Robots get a bad rap, primarily because the “What if AI turned evil?” is a much better story than “What if it all works out fine?” A good narrative gets repeated so many times it graduates into cliche and then common knowledge, until all of a sudden the little mechanical helpers that make life so much easier can only be seen as the Big Bad Scary! And then it turns out that everyone loves a good villain so the narrative figures out a way to turn bloodthirsty psycho AI into man’s best friend again, because why should the bad guys get all the fun? Roombo: First Blood is the adventure of a helpful little robo-vacuum whose only goals are to keep a lovely big house filled with valuables safe and clean. The little Roombo apparently only has programming about the sanctity of human life as it applies to its owners, and while its incredibly powerful vacuuming skills may not be much of a threat its wifi capabilities make almost every item in the house a weapon of bloody violence.
While almost the entire house is a weapon, the thieves are fairly resilient and more than capable of stomping an appliance into plastic shards. The robo-cleaner is going to have to be a little stealthy to survive, preying on the intruder’s lack of suspicion but not pushing it too far. Drive around the house, go into slow motion to short circuit an electronic device, and then clean up the blood splats as the thieves take damage. Whether it’s a ceiling fan that spins from its setting, an electric outlet that lets out a huge zap, or just a slippery puddle of water from the sprinkler, there’s going to be blood everywhere at level’s end. Thankfully while a Roombo can’t attack directly it’s uniquely suited to cleaning up afterwards, so a good part of the post-level scoring is how tidy the house is left in the limited time it’s got to clean up after the slaughter.
Roombo: First Blood is a short but also cheap (under $3) experimental game, not to mention a great concept that’s worth an evening’s play. Give a look to the trailer below to see what happens when bad AI and dedicated service combine in single helpfully psychotic appliance.