Robin Hood: Archer of the Woods is a game that, a few years ago, would have been fine for the cell-phone video-gaming scene, and would most likely have been lauded for its presentation and gameplay. Sadly for this game, the few years that have passed have seen the rise of the smartphone, specifically the iPhone and Android-based phones, and with that comes the raising of mobile gamers’ expectations of what a game on their phone should be able to do.
This is a shame, because at its heart, Robin Hood is not a bad game. The graphics and presentation, whilst simple, are good, and the gameplay works fine. Players are in charge of the title character as he attempts to fight off a never-ending army of knights, who are intent on smashing down a gradually increasing number of houses in a village. Robin Hood waits on a platform at the far end of the village, bow and arrow in hand, and is tasked with shooting arrows at the knights until the attack is repelled. Occasionally the knights are aided by a boss character, such as an ogre or a flying cow, but the majority of your time will be spent firing at your own species. Depending on where you hit the knights, points are awarded for accuracy, and you can rack up points with a variety of headshots and combo kills.
Unfortunately, Robin Hood begins to fall flat when put up against other titles of the modern phone gaming era. This is because there’s no real variety to the game. Whilst you can grab power-ups which make your arrows heat-seeking, or explode, or burst into four different arrows, the game is pretty much the same from start to end, with a constant stream of the same knights and the occasional boss fight. With other Tower Defence games such as Plants vs Zombies, new enemy types are constantly introduced to keep the gameplay fresh and exciting. Robin Hood suffers due to its lack of variety. Combined with a lack of story, or any real incentive to drive through the game, other than beating your own high score, I couldn’t really find much reason to carry on playing, other than perhaps seeing what weird and wonderful creature I would be up against next.
As I said at the start of the review, it’s a shame, because what is present in Robin Hood: Archer of the Woods works, and works quite well. There is nothing specifically wrong with the game, there just isn’t much to it. With the current spate of excellent mobile games now on the scene, Robin Hood doesn’t quite make the grade anymore. However, considering its low price, if you’re desperate for some more Tower Defense fun, or simply can’t ignore the legend of England’s most legendary outlaw, then perhaps this game is for you.
- Jack Moulder