Bot Vice’s story is basically a nostalgic mash up of 80 and 90s, with the animesque character designs, the heroine sporting a tank top, attitude and a bionic arm with weapons (heck, the application’s icon is a reference to Alita Battle Angel), as she fights an army of animal themed cyborgs at the orders of the villain, ready to blow up the Nakatomi Building (and quote Terminator, Robocop, AND Beavis And Butthead, because), symbol of the decadent cyberpunk Bot City.
Surprisingly, alongside a nice retrostyled soundtrack you get voice acting for the cutscenes (which could have been shortene), and decent voice acting as well, fitting the whole “self-aware, shameless reference spouting” glut so typical of this sub-set of retro indie games. It comes off as cute, but thankfully Bot Vice it’s also a very tough “gallery shooter” in the style of Cabal and Wild Guns, as in you move around the bottom of the screen, shooting and rolling to avoid enemy fire, collecting special weapons with limited ammo and also using taking cover, which can be destroyed.
And it is tough, quite merciless, even at the beginning, so you’ll need to master moving around, rolling and using cover, as each level is a short but intense battle arena, culminanting in a boss fight. Oddly, the game puts an overall time limit for you to finish all stages in, despite the stages being short and not that numerous, even more as the game doesn’t detract the time spent re-trying stages.
The developer Dya Games managed to do a lot with the “gallery shooter” setup, making for an intense, short but sweet experience, quite challenging and with enough replay value, thanks to its arcade perfect setup, extra difficulties and a bunch of extra missions.
Recommended, even more when it goes on sale.