It's no secret that Nintendo has relaxed its criteria for independent publishers to release their games on their eShop, and for better or for worse it looks like that policy is here for the foreseeable future. It's this relaxed attitude that is responsible for one of the latest releases on the eShop.
Tested With Robots! is themed in a similar style to Stealth Inc. 2, wherein you must traverse challenging platforming levels in order to reach a goal. Unfortunately, that's where the similarities to Curve Studio's excellent title end. Even worse, that's also where the gameplay ends.
After you've selected the game and waited through the unreasonably long loading screen, you'll be presented with a shamefully basic menu screen where moving the control stick and pressing the A button does nothing. Eventually you'll work out that you have to use the D-Pad and the B button, which immediately sets you off on slightly unfamiliar ground.
Once you've made your way through the menus, you're presented with a black screen and some dialogue from your boss in an awfully low-resolution system font. The dialogue itself is surprisingly well written – bar a few grammatical errors – and brings to mind a similar relationship between the player and the boss that's similar to that between Chell and GLaDOS in the Portal series.
Once that's over you'll be in control of a robot that can move left and right with the D-Pad, and jump depending on how long the A or Y button is pressed, leaping once the button is released. You use this basic move-set to traverse through largely monochrome levels with almost no design to them, and this is where the game shows itself for what it is.
This is an incredibly basic game, and yet the controls – despite their simplicity – are stupendously muddy and badly designed, just like the levels themselves. The game even mocks you at one point just before you tackle a series of spike-filled pits and declares that "even a baby can do it". The fact of the matter is no, a baby cannot do it, but not because it is inherently difficult, but because the controls are so insurmountably awful. There's no visual indication of how high you're about to jump, you have to rely on your own feel for the 'mechanics', and as such judging how long you should hold the button down is more of an art than an easily repeatable procedure.
As you can no doubt see from the images and the previous statements, this isn't a looker. Worst of all is the fact that whenever the robot is moving, it inexplicably seems to suffer from JPEG compression, which in a game is completely unacceptable. Eventually you'll also come across enemies that are quite literally stick figures with no frames of animation. This is a feeling that runs throughout the entire title; it's lazy and slap-dash.
There is nothing more to the experience than what has already be stated. Occasionally more uninspired obstacles will appear, but considering the only function you have is to move and jump with little to no interaction with your surroundings, they barely change the way you play.
With poor controls, terrible graphics and a ludicrously long loading time, Tested With Robots! is more reminiscent of a poorly made flash game than an eShop title, and is absolutely no fun to play whatsoever. Even moderately well-written dialogue can't save it, so spend your money on something else instead.