Mobiloid is a game based on controlling a modular robot around a rogue automated factory; items are hidden around the environment that increase the abilities of the player's robot, allowing it to reach more areas.
The Mobiloid Corporation, producing a wide range of robotic devices, is founded in 2014 by Yurij M Lopov. An entirely automated factory, requiring no human employees, is set up in Topomovosk, Siberia. Soon, the factory falls silent and is considered 'rogue'. A protest group called the Luddites has managed to steal and hack a remote controlled bot, which they send into the factory with the aim of investigating and hopefully disabling it (by removing the factory's energy core).
The player takes over as the robot is inserted. Plot is limited from then on, with information given in pop-up windows as the player progresses and often merely hints on what to do next. After acquring some necessary modules the robot is able to extract the energy core, and uses it (along with the final module, which enables limited flight) to escape the factory.
The game is broken roughly into chapters, but the player has free roam of the facility from the beginning (with access limited depending on the modules collected).
The main section of the robot is a battery; as the energy source it is the required 'hub' for all other designs. (The charge of the battery is equivalent to health, with the robot destroyed at 0 charge, but is only diminished by damage and not attached parts.) Parts can be attached or removed at any time by entering the build mode, though the game is not paused while this happens and the robot can still be moved at a slow speed or damaged. Parts can only be attached to particular connection points, not freely.
The player views the robot from a third-person perspective, with the camera following behind, but at times it shifts to fixed points or from above (often when navigating obstacle courses).
Enemies are electrically charged, and damage the player on contact. Attacking them isn't possible - the player's ranged weapon is only used for switches - meaning they must be avoided when possible.
Savepoints are distributed throughout the facility; these also 'recharge' the battery and provide a safe opportunity for building. A number of battery capacity pickups are also distributed, usually in areas that are not required or more difficult to reach. These increase the robot's maximum health, but aren't required to complete the game.
Many of the obstacles are obstacles only because of their physical design, requiring specific designs or modules to pass. Variations include ramps, spring boards, elevators, narrow gaps, barriers, grappling points, force sheilds, railbridges, and conveyors. Surfaces can also vary from metal to wood (high friction), ice (much lower friction) and magnetic, allowing a robot with the right modules to traverse walls and ceilings. Often, a room will contain multiple paths and exits, with only one initially available and others becoming accessible with later modules. Despite the focus on physics, the game has no fall damage (with the exception of several 'bottomless' pits that destroy the robot after a short distance).
The game also includes several types of switches, requiring the player to shoot, press or use other objects to otherwise activate them.Occasionally other limits will be encountered such as walls permitting or preventing items from passing (such as 'holo orbs', another switch type), force shields that damage and slow the robot or radiation, which harms the robot and prevents modifying it.
The design of the robot is also very important, with stability dependent on the arrangement and balance. A tall robot is likely to tip, but a larger heavier design will be slower and sometimes too big to progress. (At any time, the player can quickly flip their robot upright, since flips are unavoidable)
The player initially starts with only the battery and one thruster. As they progress, other parts will be discovered, usually immediately required for more progress:
- Turntable - allows the robot to rotate and aim thrust and travel like a hovercraft, but only works on low friction surfaces
- El gun - a ranged device that is used only to activate associated El Switches
- Top Nut - provides more connection points and can be used to travel on some overhead rails
- Flexer - bends, and best used for steering
- Twin wheel - a pair of slow, powered wheels
- Monowheel - a single centered unpowered wheel, useful for stability and clinging to magnetic walls
- Left & Right wheels - four separate items (two each), that are much larger and faster than the twin wheel
- Icetable - a variation of the turntable that works on all surfaces
- Grapple Beam - connects to specific grapple points (distributed through the facility)
- Spring - allows a limited and often unstable jump
- Flat Nut - provides more connection points, and later used to activate another type of switch
- Propellor - allows vertical flight, but highly unstable