The latest game from Ghost Time Games, Jettometro: Hero of the Universe, follows a lonely robot as he travels through various solar systems and visits planets, hoping that his true purpose in the universe is to help humans. Oddly enough, the humans don’t seem to want his help, and after the first few planets, they begin evacuating the general population and using flying saucers, laser turrets, and other defensive measures. However, various self-destructing satellites appear periodically throughout the game to encourage the robot to continue. And, being an optimistic sort of fella, he perseveres.
You move using WSAD, and the robot is extraordinarily clumsy, especially since movement is directly related to the camera controls. The camera controls are good, but you do have to use them constantly. Most of the objectives involve finding fuel, uncovering robot parts buried on the planets, and battling kaiju-esque monsters in quicktime-event style typing game. Occasionally the robot will indicate that he wants to try something like searching rubble for trapped humans, putting out a building fire, or chasing away a lightning storm. However, there’s really no indication of how to successfully accomplish these tasks- it’s just the player’s best guess. My favorite parts of the game were the decryption puzzles to unlock pieces of the robots memory. These weren’t necessarily more difficult, but were more engaging brain-wise.
The rest of the game is an aesthetic 10/10, and the game creators were definitely aware of this, including a photo mode and making the soothing, zen-like soundtrack available for download from Steam or from the Ghost Time Games website. The robot is very cute, and a big part of the completionist draw is collecting his different parts, allowing the player to customize the robot’s look. The environment is all beautiful space-scapes, with colorful planets and stars, and comets and asteroids orbiting in the systems. The sides of planets facing away from the stars are dark, just as actual planets would be, which are visually great but can add difficulty to gameplay. (There is a photosensitive mode available.)
The story is engaging; the decrypted puzzles tell pieces of the robot’s backstory, and keep the player moving to the next system to uncover the next chapter. However, there seem to be a lot of plot-holes- the humans seem unable to communicate with the robot, a mysterious entity who sends messages through self-destructing satellites never has their identity revealed (although you can make an educated guess), and one of the endings leaves the player, in effect, stuck at the end of the universe with no answers.
There is a decent amount of replay value in collecting all the costume pieces, attempting to get all of the achievements (including the ones associated with putting out fires and saving people, and destroying asteroids and comets), and playing with the Stats screen (how many buildings destroyed, how many boats sunk, etc).
Overall, Jettometro: Hero of the Universe is a really good-looking game with some interesting groundwork for world-building laid. It’s a bit minimalist, but I could see this being expanded, allowing the robot to gain more refined skills and clearing up some of the mystery left around the robot’s awakening. I would recommend it to anyone who’s a fan of classic monster vs robot movies à la Godzilla.
This review is based on a retail copy of the game provided by the publisher.