A genre mash-up in every sense of the word
In this entry on classic iPhone games, we check out an indie title that might not have topped the charts, but that was nonetheless a smash in other ways.
What was Giant Metal Robot?
One of a slew of simple but hugely compelling games by the enigmatic Takaaki Ogiwara, aka Poppy. It featured a girl, LisaLisa, who was inexplicably trapped on the roof of a building – and being harassed by skeletons.
Fortunately, her friend was the titular giant metal robot, with suitably giant skeleton-crushing fists. Your task was to tilt your device to dart left and right, timing downward swipes to squash the skeletons – but not LisaLisa.
Why was it a classic?
The entire thing was extremely silly, from the premise to the gigantic red GAGAGAGAGA!! text splashed across the screen when the robot ominously appeared from behind the apartment block. Doubly so when LisaLisa’s dog, Pinkie, showed up a few levels in, doddering about and ramping up the difficulty level.
It looked great, with old-school pixel art that popped on the iPhone’s screen. Most of all, Giant Metal Robot was a joy to play – a touchscreen take on classic arcade fare. It might have lacked depth, but it had buckets of replay value as you attempted to smash your high score.
Where is it now?
Alas, the entire set of Poppy apps was crushed by Apple wiping out 32-bit apps in 2017. Gagagagaga – gah!
Although the creator remains active on Instagram, their feed mostly comprises photos of cats and tasty looking bread. Their YouTube channel at least includes a shaky video of the game, allowing you to reminisce if you didn’t grab Giant Metal Robot the first time round – or no longer have a device capable of playing it.