Robot Unicorn Attack 2
Video Game Review
By Jeffrey Kieviet
Always… Am I Here In Vain
Way back when I would stay up into the wee hours of the night eating ice cream & watching cartoons (ok, I still do that), I discovered the irreverent comedy of Adult Swim. Cartoon Network, a channel that used to just show cartoons (much in the way MTV used to just show music), would dim the lights, put on some smooth jazz, and slip into something seductive & revealing; the channel would shift from cartoons with hidden dick jokes & veiled references to political satire into more mature cartoons about talking wads of meet & claymation children with violent, alcoholic parents. Clearly, adult cartoons have high standards & teach moral lessons to grown ups. Regardless, the commercials constantly told me to go to their website and make my dreams come true.
Robot Unicorn Attack has a simple premise. It’s right there in the title: a horse, made of mechanical parts, attacks using a horn protruding from its head. So the idea alone is enough to grab anyone who’s lonely enough to be watching Family Guy reruns ’til 2 in the morning. But then you play it, and not only is it the most addicting flash game ever invented, but the soundtrack compliments the visual stimulation with such pleasant homo-erotic undertones that you’d have to be a robot yourself not to feel the joy emanating from the looped lyrical masterpiece from the English synthpop duo, Erasure. If you’ve never heard it, here is the video for “Always”:
Epic, right? Now imagine that setting the tone for leaping from mystical cliffs as you collect floating fairies & crash through crystal stars. The song is the worm, wiggling on the line begging for you to take a bite. The gameplay is the hook that will never let you return to your normal life, swimming contentedly in the ocean. All you do is jump (or double jump) and dash. The side-scrolling platform pulls back as you pick up speed so you can see the jagged rock you’re going to crash into, ending in an explosion of fiery death.
They’ve made other versions of this game, Heavy Metal & Evolution added new songs, new appearance, and more options to an already flawless game. But the newest incarnation, Robot Unicorn Attack 2, has turned a simple flash game into something that would sell on Playstation or XBox. The graphics are incredi-balls, you can customize your unicorn with various bodies, horns, & manes, there are even other worlds you can unlock.
As you complete missions (smash this many stars, collect this many fairies, destroy this many giants [that’s right, there are giants now!]) & collect tears, more upgrades & customization become available, as well as boosts (i.e. Fairy Magnet & Head-Start) that allow you to turn your unicorn into an unstoppable attack-machine. Or attack-robot. You can also upgrade wings for your unicorn. That’s right, you can turn into a Pegasus. Well, Pegasuses (Pegasise?) only have wings, no horns, so you become like some ultimate equine-chimera god (like Shark Horse) and fly through the land, laughing dolphins diving in the foreground and mechanical narwhals swimming through the sky above you!
The biggest (and, in my opinion, only) flaw with this game is that it does not automatically come with the ultimate theme song, “Always.” This is because the game is FREE! You can download it right now, no money down, on your phone, tablet, computer, whatever. Since the song is owned by a record company or a decendent of Michael Jackson, or maybe the NSA, they give you the in-game option to buy the song (for a measly $0.99), but you can just turn the music off (leave the sound fx on) and listen to any old song you want for free on youtube (if you don’t mind the occasional commercial). I recommend either ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” or Dr. Dre’s “F*ck You” featuring Snoop Dogg to best match the tone of the game.
So what are you waiting for? Get the game, earn your tears, create the Christmas Pain-deer Unicorn, and make your wishes come true…
Developed by Pikpok (2013)
For more Video Game Reviews (or other stuff written by me) check out Jeffrey Kieviet’s Article Archive.