TransBot was released on the Sega Master System in North America in 1986. The sidescrolling shoot ’em up was developed and published by Sega. Players could transform between a spaceship and a robot to blast their way through the game. We’re looping a ton in this TransBot review.
There’s nothing in the actual game to suggest a plot so let’s turn to the manual to figure out what’s going on in this TransBot review:
“It seemed like things were finally starting to get back together after the Nuclear War of the solar year 2,000. People had emerged from their underground shelters. They built new towns. New forms of transportation. An all-new society.
But something has gone wrong. DALAUS, an artificial intelligence computer leftover from the now-defunct regime is creating a dictatorial empire. DALAUS is already gaining control of one city – and it’s rumored that many of the guards are actually working for DALAUS.
The only thing that can stop this treacherous takeover is the new CA-214, a sophisticated transforming combat Astro-plane. And the only one who can pilot this high-performance machine is you.
You’ll have to destroy the enemy’s ARM CARRIER. Then try to find DALAUS’s hidden fortress and destroy ELGRAMZON to rid the Earth of evil influence forever.”
My TransBot review was quite short due to the nature of the game. There are essentially only two levels in Transbot before the game loops again. In the first part of the game, you are on a surface of a planet as the background is rocky terrain and futuristic cities. After your clear that section you’ll be transported down into a vent which is assumably the enemy fortress. Here you will make your way down the hallway of a base and destroy the enemy that looks just like an AT-ST from Star Wars. After defeating this enemy TransBot will loop and start you at the beginning. All of this can take as little as five minutes. If you are a high score chaser then perhaps you’ll love this game. I’m not, so it didn’t appeal to me and even for a high score chaser, only two levels are quite a disappointment.
For sound effects and music, I enjoyed the catchy tune on the start menu. It’s nothing to write home about but I suppose that’s exactly what I’m doing in my Transbot review, but I did catch myself nodding along to the music. That pleasant music was quickly drowned out by the annoying sounds of your weapon. 1942 for the NES may have the worst sound effect for a weapon in video game history but TransBot isn’t too far behind. Too bad because the overall music for TransBot is decent.
Picking up a power-up will activate your mega weapons. You will select a weapon in a quick selection area at the top of the screen. Every gamer will want to land on Weapon “C” as it’s by fast the best weapon. Your TransBot will transform into the robot and send mega-waves at the enemies that are one-hit kills and cover a decent amount of screen. The other weapons were okay, but it was clear that weapon C was the best. Each mega weapon comes with a limited supply so when that’s gone you’ll need to pick another power up to restart the weapon selection frenzy.
During my TransBot review, I didn’t loop many times through my playthrough. The enemies are predictable once you learn their patterns so finding the safe zone is the most important aspect in learning where they travel to avoid crashing into them. I’ve seen some crazy YouTubers like 8BitBoyUK and Zanoni_Revived play TransBot. Those guys are good and their playthroughs can get pretty wild with how fast the enemies come at them. If either of them read my reviews, I hope they don’t get too upset at the low scores for some Master System games! It’s all good and fun, guys.
My first time hearing about Transbot was when I was in my 30s. That’s somewhat surprising for someone who loved the Sega Master System and history. People were making fun of what a terrible game it was on Twitter and I didn’t think much of it at the time. Fast-Forward to my amazing trip to Ireland where I went hunting for Sega Master System games and I wound up in a dingey narrow basement covered from the floor to the ceiling in records, VHS tapes, and old video games.
This was supposed to be the crown jewel of retro game collecting in Ireland but I was unimpressed at first. I asked if they had any Sega Master System games and the guy behind the counter pulled out a cardboard box with some games in there. Looking through it I was desperate to find any Sega Master System games to add to my small collection. It was in there, that I laid my eyes on TransBot for the first time. It was extremely cheap so I bought it. I think the CIB edition cost me $5. Not bad.
When I arrived home from my Ireland trip a weird phenomenon was going around social media as a high score challenge for TransBot. How strange was it that the game I just bought was now trending on my Twitter timelines? Anyway, I played it a few weeks later to much disappointment!
TransBot Review Score:
My TransBot review was shockingly short. Unless you are a high score chaser there really isn’t a ton of fun in TransBot because you continue to loop after two levels. It’s a very early Sega game but it could have benefited from more levels and another boss. More content could have boosted the review score because the actual gameplay isn’t that bad. TransBot can be fun for high score chasers but should be avoided by everyone else.
TransBot scores a 4.9 out of 10.
What would you write in your TransBot review? Have you ever made the game loop? What’s your high score in TransBot? Which weapon do you like the most? Are there other games similar to TransBot that loop? Let me know your thoughts and comments on TransBot, I’d love to read them.