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Our friend Kim, great fan of the Transformer franchise prepared a great article in a few part. We have the pleasure to present the first part here. Enjoy.


Transformers exists now for 36 years already and unfortunately one can’t say that all their games have been masterpieces. Why that is the case is something that I can only speculate about, but I would say that the creators did not always recognize the Franchise as a serious project.

In this article we will hence to have a look at pretty much all the games that were released between 1985 and 2021.

1985 was the release year for the first Transformers game, which had the simple title ‘Transformers’. During that time the game was available on the Sinclair Spectrum and the Commodore 64. The game itself was a platformer that featured extremely unordinary enemies, accompanied with the fact that the game was unfair towards the player. The publisher of the game was Ocean Software.

The second game was first released on the Commodore 64 and was something similar to a strategy game, in which one was able to look at moving introductory pictures where the Transformers transformed themselves. However, most of the game is played on a map on which the characters are represented with different numbers. Consequently, the game could not be considered to be the ideal game, however it was the better fit game considering the consoles that were used during that time. The game was released in 1986, carrying the title ‘The Battle to Save the Earth’ and was already back, then published by Activision.

The next game also released in 1986, however this time only on the newer generations of consoles, that being the Nintendo Entertainment System and the Nintendo Famicon. Back then the game was a Japan exclusive game with the title ‘Transformers Mystery of Convoy’. The game was produced by the company called ISCO and published by Convoy. The game itself presents itself as a something close to a Probotector clone, where you have only one health and are shot at from all different angles available. Just like in the first game, there are questionable enemies and even weirder boss fights that lead to a very unsatisfactory ending…In the game it was possible to transform, however that action led to the player becoming an even easier target for the enemies…Surprisingly the game was rereleased in 2015, still remaining a Japan exclusive, staying true to its roots. This time it was called ‘Transformers Mystery of Convoy returns’…

Next in line was a release in 1987 for the Nintendo Famicom Disk System called ‘Transformers: The Headmasters’ that was a bit easier and fairer towards the player. However, the game was nothing new, as it was an amalgamation of different game genres, and also had a bad soundtrack which led to the game not even being close to ideal for its time. The game was just like ‘Transformers Mystery of Convoy, a Japan exclusive release, with the only difference between the games being that this time one had more health points as in the previous game.

Next came ‘Transformers: Beast Wars’ that was released in the year 1997 on the PlayStation. A year later it also arrived on PC & Mac. This game was produced by Hasbro interactive, however despite that it was unfortunately close to being unplayable as it was once again very unfair towards its player. It was possible to play through the entire game, however which each action the game tried its best to put more obstacles in your way.

Following this there is another Japan exclusive game that got released on the Gameboy Color. The game was part of the ‘Transformers Beast Wars 2’ universe and its title was ‘Kettō Transformers Beast Wars: Best Senshi Saikyō Ketteisen’. The game is a Street Fighter 2 like clone and was released in the year 1999.

In the same year there was another Beat-em-up game that got released on the PlayStation and the Nintendo 64, this time under the name ‘Transformers: Beast Wars Transmetal’. Unfortunately, the game was nothing special, as the framerate was extremely low and the game did not run smoothly at all. Additionally, the game itself would seem to have never been programmed to its end…

2003 was the release of the ‘best’ ‘Transformers G1’ game that was available on the PlayStation 2. It was considered to be the best G1 Universe Game, however it is still only something for hardcore fans, as the controls are very difficult. Compared to the previous games, like ‘Transformers: Beast Wars’ the controls were better, but the game was still not running as smooth as the Transformers game released on the Atari. Here we then arrive at the more or less bad aspects of the game. One situation that was frustrating was when the enemy had you in the air and you could do nothing but wait for your character to land again, hoping that you would not receive too much damage. The game was therefore a Dynasty Warrior clone, produced by Winkysoft and published by Takara.

2004 was the time for a Transformers game that aimed to take the franchise out of its bad light that the previous games established over the years. The game was simply called ‘Transformers’, but fans also remember the game by the name ‘Transformers Armada Prelude to Energon’. Produced was the game by the Australian company Melbourne House and the publisher was Atari. The game was in the first place a 3d Person Shooter with a small part being also in 1st Person, allowed by a camera option that was part of the game. The game was not only nice to look at for its time but was also created with the Unreal 2 graphic engine. Not to forget that the soundtrack of the game was after ‘Halo’ also considered to be outstanding, as the music adapted to the situation in the game. This meant that if you are not in fights with Decepticons, the game would play calmer music, compared to the energetic music that played during the fighting scenes of the game. Additionally, Melbourne House inspired themselves on the AI from ‘Halo’, which meant that the Decepticons all behaved individually and adapted themselves to the fighting style of the player. Playable were 3 Characters: Optimus Prime, Red Alert and Hotshot.


To be continued

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Let's continue with some more informations about the Transformers franchise from our friend Kim. Here is everything interesting between 2007 and 2010.

2007 was the release of the first Transformers Life Action game, carrying the title ‘Transformers: The Game’. The standard edition was available on PS2, PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. However, in my eyes, it was the games on the DS that had the most interesting gameplay of them all, as they were very heavily inspired on the GTA franchise. The PSP edition was also not bad for its time, however it did not work at all with the already present story of the franchise…

Compared to the DS version of the game, there were also GTA elements on the console versions of the game, but noticeably less. Furthermore, there was an Autobot and a Decepticon release of the game on the Nintendo DS, which not only made the main characters of the two sides available to the player, but also offered an individual story-mode that was different, depending on which version of the two the player was playing. This meant that there was either an Autobot or a Decepticon Campaign that could be played.

In 2008 there was a Nintendo exclusive release of a Transformers game. This game was none other than the Lost Vikings clone called ‘Transformers Animated’. Why similar to Lost Vikings? Well, the player controls Optimus Prime, Bulkhead and Bumblebee at the same time and each characters has one or multiple abilities that are unique to said character. Additionally, those abilities had to be used together to solve difficult puzzles and reach the end. The game itself is very intriguing and worth a look, sadly however rather short…

2009 was the release of ‘Transformers Revenge of the Fallen’, whose console versions, Xbox360, PS3 and PC, were the better version. Not to forget, this was the first Transformers game that featured Online multiplayer. This game was produced by Luxoflux and coincidentally, this studio is, according to my sources, the same as the Australian company called Melbourne House. Unfortunately, the game was not perfect, because the player was always put under pressure by a timer that was part of the missions. In my opinion this was rather sad, as it made it impossible to explore the whole map and take time to enjoy it.

Also, the multiplayer had a lot of bad sides to it, one being that the respawn point remained the same each time that a player was defeated… On the Nintendo DS there were once again an Autobot and a Decepticon version that got released. Sadly, this time they were badly produced, and I had to give up on both of them. PS2 and PSP versions were sadly also not very special. I did play them for a little while, but after noticing that the game played in the bird-perspective I decided to stop, which led me to never touch them again afterwards…

2010 was then an interesting year for Transformers fans, as after 6 years of wait there was another Blockbuster title with the name ‘transformers War for Cybertron’. Produced was the game by High Moon Studios and published was it as always by Activision, who got the Transformers game license from Hasbro since an earlier game release in 2007. The game itself was extraordinary, not only because Peter Cullen spoke the voice of Optimus Prime, but also because it was created with the already loved Unreal 3 graphic engine and because it featured multiplayer system, for its time, cool multiplayer options.

One mode for example screamed Gears of War 2, and was a very similar horde mode called ‘Escalation mode’, that was probably inspired by Gears of War 2’s horde mode. Nonetheless, the game had even more to offer, that being the fact that one could play the game as up to 3 players in a coop mode that was either an Autobot or Decepticon campaign. Sadly however, no game is perfect and so even this game had its problems, one major example being that it was impossible to reinforce on the right side.

The Nintendo DS games were surprisingly well made and here there were again both an Autobot and a Decepticon version. Additionally, one was able to play exclusive ‘War for Cybertron’ characters that were never released on the console versions of the game.

The Wii game was some type of Time Crisis clone version of the game, that tried to aim more towards a kid audience.

Naturally there's more to read.

Coming soon...

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Let's continue with some great news with more recent games. Everything to know between 2011 and 2020!

2011 was the release of a lighter version of the ‘Transformers War for Cybertron’ game by High Moon Studies, this time called ‘Transformers Dark of the Moon’. The game was a bit of a downgrade, as the textures were rather bad and also because the game mechanics were a lot worse compared to ‘Transformers Revenge of the Fallen’. Examples for this were that one could not longer climb on buildings in Dark of the Moon. Additionally, the multiplayer was boring and not even close to being as good as the ‘Transformers War for Cybertron’ multiplayer. This game also released for Xbox 360 and PS3, which meant that the High Moon Studios version never received a PC release.

The Transformers ‘Dark of the Moon’ game not only got a console release, but also a Nintendo DS, 3DS and Wii version.

The Nintendo 3DS and Wii version had the name ‘Transformers Dark of the Moon Stealth Edition’ and was only focused around Transformers driving around in their vehicle form, shooting up bad guys, meaning that there were no robot forms that one could transform into…

2012 High Moon Studios managed to surpass their previous downfall with ‘Dark of the Moon’, releasing their biggest masterpiece called ‘Transformers fall of Cybertron’. The game released on Xbox 360, PS3, PC and later also on the Xbox One and the PS4. As its predecessor, the game got produced with the unreal 3 graphic engine, as well as the Havok physic engine. In my ears, ‘Transformers Fall of Cybertron’ has the best soundtrack of both games, as everyone who likes heavy orchestral work will definitely prefer this soundtrack, leading to this game being the first choice of every Transformers fan. In this game one can switch his weapons between the right and left arms, thereby allowing the player to also defend himself on both sides, which when looking at the multiplayer might give players a tactical advantage when they need it. It is now also an option to run in this game, which is also something that was inspired by Gear of War. Fitting, the game also again has an Escalation mode and a cool multiplayer, that sadly got taken apart by a multitude of hackers…

2012 was also the release date for ‘Transformers Prime’, a game that got released on the Nintendo Wii, Wii U and 3DS. The game had a small touch of the ‘Devil May Cry’ games, as there was a combo-system that was very similar to that of DMC. The Wii U version had better graphics compared to the other two. The Wii and the 3DS versions were however the same game, with the only difference being the tuned down graphics. I for my part own the 3DS version and enjoyed my first playthrough of it, that said it is not a game that should be played more than once.

2014 was then the release year for ‘Transformers Rise of the Dark Spark’ or when looking at the European title ‘Transformers Dark Spark’. The game was sadly not developed by High Moon Studios, but by a studio with the name Edge of Reality, who did not develop much, apart from copying the exact ‘Transformers Fall of Cybertron’’s game-system… The only thing that they did themselves are the 3D models of the ‘Transformers Age of Extinction’ universe, while the other models are, as mentioned before, a straight copy. The only difference withing the copies were small changes to the dialogues that were used… However, that was not all, the graphics themselves were not very well done and one might have that the game was a PS2 release. ‘Transformers Rise of the Dark Spark’ was available on the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, PC, Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. However, the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U versions were once again different games in itself. The 3DS games was in its core a rip-of, as the developers took and copied most from the mobile game ‘Transformers G1 Awakening’. Nevertheless, let us shortly return to the console and PC version of the game, where one of the major flaws of the gameplay was that the weapons and their upgrades were no longer made available through playing the game, but only through loot boxes, which led to heavy grinding for the players who wanted to gain progress… As for the multiplayer, there was only the Escalation mode that was made available to the players…

In 2015, the last game on console and PC came out and has as title: Transformers Devastation. The game was developed by Platinium Games, who were also responsible for well-known games, such as Bayonetta or Metal Gear Rising. The game was released for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, and PC. That Game was refreshing and cool because you could upgrade and strengthen your weapons and use different attributes.

The game was a good mix between hack and slay and 3rd person shooter. The game had very good Cellshading, unfortunately the game has an open end. They talked about a sequel but there were disagreements between Hasbro and Activision. Activision lost the Transformers game license and slowly but surely all Activision games were removed from all the Online platforms.

In 2020, after a long drought, finally a new Transformers game came out, called Transformers Battlegrounds. The game is an Xcom turn based strategy game and it is played in the Transformers Cyberverse Universe which is the actual same as in the current cartoon series.

You can see very quickly that the game is done with Unity which is not so bad. It actually works good with this graphic type of Transformers game.


On the other hand, what should concern the future of Triple A Transformers video games is that Wizards of the Coasts, who are actually known for D&D and Magic The Gathering, are apparently working on a new Transformers game so there is a reason to be excited. Unfortunately, there is still no teaser trailer, concept images or render images.


To be continued, don't be sad. The next one will be the last one of the series of those articles!

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