Paradroid, Commodore 64 Review By Rob Joy

Anyone remember “Hewson Consultants”? Allow me to elaborate.

During the 80’s many companies producing games rose and fell amidst the great competition at the time. We know certain software houses were responsible for some epic titles, however few were as slick as the productions of ‘Hewson’.
The game under the looking glass here is ‘Paradroid’ for the Commodore 64. As with any Hewson game, the title was extremely original and unique both graphically and dynamically.

“There are no survivors”

The physics of the game is to take control of a small, ill equipped maintenance droid, low shields and no weapons, the mission is to clear out decks of huge dreadnaughts in space of rogue droids, each with varying job descriptions and tools for their specific role. Battle droids, gardening bots and security sentries, the myriad of metallic monstrosities is vast and varied.
This may seem an impossible task if it were not for the cleverly designed combat sequences once an enemy droid is encountered after exploring the halls and rooms of the abandoned hulk.

“Firing on all circuits!”

Once the combat scene is entered, the screen layout changes to a circuitry flow chart leading to the central C.P.U. Each droid has a numbered amount of attack programs to fire off to maximise the amount of memory blocks in the centre, thus taking control of the opposing droid and all its abilities. This may sound complicated, however, the simplicity, strategy and time limit make this one of the most original formats of in game combat methods and as such is a lot more user friendly than it sounds and extremely rewarding after having hacked into the circuitry of opposing droids to take control of weaponry, more agile controls, stronger shields and…… well, of course we don’t wish to spoil things.

“Elevator action”

Once the many rooms are encountered, coloured on the map and cleared, its time to take the action to another level, quite literally, as elevators are part of the infrastructure, giving access to other rooms with other hazards. What, you didn’t think it would be that simple did you?
As levels progress so does the intelligence of alloyed atrociousness, leading to a higher number of attack programs to defend their C.P.U’s., and heavier weaponry to keep you from approach and thwart any attempt to lock horns in the sub electronic arena.

Paradroid was and still is as original as any game could get and deserves not only a mention but a re-visit again and again to experience the sheer unique gameplay from one of the slickest companies of the time.

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“Marauding, metallic mayhem at its most magnificent, mind bending melee.”

Review by: Rob Joy

Enjoy Life, be kind to others.

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