The Buzz! Junior titles are aimed at a different demographic than the Quiz titles. Buzz! Junior is all about using the USB buzzers for mini games not for answering questions. Mini game compilations tend to live and die by the quality of the mini games and whilst Buzz! Junior Jungle Party showed promise, the mini games were a bit of a hit and miss affair. Six months later we've been treated to Buzz! Junior Robojam, with a new setting and more time to improve the mini games is RoboJam a better title or does it pale in comparison to other kids titles on the market?
Jumping into a game is rather straightforward. From the main menu you can select to play a custom game, practice the mini games or just launch straight into a contest. The storyline behind RoboJam is that the player is taken to a futuristic world where robots are battling in a contest at the Robot Academy. The content is made up of mini games. The storyline isn't rich but kids aren't likely to care. After choosing your gameplay type you can select a game length option. You can select a short game, medium game, long game and if you want to keep the kids amused for a few hours, marathon game. The game length varies how many mini games are in a contest, a short game has five whereas a marathon game features twenty five mini games.
After you've selected the length of a game you can name your robot and choose how he looks. After you're happy with the look of the robot you'll jump straight into the contest. For each of the mini games you'll be awarded points based on your finishing position in the mini games. Whichever robot has the most points at the end of the contest is the overall winner. It's a straightforward setup and kids will always know how many points they've got and what position they're in.
The thing that sets RoboJam apart from other mini game compilations is the fact that the mini games are all genuinely clever and a lot of fun. It's rather impressive just how many different mini games Magenta has come up with. Using just the red buzzer and four buttons could have been restrictive, but it isn't. With more Buzz! titles scheduled for release in the next year we're not too sure how successors to RoboJam will differentiate themselves from this game. RoboJam has improved upon Junior! Jungle Party by improving mini games but we cannot see much room for improvement in RoboJam.
Visually the game isn't all that impressive. The robots look okay and the game is pretty colourful but the game is definitely not pushing the PlayStation 2. The areas where the mini games take place aren't all that expansive either which is a little disappointing. Magenta Software could have made the robot world a little more expansive. Soundwise the game is rather generic with some commentary that quickly becomes repetitive. Hearing comments like "blue is out in front" three to four times within a few minutes is likely to have you heading for the mute button. The soundtrack hasn't fared any better either and appears to be on a very short loop.
As you can customise what mini games to play kids could enjoy Buzz! Junior RoboJam for quite a while. There are also more Buzz! Junior titles scheduled for release in the next year, so the buzzers could be a worthwhile investment. The game also features a leaderboard, so competitive kids should get enjoyment at trying to get to the top of the leaderboard.
Buzz! Junior RoboJam shows that the Buzz controllers do have more uses than just for answering questions. Using the buzzers to play mini games is fun. With creative mini games and a wide variety of mini games Junior RoboJam is a great title for kids. The difficulty level of your opponents can also be set so even big kids can have fun with RoboJam. Buzz! Junior RoboJam is a highly recommended title that's sure to keep the kids entertained for more than a few hours. Buzz! Junior Jungle Party was a bit of a disappointment but this game is anything but a disappointment.