Robo Type is a scrolling shoot 'em up. That's pretty much all we need to know about it and, since there doesn't seem to be any documentation available online to dish out the regular "you're a brave interstellar pilot taking on the massed forces of Metformin in what will in future be known as the last Great Space War", that's probably a good thing really. We'll assume that's the storyline for the purposes of this review and the Metformians are a hostile bunch out for galactic domination and all of the sugary substances of other worlds or something.
So the action is set in the outer atmosphere of some scrolling worlds, with the player's craft armed with a pea shooter against the invading force but, although that initial weapon is pretty rubbish, some of the blasted enemies will leave behind a power-up icon; the grey ones are smart bombs which nuke anything on screen at the time and, more importantly, green will beef up the laser by expanding the beam and then firing multiple beams at once.
PICK A NUMBER, ANY NUMBER
This game suffers from relying pretty heavily on randomisation; it can sometimes be very stingy with those important green power-ups not appearing for ages so the player must soldier on with the tiny initial weapon and the unpredictable enemy movement will often mean that they'll suddenly change direction when close to the player and either skim close enough to their craft to take the paint off or smack straight into it without enough warning to perform evasive manoeuvres, losing some of the hard earned weaponry in the process. The obvious answer is to avoid being too close to the nasties, but that's not always possible when most of them are the more energetic variety on later stages.
That issue aside, the graphics might not be anything to write home about with single colour enemies and quite simple scrolling backgrounds, and the gameplay is pretty repetitive, but it is possible to get "into the zone" and become sort of mesmerised by Robo Type in the way that the early shoot 'em ups will draw players in and keep them blasting. The action is similar to 1980s budget blasters like Matta Blatta (and it looks a little like the more recent dodge 'em up Patrol In The Space to the point where I had to check that it wasn't by the same developers) so it would have probably fared quite well if released back then with a £1.99 price sticker.