Today we have a colorful doodlewash of a little fighting game featuring robots that I loved when I was a kid. Of course, if you were a kid in the UK at the time, your game didn’t mention the cool robots and was weirdly renamed to Raving Bonkers. Sorry about that. But here in the U.S., it was all about the red and blue robots who, through no particular backstory, were dead set on kicking each other’s ass.
Each player takes control of a bot: the “Red Rocker” or the “Blue Bomber” who are waiting in a bright yellow boxing ring (If you were a kid in the 80’s who liked Transformers, you might have had the Megatron and Optimus version). By pushing plunger buttons on a pair of joysticks, player’s try to punch the other robot’s lights out. If you smack the other robot just right under the chin then it’s head pops up and you win the round. That was it, actually, which sounds a little dull when you write about it, but it was super fun to play!
There’s just something about controlling a physical robot that is so much cooler than a video game. Admittedly, it played like an elaborate game of thumb wrestling and didn’t stay exciting for very long during a given session. But in those spurts of time when we pulled out the game and played a few rounds, it was very engaging. Unlike video games, there were no bullets and no bloodshed, just a robot who malfunctions briefly until you jam his head back down into place.
I wasn’t one of those rough and tumble boys. I never liked sports of any kind and I preferred a good book or playing the piano instead. But this was a “sport” even I could enjoy and participate in, without feeling like a completely out-of-place idiot. It was perfect! So, I have a love for these little guys for providing a little rough sport to my over-cultured, nerdy childhood. If you’re curious, I was always “Red Rocker” but, to this day, I have absolutely no idea why.