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Robotron: 2084

DOS - 1983

Also available on: Apple II - Atari 7800 - Atari 8-bit - BBC Micro - Commodore 64 - Electron - Lynx - VIC-20

Year 1983
Platform DOS
Released in United States
Genre Action
Theme Arcade, Sci-Fi / Futuristic, Shooter
Publisher Atarisoft
Developer Vid Kidz
Perspectives Top-Down, Fixed / Flip-screen
Dosbox support Fully supported on 0.61
4.33 / 5 - 24 votes

Description of Robotron: 2084

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Arguably the best "pure" action game ever made, Robotron: 2084 rocketed Eugene Jarvis to fame when it was first released as an arcade game by Williams Electronics in 1982. This PC version, released two years later, retains all the frenetic fun of the arcade original, although the experience is somewhat muted without the arcade's famous V-stick mode.

The gameplay in Robotron is as simple as any game ever made - which makes its timeless status all the more amazing. Your goal: shoot everything in sight. No need to worry about the survivors you are supposed to save (who, according to the game's thin plot, are your family members), since they are bulletproof. But because the Robotrons can kill them, you must try to save them first, and fast.

There are many different enemies from the straightforward Grunts to the devious Brains that transform the innocents into vicious weapons of war (called "Progs"). Worse, you also need to fight robots that can create others, e.g. the Spheroids create Enforcers that fire guided mines at you, and the Quarks (each worth an impressive 1,000 points) will create Tanks that try to run over you or fire Bounce Bombs.

There are even the Hulks, which are indestructible and can only be halted briefly by your laser fire. Each kind of Robotron has a different way of attacking you and also different point values. Points are also scored by destroying the missiles that they fire at you, by destroying other enemies that appear during each wave and by saving humans.

During each wave, you must destroy all the Robotrons (with the exception of the indestructible Hulks) and rescue as many human family members as possible in order to proceed to the next wave. When you complete wave 255 it will appear as if you just started the game - wave 1 will start all over.

But never mind the lack of elaborate ending - you don't play pure action games for plot, and Robotron is the best of breed. Each wave poses a new challenge and gets faster, harder and more crowded. After about ten levels, things are real hairy and you survive on a combination of skill, luck and pure instinct. After the first few dozen waves, you will be so perfectly addicted and absorbed in the game that you won't even think any longer: just react to anything that moves. There is no planning, no rationalizing, just pure instinct. This is when you become oblivious to the outside world ;)

If you consider yourself a die-hard action gamer, your experience won't be complete without playing this venerable classic. Be sure to use slowdown programs such as Turbo or Moslo (read our FAQ for details) before playing, though, otherwise your experience will be over in a few nanoseconds.

A must-have, and a proud entrant into our Hall of Belated Fame.

Review By HOTUD

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Comments and reviews

lizard 2024-04-24 0 point

this was and i say still is the best game ever . not many people let alone women can actually break 1,000,000 but i was one and it takes alot of determination and patients.
love it

Leeman 2024-04-09 0 point

I have this game on CD from xbox among a suite of other classic arcade have like centipede, middle command, dig dug etc. robotron plays very well just like the arcade only work my xbox controller. Only problem is my xbox is acting up. I wish too for the Apple ROM AND OR sideload into my meta quest 3 to play in VR.

sershinbone 2021-06-22 0 point DOS version

the DOS download is missing the exe file

Mr Vampire 2019-02-10 1 point Commodore 64 version

Fun game. Only played it casually myself, unlike some of the insanely addicted others in the comments here.

Zapp 2017-06-15 1 point

I am the greatest robotron player in the world. The game has 99 score 100.000 000 + points on setting no.8.

Esse Quam Videri 2017-03-12 2 points

I once played a single game of this for hours in Wizard's Castle. When they were closing I asked the coin-lady if I could kill off my extra men (obviously here and I were on a first name basis for all the time I spent there). I had over 100 extra men and my score was in the millions. Man I loved that game and it still holds a special place in my heart.

They turned up the difficulty after that (I guess one quarter for hours of fun was not a good way to make money) and my score stayed up on the wall until the end of time.

heavycasher 2014-08-14 0 point DOS version

This was MY game. 3 of us dumped heavy cash into playing to get the high-score! Back then.... At a limit of $1-$2 a day competition was heavy and my final score before the game vanished was a MEAGER level 56, but I trashed the competition by 3 levels! I then took on 2 player score in shooting games afterwards by myself to prove 1 player COULD do 2-handed sighting and controls.

WISH I had 2 joy sticks and this game ran with newer clocks so I could play again :((

morrisc 2014-05-07 0 point DOS version

Awesome game

gramalamadingdong 2013-10-26 -2 points DOS version

i want to down load this game and play it. but i'm dumb. i don't understand this ffancy internet stuff. how do i do it. i don't just want the trial, i want to buy it. how much is it? why isn't that obvious information?

pixel 2012-05-30 0 point DOS version


elephantrange 2011-05-11 0 point DOS version

Love the game, but I can't find the key sequence to exit it!

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