Bish Bash Bots


Co-op tower defence party games don't come much better, or harder!


It's the future, and humanity has been thrown into chaos because the robots that were designed to do all the menial and yucky tasks that humans didn't want to do, are revolting! Towers around the world are sending out signals and hijacking robots of all kinds, reprogramming them to attack humans!

A rag-tag band of unlikely heroes step up to save humanity and stop the robot horde. They set up base in a flying RV and armed only with a home-made EMP generator, their respective abilities and big hammers, our heroes will try to bish and bash the bots to save the world...

Bish Bash Bots clearly took some inspiration from the Pixar movie Wall-E, and is visually reminiscent of Get Packed, Moving Out and the excellent Overcooked action games with its single-screen party game co-op format. The core gameplay is: bash robots until they smash, use the gathered scrap to build more turrets, then upgrade the turrets, yep, you guessed it, by bashing them…

Playing as one of The Resistors: either Sol, Zola, Noah or Annika, your task is to defend an EMP generator while it charges up, so it can then shutdown the attacking robots. Each EMP can take 20 hits (represented by a 'heart' counter in the top right corner) from the advancing bots before you lose. Each player has their own unique special ability and one selectable gadget (mapped to 'LB' and 'RB') which can be used when their gauges are full. The Resistors' special abilities include: Run Faster, Upgrade Faster, Hit Harder and Faster Gadget Recharge. Gadgets include: Force Field, Speed Burst, Scrap Magnet, Shock Hammer, Mines, Upgrade Maker, Scrap Investor (increases the amount of scrap lying around),Teleport Pad, Slam Hammer and more...

This is the Skyvan, The Resistors' mobile base.

The enemy robots come in several shapes and sizes; basic Domestic bot, Waiter bot (fast mover), Cannon bot (arrives near the end, are extremely tough and shoot your turrets), Drone bot (flying bot), Nanny bot (provides a shield for basic bots), Loader bot (slow but tough), Electrician bot (shocks you if touched), DJ bot (blasts you away with sound), Big Bee bot (tougher flying bot), Burrowing bot, Sweeper bot (steals your scrap), Surf bot (nearby bots get dragged along with it faster than normal), Zombie bot (grabs and restrains you), UFO bot (drops a squad of small aliens when destroyed), Hazard bot (shielded), Forge bot (overheats turrets), Diamond bot (invulnerable to anything but a special turret)...

Several levels contain large holes to push bots into (this obviously doesn't work with flying bots) and there’s also a special “turret” in the form of a crane that you can grab bots with and drop them in a hole. As with a few other special turrets the crane only comes into its own if you have a team of 2, 3 or 4 as you'll need to be mobile and be building, upgrading or maintaining turrets constantly if playing solo.

One heart left!

Turrets come in several variations; Blaster (single laser shot) Cannon (explosive shell), Anti-Air (doesn't shoot ground bots), Tesla (slow, but stuns all bots in range), Missile (fires a circular volley of rockets), Sniper (long range), Shield (shoots through bots’ shields), Diamond (the only turret that will destroy the super-tough Diamond bots)... there are probably more… All except the Diamond Turrets can be upgraded 5 times by bashing them or picking up upgrade cubes dropped by destroyed bots or manufactured by players and taking them to a turret. The Diamond turrets need to be fed with mined diamonds to use as ammo!

This was one tough level!

We were having a great time until our first problem arose as early as Mission 1, Suburbia–Level 3: 'Under Construction', which initially seemed too hard for me to complete solo, I got to 89% on a couple of occasions but was then SO frazzled I needed to lie down in a darkened room afterwards. Playing with 3 players and using some strategy and tactics we managed to get the EMP to 100% but then couldn't trigger the EMP because its left hand button is right on the edge of a hole and whoever's responsibility it was to hit it always fell in!–but maybe that was just all of us being clumsy and panicked... I managed to complete level 3 solo after several more attempts and refining my turret placement, but this genuinely felt like a bug. Oddly the difficulty seemed to ease after this level, but maybe we were just becoming better Bot-Bish-Bashers...?

Later the game adds hazards such as giant Venus flytraps (will eat you if you stand still too long, but can be tricked into gobbling up bots) and mushrooms that cover your turret sites and need to be cleared (you can probably guess how) before you can place a turret–you need to be quick though, or they'll grow back!

Time to activate the EMP!

The desert levels add the hazard of dehydration, which slows you down, meaning you'll need to visit a vending machine regularly to get a drink. Then, as if dying of thirst while battling an army of enemy bots wasn't enough of a problem, some new enemies appear, the aforementioned devilish burrowing bots that require manually operated "Thumper" turrets to bring them to the surface so they can be bashed! As if your player overheating wasn't bad enough, volcanic levels cause the turrets to overheat, so you'll have to hose them down regularly or they'll seize up! The levels vary, add new tricks and traps and bots, and some even morph during play. The design is never less than cunning and challenging, yet fun to play on.

EMP activated and those bad bots are done!

A polished and impressively presented title, Bish Bash Bots is undoubtedly better with 2, 3 or 4 players (I was lucky enough to play most of BBB through with a good friend and fellow reviewer) but well-tuned enough to be a tough but achievable, if masochistic challenge for the single player (I got to the 7th zone before I decided it was just too tough for me alone), Bish Bash Bots is one of our favourite Tower Defence games ever, and we don't say that lightly. It's just a bit too taxing to be genuinely enjoyable for anyone but hardcore solo players, but priced at only £14.99 you can't really go wrong.

Many thanks to Catastrophic Overload, Firestoke Games, Betajester and Plan Of Attack