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DOS - 1990

Also available on: Amiga - Atari ST

Year 1990
Platform DOS
Released in France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom (1990)
United States (1991)
Genre Action
Theme Flight, Sci-Fi / Futuristic
Publisher Arcana Software Limited, Microdaft
Developer Systematics
Perspective Side view
Dosbox support Supported on 0.62
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4.17 / 5 - 6 votes

Description of Rotor

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Rotor is an above-average multi-directional shoot 'em up that bodes well for the spiritual descendants such as Zone 66 years later.

Good graphics, smooth gameplay, and an interesting mix of tactical options. The description at MobyGames explains the mechanics quite thoroughly thus: "You control a battle tank (the Rotor) which hovers in a 2D-labyrinth. Gravity pulls heavily on the Rotor, making it fall towards the ground. As any contact with walls or enemies is deadly, your main task is to avoid that. You may rotate your tank freely and accelerate via an afterburner, thus manoeuvring through the corridors -- imagine a mix of Asteroids and Lunar Lander to get an idea of the physics.

Scattered throughout the 18 different fortresses are boxes. Shoot these open to find either :

  • a) Fuel: this will replenish your supply, which is drained by shooting and accelerating.
  • b) Sun crystals: Collect all to finish the mission.
  • c) Bombs. They will explode in 30 to 60 seconds, destroying your ship. You can avoid that by leaving the screen quickly, or by picking the bomb up; this earns you major credits, but your ship drops much faster due to increased weight.
  • d) Pearls. Collecting these advance the upgrade counter by one to three steps; you may activate the current upgrade at any time, which will improve your rotation speed, engine strength, weapon, shield etc.

Boxes are emptied by carefully flying very, very close to them and activating a tractor field. As if gravity and accurate flying wasn't challenging enough, the game also confronts you with various enemies. All of these are immobile and fire in a straight line; the sheer mass of them makes avoiding the bullets a difficult task nevertheless. Apart from turrets, there are attractors and repulsors who'll smash you into walls, and force fields that need to be deactivated by finding and shooting a switch.

The tricky labyrinths together with the short supply of fuel, weight constraints and clever upgrade system make Rotor more a game of tactics and accuracy than arcade action. Wild shooting and careless flying will deplete your fuel in no time; you'll have to progress carefully to discern traps in time."

Recommended for action meistros who likes a dash of strategy in their shooters.

Review By HOTUD

External links

Comments and reviews

MarkTheMorose 2019-07-13 1 point

CTRL-F1 will get you into the DOSbox keymapper, and let you configure the controls as you wish, within reason.

The manual (applies to all versions) is available at:

Ytsejammer 2015-03-26 1 point DOS version

some keys i've worked out...

space fire
< rotate
> rotate
C thruster
X ? does something wierd
P pause

Curs-Up Menu Up
Curs-Dn Menu Down

Rodney or Die! 2010-05-26 0 point DOS version

My problem with this game is that the controls of DOS version of the game are absolutely terrible or broken. Is there somebody who knows how to fix it (or who can help with finding "normally" working version)?

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