Paradroid 90

Title		Paradroid 90
Game Type	Shoot-em-up
Company		Graftgold
Players		1
Compatibility	All
HD Installable	HD-patch: from Bert Jahn's WHDLoad page
Submission	Angus Manwaring Profiled Reviewer

Andrew Braybrook is a bit of a gaming legend. Famous for the original
Paradroid and Uridium on the C64 he eventually updated them both for the
Amiga. There are purists who would argue that as good as the Amiga version
of Paradroid is, it pales in comparison to the C64 original, with it`s
8-way scrolling and it`s stylish, if drawn out, loading sequence. Well,
I`ve had both, and I think the Amiga version is just as much fun, and you
can`t escape the fact that it looks and sounds better.

	So what`s the game about?  Well, a spaceship, or more accurately a
fleet of the things, have been taken over by the robots that would usually
serve aboard the vessels. Your job is to control an influence device, that
is beamed aboard the ships, and destroy all the rebellious robots.
Initially, this seems extremely unlikely, but your appropriately named
influence device is not as harmless as it seems. Although it has extremely
limited firepower, the device`s main strength is it`s ability to interface
with any robot and challenge it for control of it`s CPU. This takes place
in the form of a sub-game, where under timed conditions you must quickly
assess the most efficient method of owning that chip. You are presented
with what looks like a simple diagram of a silicon chip, on either side of
which, various paths lead to different sections of the chip. You are given
a specific number of "bullets" (electrical impulses) and must select which
paths to "shoot" these down, so bringing the areas of the CPU chip under
your control. The host robot is working from the opposite side of the
chip, trying frantically to defeat your efforts. This section is
complicated by the addition of various features on some of the paths,
making your efforts more or less effective. All this may sound complex,
but it`s actually very straight forward and enjoyable. Your chances are
also greatly improved, if you are migrating from a fairly powerful robot,
in that you start with a correspondingly greater amount of "bullets". In
the main game itself,  (seen from a top down view) you explore various
levels of the ship by using the elevators, and it`s a pleasure to come
across a new area with robots busily getting along with their assigned
duties in a manner that seems logical.

	The levels are a pleasure to behold, and as you might expect from
Mr Braybrook the polish and graphic finesse is here in abundance. Touches,
like the ability to access the computers with their readouts on the
various robots including their specs, are more evidence of the care and
detail lavished on the game. The sound is spot on, ranging  from the wimpy
effect of your influence devices` pathetic lasers to the meatier tones of
the more impressive energy devices. For some reason, I find the music
which accompanies the high scores screen to be absolutely brilliant. All
in all, playable, presentable and pretty near perfect.

Thanks to the extremely talented Mr John Girvin the game is now more
playable than ever before; with his WHDLoad patch. (See above)

It's ironic that this superb game was nearly responsible for the death of
Graftgold. After the company completed the game, Hewson Consultants sold
it off to Activision in a desperate and unsuccesful bid to save their
own dying company, before it went into receivership. It was at this point
that Activision's UK office ceased trading because of restructuring
(through poor results in the USA). This meant that despite Graftgold's
extensive advertising and publicity campaign for Paradroid, no copies of
the game were on sale. They made no royalties, received no advances, and
the game was their biggest ever loss. This must surely rank as one of the
greatest injustices in Amiga games history.

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