Robotron 2084 – Atari 7800

Robotron 2084 was an arcade hit in the early 80s that I never saw or played (to my recollection) until I owned the home port on the Atari 7800. The premise of the game is that in the year 2084, robots have turned on their human creators and you, as a superhuman defender of the human race, must save the remaining few left on earth. Robotron 2084 in the arcade utilized an innovative twin joystick approach where one joystick would maneuver your character around the screen and the other joystick would aim and shoot at the robots. You must also touch the humans on screen, in effect, “saving them” from death.

One of the first things you notice when you play Robotron is how busy and frantic the gameplay is. The screen background is black and filled with robot enemies and humans. You have to quickly assess which of the moving objects should be shot at and which should be rescued so you can determine the best course of action. The robots notice your character in the middle of the screen right away so you don’t have any time to think. Just shoot and move!

With the twin joystick approach, you’re able to dispatch of enemies in one direction while moving in another. According to hardcore fans of this game, that’s the only true way to play the game. Unfortunately, the 7800 doesn’t natively allow for the twin joystick approach so Robotron suffers in the gameplay department as a result. The good news is there are after market adapters that allow you to play Robotron on the 7800 using the twin joystick approach which I think probably raise the enjoyment of the game up a grade. As it stands, Robotron 2084 for the 7800 is a decent title but can’t elevate itself up to all star status due to the controls.

Rating: B

Currently in my collection: game, manual, box

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