Robotron: 2084 (Arcade) is the Retro Game of the Day for 8 July, 2016

I thought this appropriate after yesterday’s futuristic prediction that in 2072 we would be playing robot football.  Apparently, 12 years later, the robots got sick of exploding for our amusement and killed nearly everyone off.  Nice.

Robotron: 2084 is a simple twin-stick shooter that pits you against a horde of robots in attempt to save the last human family that roams among the robots you must destroy.  Waves of several different robot types will attack you and in some cases, the family, while you shoot in eight directions at the robot menace.

Sadly, this game seemed to be one of the first examples of a game feature that I very much dislike: bullet hell.  Defined as a shooter or other type of game that places its challenge in dodging a huge carpet of bullets quickly, to me the whole concept smacks of laziness and the inability to figure out a real challenge.  Granted, at least Robotron allows you to destroy the incoming bullets, and the bullet hell can be at least pared down or avoided completely in some cases, but when it comes to the tank waves, I don’t think there is any way you can avoid getting assaulted by a huge wave of bullets that come at you quickly and from all directions, making it very difficult or impossible to avoid.  A shame, because the game is really fun and enjoyable otherwise.

Just thought I would highlight this one as an example of a retro game that unfortunately hurts the enjoyment of the game in at least a small way by a game feature that has been in the years afterwards been taken to the absolute absurd limit with vertical shooters and other games that expect you to do the near-impossible by avoiding these bullets that are nearly everywhere on the screen.  It’s lazy, it’s unfair, and it’s dumb.  At least Robotron tried to make it fair, but in the end, it’s still a bad game design decision.

 

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