Bish Bash Bots is a co-op tower defense game for the Nintendo Switch. Yes, co-op. It allows you to work with up to four players locally or online to not only set your defenses but walk the field and bash oncoming enemies when your turrets can’t take them out alone. This twist on the genre presents a chaotic real-time concept that works well.

The premise is simple: humans have become over-reliant on robots. Naturally, artificial intelligence has rebelled against its maker, and now it’s up to a group of four humans to save the day. This is all spelled out via a cartoony (and somewhat long) introduction before we get into the action.

Bish Bash Bots - Nintendo Switch - screen 1

As with any typical tower defense title, gameplay occurs via a top-down field of play. Enemy robots enter at one point and follow a path as they work their way to the endpoint. In this case, the end is an EMP device that needs to be charged before it can take out all robots in the level. Therefore, the goal is to defend this EMP until it’s ready to do its business.

Unlike typical tower defense titles, you aren’t simply planting lasers, cannons, and other mechanisms along the path to stop the incoming flow of foes. I mean, you are doing that, but you’re also walking on the field among the enemies themselves. This gives you a real-time combat experience by allowing you to walk up to foes and, well, bash them. It’s simple yet satisfying, giving you another option to stop the threat in its tracks. 

Bish Bash Bots - Nintendo Switch - screen 2

It also adds a little complexity to proceedings. This is where the co-op side of things comes in. Working together, you can task one team member with bashing robots while another builds and upgrades weapons. Building takes resources, which come in the form of discarded cogs from destroyed robots. You’ll need to collect these cogs to exchange for more weapons, meaning there’s a fair bit of running around to do. It creates a chaotic experience akin to Cooking Mama or Moving Out, with slightly slapstick characters moving around and helping each other complete a goal. If you work well together, it makes life a lot easier.

Between battles, your team can recuperate in a floating base. In this safe haven, you can practice swinging your mallet, change your outfit, or alternate weapons and special attacks. The outfits are silly and cute; there are many hats to collect, for example, which help give your avatar more personality. There’s even a little bathroom around the corner for, erm, a quick bathroom break. It adds some juvenile humor to an already entertaining title.

Bish Bash Bots - Nintendo Switch - screen 3

The visual style complements this. Bish Bash Bots might feature a dystopian world overrun by robots, however it’s presented in a colorful, cartoony style that’s appealing. This is clearly a title aimed for all ages. Having said that, the difficulty level is slightly higher than I expected. Despite its cute presence, this isn’t a walk in the park; you’ll need to plan your turret layouts well and do a lot of bashing to pass each level. 

This is a title that encourages working together. It might not be easy, but you soon get the hang of the different mechanics within each level. There are moving sections, pits, and even venus fly traps that add variety and replayability to proceedings; it doesn’t feel like a chore to repeat levels if you don’t complete them. Additionally, each stage has three missions: complete the level, complete it perfectly, and accomplish another random task while you’re there. For example, a level with mushrooms blocking your turret zones might require you to destroy fewer than three. This adds depth to a title that could have been much simpler. 

Overall, Bish Bash Bots is a fun co-op title that takes the tower defense formula and shakes it up. The ability to directly take out enemies on the field coupled with the usual deployment of defensive towers makes this a unique title worth checking out. Add cute, cartoony graphics and extra incentives like costumes and missions, and you’re in for a good time.