Rock 'Em Sock 'Em iPhone game

SmackBots is a button-mashing robot-fighting game that's more than a little reminiscent of the classic kids' game "Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots."

SmackBots is a button-mashing robot-fighting game that's more than a little reminiscent of the classic childrens' game "Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots."

The interface makes great use of the iPhone and iPod Touch: you tap on the right side of the screen to swing your right fist, the left for your left, and both sides to block, and you tilt your device to move left or right. You fight against one other robot at a time, in two-minute rounds (best two out of three), and you choose your difficulty, either "Just Smacking Around" or "I've Got Crazy Thumb Speed." When you drop to half your health in a match, you can hit the "Berserk" button. You start the game with one simple combo move, but after you win a fight, you get "tax dollars for your defense budget," which you can spend to change your paint job, get a new head, or buy new combos and "oil lubricant" to increase your swing speed.

Given its bare-bones gameplay, SmackBots is most fun for children (even toddlers can pick it up) or with multiplayer mode over the Internet, which lets you bookmark opponents and see relative "power index." Even in single-player mode, though, SmackBots' goofy retro aesthetic and fun gear progression can keep you coming back for more arm-flailing match-ups.

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