Review by John DeLuna
Xybots is a strange game...it's a puzzle, inside an enigma, tied in a paradox, wrapped in a burrito. It has all the tools to become a great game. Solid graphics, good sounds, even unique gameplay...yet it falls short. It's boring, and uneventful. And I can't put my finger on *why*. Maybe during the course of this review I'll figure it out. So let's get started...Xybots is best described as a "first-person shooter, as seen from over-the-shoulder". You're a space commando, hunting down evil robots in a vast, maze-like space station. You're only guide is a map you can call up during gameplay. Other than that, it's up to you to make it through each level in the given amount of time. To make things worse, each level has multiple exits. Some will lead you to safety, and some lead you into some hellish situations. Don't forget why you're there in the first place, those killer robots are on you tail the entire time. Between levels you can turn in your points for various power-ups, like extra speed, complete maps, and more powerful laser rifles. Sounds good don't it? Sounds even better on a portable, yes? I completely agree. But for some reason this puppy is dull, dull, DULL.

GRAPHICS: Xybots is full of eye candy. Your commando moves smoothly and uses some *classic* expressions when he's shoot, scared, etc. The enemy robots are just diverse enough to keep your attention. And items are clearly marked throughout the game. The space station itself is another story. The interior walls are completely bare. Which makes your enviroment look kinda unfinished. ***3/4

SOUNDS: Finally...background music in a Lynx game. That's a rare thing kiddies. Of course the same tune is played in every level, but it's something. The sound effects in Xybots are very nice. The ZAPS of laser fire, and the BOOMS of exploding robots are really sweet. ***1/4

CONTROL: Technically, you can call Xybots a 3-D game. The space station is broken down into corridors, with each corridor segmented into squares. And you've got free movement in those squares. The main flaw in the controls is turning. In order to make your commando face his left or right, you've got to hold to a button *and* press left or right. This makes turning a slow, clumsy process. And quite frustrating when you've got a massive robot blitzing you. **3/4

OPTIONS: During the actual game, Xybots has no real options. Your only weapon is a laser rifle. But...between levels you've got many options. Depending on how many points you've earned, you can purchase upgrades to your rifle extra speed, and extra health. Unfortunately, extra health becomes your ONLY option in the later levels. It's pointless to try without it. ***

REPLAY: This is an action game...so beating the game is your only objective. There's no secrets to be found, and no subtle nuances. Just blast away. That being said, I doubt you want to play this game more than five minutes, let alone beat it. *

You know, it *just* hit me...I know why Xybots is a dud. While it's true, everything Xybots does, it does well. But everything it does, has been done before. There's nothing new. There's no flash, no pizzaz. Xybots is a game that was done by the books. But the programmers were content to stop there. There's no larger-than-life weaponry. No monsterous bosses. Just the same stuff we've seen before, only over and over. The entire time your saying to yourself "Alright, it's going to get better..." but it never does. That's what Xybots is lacking...a punchline.

Reviewer's Score: 6 / 10