Bots Are Stupid is a precision platformer that requires the player to program in commands to maneuver the bots into completing the level. It’s interesting how this game is able to introduce the concept of programming in a way that is welcoming to programming novices.
There are two screens for the player to see and focus on: Programming and the Bot Run.
Most of the gameplay will be on the programming screen since it’s where you can directly control the bot via writing your script. Once again, the game does a decent job introducing programming and make it seem not as intimidating as some media would portray. The commands are simple to use and understand. They’re literally just Move, Jump, Wait, Stop, and Hook in a nutshell. The game also tells you the errors in your code such as missing parameters or invalid syntax which is pretty good foresight.
Now onto the Bot Run portion of the gameplay. You control a Bot that you’ll need to guide through the level. There will be obstacles and orbs to be picked up to get to the end portal. As I mentioned before, you need to write a script using the aforementioned commands to move this bot. The game is very adamant in demanding you to accurately determine the timing of certain commands. A half of a millisecond can be life or death for your little buddy. The gameplay is literal trial-and-error in figuring out what commands, conditions, and timings in the correct order will let you win.
* Easy to Learn Programming: As I’ve said before, Bots Are Stupid presents programming in an easy-to-learn environment. It may not be like other higher level programming languages but it gets straight to the point at the very least. It is still challenging in its own right as players need to try to “debug” their own code to make sure the Bot completes the objectives.
* Seeing Other Player’s Methods: In the game, you can enable the option to summon a player’s ghost. This means that whenever you begin your run, the ghost would be running aside your own bot and showing you how they have tried to navigate the level. I think that it’s a pretty cool way of giving a hint to the player while not outright giving an answer because they need to figure out the script themselves.
* Game Seems Geared Towards Speedrunners: If you like speedrunning then this game is pretty good at advocating for it. At the end of each level, you get to see how fast you were able to complete the level as well as how efficient you were at making the script. I’d even dare say that the game is incredibly replayable because of how just like in programming, people can find numerous ways to make it work.
* Very Focused On Trial-And-Error: The game encapsulates the feeling of programming so well that it also includes the very frustrations of it too. The main meat of the game is to create a script and then debug it as well. It’s annoying how precise you need to be in determining the amount of seconds to wait until the next command is activated. The game barely gives much hints other than the ghost system which is still a bit flawed since it can show someone’s attempt at it. So you won’t necessarily get a solution and you’ll just have to throw things until something sticks.
* It Doesn’t Have Much Else In Programming: What I mean by this is that the game just introduces a bit lackluster programming. There aren’t any loops involved at all as far as I can tell. The game mainly deals with commands and conditional statements. You’ll mainly be trying to figure out the exact timing in decimal form for these commands and conditionals as this is still a precision platformer game.
The game is great for anyone wanting to try out programming while being challenged by tough platforming. This is to also assume that they wouldn’t mind the repetitive trial-and-error dynamic in the core gameplay loop. Also great for anyone wanting to try to speedrun a game as well.
You can buy Bots Are Stupid on the Steam store page HERE!
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