January 12, 2013, 7:35 AM — You know what's hard to do? Stand out at CES, a several-mile wide convention area filled with loud noises and seizure-friendly visuals.
Combat Creatures did just that, though, with their big arachnid legs, ultra-old-school sound effects, and refreshingly physical robot combat. Imagine taking Battlebots and throwing it in your living room.
Already a hit in the United Kingdom, the English-company Wow! Stuff is bringing Combat Creatures to North America and Australia this fall.
Here's the premise: You move a tall, spidery machine around your designated playground and pop weapons at your opponents while dodging their salvos. The legs are vulnerable to attack, but the real soft spot is your robot's head. Three clocks to the head and you lose.
The first element of fun here is the controller. Reminiscent of the original NES joypads, the controller has a flat thumb control and four buttons. It was easy to pick up, but it quickly became obvious that it would take some time to control the methodical robot with any kind of finesse.
The second cool part is the classic, kinetic combat. The robot can shoot a focused, long-range missile or a fast, broader disc. We really mean shoot: The Combat Creatures CES area was covered with lots of discharged missiles and discs, not to mention legs from previously capped robots. It was an awesome sight at an expo dominated by virtual ideas.
When do the robots arrive?
Combat Creatures is coming to America this fall, with each robot and weapon accessory pack to run under $100. The two robots--Stryder and Doom Razor (we can't make this up)--need six AA batteries for the body and the controller.