Mayan Death Robots - Introduction
Mayan Death Robots marries Worms and Scorched Earth into a fast paced 1v1 artillary game, where your goal is to destroy the enemy's core with whatever you can use. Various heroes come to life with unique weaponary to face off against one another in a no holds barred contest to the death. The first core that takes a drive off the map or is reduced to 0% is declared the loser, while the robots have their own unique health pool (with the bonus that if you kill one of them, they lose a turn but can place themselves nearly anywhere on the map).
Maps vary drastically, with different locations for the core and the robots, plus mechanics like boss fights where the two robots fight it out to do the most damage, the winner receives some strong bonuses plus the entire map is basically destroyed and rebuilt. Mayas work around the clock to help defend you, attack the robot should he come on your side of the map, and defeating enemy mayas give you an explosion bonus.
Mayan Death Robots - Positive Marks
Unlike Worms et al it's a very fast paced game. You don't have to wait around to fire your gun at someone, both players take their turns at the same time. Of course, this also results in some really weird gameplay where your missile could hit a jumping robot and bounce back at you, but that's the primary fun of the game. This isn't a single player first game, it's local multiplayer, designed around having everyone around the computer and playing it at the same time, where winning or losing isn't nearly as amusing as seeing the crazy things happen from playing, from special map events up to weird trick shots, and everything inbetween.
Crazy things will be happening to, from random boss fights to missiles gone crazy, and recoveries from 1%, there is a lot of room to cheer, weep, and scream as the game engages you emotionally with it's zany over the top attacks and Tetris style land rebuilding. You'll curse at your friends as missiles fly right where you really didn't want them to go, or one of your missiles flies right back at your face, costing you the game, likewise you'll cheer when you somehow pull off the impossible because the enemy opened up a path you didn't think was going to come.
RNG plays a huge factor and that's fine, as it helps move the game along. Catapults can be firing on both sides automatically, debris can fall from the sky, or a boss can show up and literally just decimate the whole map. Where your projectile lands could be the difference between victory and defeat, and these all add up to make a game where you feel very engaged and it's very intense.
As the two players fight it out to destroy each other's cores, destroying the enemy robot has some tactical purpose too, which opens up a really strong world of options that you wouldn't imagine before. You can attack the Mayas for the explosion bonus, the robot to knock it out for a turn, build up your defenses, or go on the assault, each of these options present a different outcome. So sometimes it's better to be defensive, sometimes offensive, and then there are times where you'll just lose the game yourself, especially with the random (and kind of zany) special weapons.
The most positive thing I can say is that there is a lot of hilarious and funny things that occur, that shine very brightly when you're with a friend irl and it's a wonderful party game. Single player is great too, I imagine even better for streamers, but it'll be one of your favorite party games without a doubt.
Mayan Death Robots - Average or Neutral Marks
The game is controller first. No mouse, but will be releasing on consoles (which is where I believe it'd shine the most).
Mayan Death Robots - Below Average or Negative Marks
It really is just a local co-op game, the single player mode while fun, can be frustrating as the robot's AI is random in deciding what to do. This can result in matches where it turtles hard forever, or you instantly win when it doesn't defend a single thing. You'll most likely always win the boss fights, which isn't that interesting. The game shines only, only, with two people there IRL playing it and without multiplayer co-op, you're going to need someone in your house. I was able to get someone to play a game with me and it was awesome, but playing alone makes it seem... alright, but nothing I'd ever go out of my way to buy to play.
Oh and the robots can be... rough. There are maps that are good for specific robots and maps that are horrible, and some robots are just outright not fun to play. It's cool there is a lot of neat tricks and varied gameplay, but there isn't anything good about the green one with the seeker robots. Basically it has two weapons, one digs a little and then explodes and the other wanders around until it hits something good and then explodes. These require you have good access to the core to do damage and is easily countered by rebuilding since there isn't any impressive damage it can pull off (although it can build up a lot of the walking robots and if you knock the core where they're at, you can win, but that's skill based).
This can be frustrating and cause some upset feelings, but ultimately, the game is about randomness and there isn't much wrong with it, per se. The balance issue is fine, it's like Street Fighter or Marvel vs. Capcom or any fighting game where certain combinations are just not going to be fun and that's alright. You play another game and hash it out. Anyway outside of those two things, there isn't anything showstopping. There isn't also a lot that's really compelling, and the single player experience while fun, isn't anywhere near what the game can be during co-op. The graphics are really cute, but feels very flash game-ish, and the control scheme for the menus is a bit frustrating. Gameplay is very limited, and without real life players there, it's not really going to engage you unless you're a Worms fanatic.
Conclusion and Final Score
If you like Worms or Scorched Earth, this is the game for you - fast paced, lots of iteration on the concept, and tons of freshness. If you have friends over at your house a lot, this game is really a 9.9/10, especially if you want something that's going to be quick, satisfying, and provide lots of entertainment. However, a standalone product, it's not going to provide you much to play alone, unless Worms / Scorched Earth is your cup of tea. Our score reflect the game as a whole, including the single player component.
It's fresh, exciting, fast paced, and lots of fun together, and even alone it's notable for being engaging and having rather decent NPC AI. The turns at the same time mechanic is great for moving the game along faster and the zany randomness of the maps and bosses is enough to make it encouraging. When this comes out on console, its value will increase as being a very cool party game.