Flying Carpets Games offers up a potentially interesting title that sadly does not really fulfill the player in terms of interest or challenge. The premise of The Girl and the Robot is that a young girl is trapped in a castle ruled by an evil queen and the girl and her robot companion must solve various puzzles and fight enemies to escape the queen's clutches. The awkwardly animated duo fumble their way through a myriad of blandly colored buildings in the sky in an oddly empty city populated only by fairly ineffectual robot guards.
Sadly a lot of The Girl and the Robot’s potential is ruined by the horrendously clunky controls. A lot of the game’s core mechanics revolve around the ability to switch between the two characters in order to solve various puzzles that stand between your characters and their goal. This makes some of the puzzles fairly interesting but on the whole it doesn’t feel as though the game fully utilizes this mechanic and many of the puzzle sequences just end up feeling basic and lacking.
The worst aspect of the game is the fighting. The game's combat is a horrible experience and just feels awfully sluggish, making sections of the game feel tedious rather than engaging. Essentially, what would basically be a reasonable game experience is ruined by the fact that controlling both the robot and the dainty little girl feels like you’re trying to wrestle with a train.
Graphically the game is completely uninteresting. The art style is wholly unoriginal and even on highest settings the graphics just look like a mediocre Playstation 2 game. The developers description of the art style as a unique and hand painted one is a poor description indeed. Again, it feels like the game almost created something beautiful but unfortunately the visual appearance of The Girl and the Robot is bland. The characters are also animated horribly. Watching the little girl jerk across the screen like some sort of inadequately built android is somewhat painful and the movement of the robot is just hilarious. The combination of the childishly done graphics and the jerky animations make it very difficult to take the game seriously.
Much like the rest of the game, the sound design is uninspiring and generally sounds hollow and wooden. It does not contribute to what little atmosphere is vaguely created and very few of the sound effects sound at all nice. Combat music feels half-hearted and if anything makes the combat feel less exciting than it already is. The other in game sounds either sound jagged and abrasive or are non-existent, leaving some passages of the game in complete silence. The little in-game music there is appears in the form of an uninspiring piano tune that potentially took all of about two minutes to compose and becomes grating on the nerves very quickly.
The Girl and the Robot is almost unplayable with a keyboard and mouse. If you’re extremely careful and don’t click with the mouse at all, then you might be able to play it, but otherwise using a controller is the only good option. However there is no warning of these issues prior to playing the game and the developers seem to be proving slow on finding a fix for it despite the fact many people have had the same issues.
Mostly this game is just frustrating. It’s clear to see what the developers were trying to achieve but in the end what they’ve produced simply feels like a first game development project. There is no polish to it and it really just feels bland and empty. It’s unfortunate as the Steam store page had me genuinely interested in playing the game. I was wholly disappointed once I started it up.