One horn, three wishes
Adult Swim has reinvented the arcade game with “Robot Unicorn Attack.”
In “Robot Unicorn Attack,” you play as the eponymous robot unicorn, running through a purple landscape covered with rainbows. Constantly moving from left to right, you only have two buttons: jump and dash.
Unlike modern games, the goal of Robot Unicorn is simply to get the highest score possible within the span of three lives, or “wishes” as the game calls them. If you hit a wall, fall from a platform, or fail to dash through a metal star, you lose a life.
As your score increases during a life, the unicorn begins moving faster and the stage becomes more difficult to navigate. Between “wishes,” the game either inspires you or taunts you with a random message. One minute it asks you to “follow your dreams.” The next, it ominously delivers, “you will fail.”
During the entire course of the game, Erasure’s 1994 synthpop single “Always” plays in the background, allowing the player to truly experience how harmonious the life of a robot unicorn can be.
While the game originated on AdultSwim.com and was later ported to the iPhone and iPad platforms, the game was recently made available on Facebook. This version of the game truly shines.
Similar to the high-score system of vintage arcade games, the Facebook version of “Robot Unicorn Attack” allows you to compare your high scores with those of your online friends, even setting up informal weekly tournaments.
Not all is wonderful with “Robot Unicorn Attack.” Due to being browser-based, the game seems to choke up at the most inconvenient times. The fast-twitch game play might not be what the average “Farmville” or “Mafia Wars” player is after, either.
But for old-school arcade fans, the unicorn is alive and well.