Does Robotek Cheat?

Robotek is a fun and addictive turn-based game that I recently found in the Android Market. It is like playing a slot machine and Scorched Earth combined. Okay. Maybe not Scorched Earch but I could not think of any other turn-based game at the time of this writing.

The game can be confusing at first with all the icons and symbols but do not get intimidated by these. After you have finished the tutorial and played a few games, you will realize that it is a simple game that involves all of strategy, game mechanics, and – ultimately – luck.

After you have played quite a few games with Robotek, there is a high chance that you have found yourself saying, “WTF?! Three consecutive perfect rolls by the AI. It is surely cheating!” That is what I initially thought when the AI made moves that were too much to be considered lucky rolls.

Picture this. The AI mainframe is down to more than half it’s health while mine was over 100. I had an Elite Tankbot, an Advanced Droid and a Drone to complete my arsenal. Anyone would be cocky enough to assume  a victory, right? WRONG!

All of a sudden it rolled a Firewall Fortress (You get a free turn if you do a perfect roll.), proceeded to steal my Elite Tankbot on the next, and got an Unmaker Omega on its third straight turn, while having each of the 3 bots in varying degress of upgrades. It now had 4 bots in total with the strongest firewall. On the next rolls it got “more lucky” while my rolls sucked badly. I lost in the end. The damage was so crippling it was simply impossible to recover.

The big question is: Is it cheating?

No it does not. After much playing I had the same impossible wins too. On my other games I too rolled 2 or 3 consecutive perfect rolls that came at the time when I most needed it to win. There was another game when I won in a seemingly hopeless scenario where I was down to less than 20 mainframe health while the AI had over 50, and still I got through after getting a string of lucky rolls.

The game devs has this to say: “Not every perfect roll is a pure coincidence. Some perfect rolls are forced by gaming mechanics that moderate unbalanced battles – this mechanic significantly favors player over the AI.”

What the AI does, you have the same exact chance to do the same or better, is what they say. In fact the game devs insist you have better odds than the AI. Do you believe that?

I have a hard time accepting it. It appears the game resembles that of slot machine programming where the house ALWAYS has the advantage. For sure, the game does not cheat but the balancing mechanism is quite unpredictable and in more than one occasion appears to be against the very same thing it was made to overcome – an unbalanced game.

Nonetheless, Robotek is a truly FUN game and I recommend you play it too.


1) Always shield up. Your mainframe and bots will last longer.

2) Use all three bots all the time. That is the better choice together with a shield. It will bring you more damage in the long run too. For example if you only have a tankbot and a droid and you have an extra roll, go for a drone if you are already shielded. Otherwise shield first then go for the drone.

3) Save your points for that critical kill when your enemy is low on hit points. When you have already acquired the nuke ability, always save your points for it. NEVER forget to nuke because the AI will always go for a nuke.

4) When you are pissed by your lousy rolls, you think the AI is getting all of the lucky breaks and you are on the verge of defeat you still can avoid it. How? Press your Home key. Kill the Robotek instance from whatever Task Killer you have installed. This only works for Android.

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Notice: This article was published on July 15, 2011 and the content above may be out of date.