus points for the total number of stars they have destroyed without missing one. So destroying three stars in a row nets the player 300 points, and so on.
If anyone cares, I have two quick tips to getting higher scores. First is to destroy as many stars as possible and in consecutive order. It can be quite difficult at times but try hard not to miss any! Second is to never jump higher or longer than needed. Butterflies, Hell Butterflies, and Christmas presents mark the beginning of the next platform, so release the jump button when you see any of these floating items.
The first RUA was crazy enough on its own. The player controls a pretty robot unicorn that leaves rainbow trails behind it as it jumps and dashes over grassy, purple platforms floating in the sky with the song “Always” by Erasure playing in the background. Thankfully the player can silence Erasure if they wish and focus solely on racking up those points. The Heavy Metal remake puts the player in control of a red-eyed, flame-maned robot unicorn running through a hellish (and much more detailed) landscape. Though some slowdown can occur once you get moving too fast or surpass a certain score, RUA still plays exactly the same in this iteration. However, thanks to the more detailed backgrounds and platforms the player will find the speed seems about ten times faster than the original RUA. All of this coupled with “Battlefield” by Blind Guardian for the soundtrack make this iteration of RUA much more intense than its sissy(?) counterpart. Again, I can’t comment on the Christmas Edition, but it appears to be more of the same only the robot unicorns now wear a pair of fake antlers and tread across far more wintry terrain. Here are some comparative images – linked so I’m not ganking illegally- for the perusal of my nonexistent readers:


Even after describing it in detail RUA sounds very simple, and perhaps even stupid. Unfortunately I can’t argue those points at all. It is simple and stupid, but it is ridiculously addictive! I’m not sure why…maybe it is its very simplicity, or maybe I just like games requiring quick reflexes, or maybe it is just the sheer insanity it quickly becomes! I can’t account for it, but it is a great Flash game worth playing if only for a few minutes.
In other brief news, I’ll have numerous video games to play in about 2 weeks when Christmas rolls around. Should hopefully have a lot to write about then.
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