We live in an age where cars can drive themselves, robots are slowly preparing to overthrow their masters, and drones can be programmed to do anything from delivering vital supplies to filming botched attempts at BMX stunts. "Drone" in particular is the buzzword du jour, and for all you know this review could have been written by one of those amazing machines. The only thing we were missing was a drone-themed action game on 3DS, and we're proud to announce that the wait is finally over.
RV-7 My Drone is a surprising addition to an already diverse eShop, developed by the ever-prolific EnjoyUp Games. It takes the form of a sort of action-puzzler, where you have the honour of controlling the amazingly advanced RV-7 military drone. This baby has been greenlit for global security and rescue, kitted out with the latest technology and ready to handle all manner of tasks. Sound exciting? It almost is, kinda.
Whether it's rescuing civilians or moving cargo, you'll quickly learn that these major crises are actually just fetch quests dressed up to seem like more than they really are. Each objective is set within an individual level, and while they're linear affairs that generally only last a couple of minutes at most, the game does try to take the edge off this by generating semi-random environments every time. Earning medals for speed and efficiency also adds to an arcade-esque setup that starts off simple and slowly unfolds over the course of an hour or so.
The game uses a combination of analogue and touchscreen controls while controlling your drone, though you'll never have to worry about changing your altitude or keeping your rotors in check. From a top-down perspective, you just navigate around obstacles using the Circle Pad and make it to your target while avoiding enemy fire. As you progress there's a nice sense of pacing to how your drone unlocks new abilities after every block of levels. In fact, it isn't long before you can suddenly take revenge and use the stylus to control an on-board turret yourself, raining fresh hell upon your rivals with total ease. Drones fighting drones...This really is the future.
Later on you'll unlock the ability to teleport, which allows you to blink past solid objects and quickly avoid damage by stopping time and moving to another spot. It's around this point that the game really starts to open up and present a challenge, with more populated levels and diverse obstacles to traverse. This second half of the game is therefore vastly superior - with all your abilities unlocked it feels like the game can throw whatever it likes at you now, and it's satisfying to work your way through it all. It's just a shame it's relatively short-lived.
Visually, RV-7 walks the line somewhere between toy-box and amateurish, with no real sense of design or purpose to anything; especially the neon coloured enemies. We originally thought the game might be somewhat based in reality, but once we'd seen our first spinning yellow spike-ball we realized our mistake. It's a strange choice that comes off as rushed and unimaginative, and it's jarring to say the least. On a lighter note - it is hilarious that you need to refuel at designated giant USB chargers installed randomly throughout the area.
Without a doubt, this title's mission structure lends itself when to shorter bouts of play, and at a budget price it's one we'd be happy enough to recommend for twitch gaming sessions when you have a couple of minutes to kill. Short of investing in some actual military hardware, it's probably the closest you'll come to drone warfare while queuing at the bank.
While not visually impressive, RV-7 My Drone is a decently fun title for anyone with spare change and a few spare minutes. It's frustratingly slow to start, but later levels offer more of a thrill and test your reflexes with a unique set of abilities. In many ways this title lives up to the role of its far more expensive namesake - it's relatively entertaining for about an hour or so, but by then you've already run out of things to do with it.