RoboDunk, the preview of an all-Italian NBA Jam in roguelike sauce

RoboDunk, the preview of an all-Italian NBA Jam in roguelike sauce


Unexpectedly shown during Summer of Gaming 2021, RoboDunk is described by its creator Gabriele Liber at, AKA Jollypunch Games, as a "cross between NBA Jam and Rogue Legacy, with robots".

Seeing the trailer is not It is difficult to understand the reason for this description: if the gameplay seems the frenetic and spectacular one of the Midway arcade basketball game, the structure that supports it all seems to be taken from a classic roguelike, complete with upgrades, classes and power-ups. br>
The fact that it was developed in Italy, at the gates of Valtellina, makes the preview of Robodunk almost a moral obligation. Let's discover the game, waiting for the one man band from Morbegno to be able to put all the pieces together and create a playable version of this fun arcade experience.

The second album

Una RoboDunk's crazy dunks In reality, Jollypunch Games is not a rookie studio. On Steam, in fact, he has already published Fly Punch Boom! , a fun four-player fighting game that mixes anime, featuring Dragon Ball. Under acids. Again this is a quote, in this case a review we read on the game's Steam page.

This is to make it clear that, despite being a self-taught graduate in Chinese languages ​​and philosophy with a doctorate from Peking University, Gabriele Libera has already shown that he has ideas (the inspiration for the first game has come after seeing the fights of Kung Fu Panda 3) and the technical skills to carry them out. Without underestimating the ability to know how to move in the environment, since he has self-produced the two games, as well as having reached Geoff Keighley to unveil RoboDunk.

The only limitation of this approach is the fact that one person, however talented, is not enough to develop games of this type in a reasonable time. Especially if he is self-taught. For Fly Punch Boom! Jollypunch made use of the collaboration of Giorgiost (Jorge Olivares) for the music, while the sound effects were made by NoobSound (Mattia Cozzi and Matteo Giovanardi). Furthermore, since it was his first title, Gabriele Libera had to learn a lot all aspects of game design, such as creating the netcode and animations. To do the Fly Punch Boom! Online infrastructure. it took a year of work, which made Jollypunch Games refractory to create another title with online mode.

NBA Jam with robots

RoboDunk's power-up structure For this reason Robodunk it will be, at least at launch, only offline. It will be possible to organize games with three other players, but only on the same machine. This forced Jollypunch Games to look for a solution to make the game interesting even in the long run. Hence the idea of ​​inserting a role structure within the game, so as to offer dozens of different challenges, as well as a satisfactory upgrade path for your robots.

From a gameplay point of view, Robodunk looks like an NBA Jam with robots. In fact, two teams made up of two robots, one whose task is to make "mega dunks" in the face of the opponents, will take the field. The whole obviously has a clearly arcade imprint, with 6-meter high dunks, shoves and power ups.

The robots are inspired by the models of Mobile Frame Zero, a board game in which units are created with LEGO models. And how these objects can be taken apart, reassembled with new pieces and upgraded, in order to find your favorite cybernetic athlete. Each of them, in fact, as in the best role-playing games, will be characterized by different parameters that will indicate the ability to jump, the blocks, the strength and so on.

Modifying the pieces will change not only the appearance of the avatars, but also their functionality and their "strength". In this way Jollypunch Games also wants to give a sense of progression to the player, who will refine their skills together with those of their athletes.


The style of RoboDunk seems very particular Being alone (apart from the music, still created in collaboration with Giorgiost), Gabriele Libera does not yet know when he will be able to complete RoboDunk, nor what he will do when he grows up. "To finish the game it still takes a lot of work, so now I just have to keep rolling up my sleeves and working hard" he told us. "I'd like to partner with a publisher who knows the stuff about him, to get him in front of as many people as possible."

"For the future, first of all I hope to be able to continue making video games with something original. I still have things in store to finish Fly Punch Boom !, and then several more ambitious ideas that I would not be able to realize alone. Being a handyman, it's easy to find better specialists than me in every field, especially from an artistic point of view, "Gabriele Libera admits with surprising clarity and humility.

In the meantime we will be here waiting to find out what Jollypunch Games has in store for Robodunk, in the hope of being able to try it soon.

Robodunk is a rather original little all-Italian game to see and do ambitious. Mixing NBA Jam with a roguelike to push the limits of Midway's masterpiece is a very clever trick, which should guarantee variety and fun even in the long run. The lack of online play may be felt, but for the moment it is the work of one person, who has limited time to do everything. The potential, however, is all there, in the hope that Robodunk will be able to arrive in stores soon so as to start building a community of fans that will further push the development of the game.


Fun and frenetic Original mix All Italian DOUBTS When does it come out? Have you noticed any errors?

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