Version tested: Retro
Robotron:2084 is the epitome of organised chaos. An unbridled jaunt into insanity and the ultimate in twitch gaming. This is a title that all shooter fans must play at least once in order to experience the finely balanced gaming perfection achieved by the legendary Eugene Jarvis.
Jarvis, I'm sure, is a very nice man. Yet Inside the depths of his twisted psyche lurks a dark recess where evil thought processes provide inspiration for such nefarious game designs; games that test the player's skill and resolve, while constantly challenging their boundaries of patience and frustration. Robotron is a hallmark example - an unforgiving game permeated by an inexplicable addictiveness.
There has to be a method to the Robotron madness. The basic game premise and controls are such that anyone can understand: one stick for moving, one stick for firing and the simple task of destroying everything on the screen (with the added nuisance of rescuing humans for vital bonus points).
The early levels prove straight forward as the game mechanics unfold. A few levels in and the screen quickly fills with enemies that home in on you in swarms, inducing player panic and reactive joystick hammering. A blink of the eye, another life lost. A slight loss of concentration, and there goes another. And from that brief moment when you felt you were doing so well, its game over.
If you looked up "classic" in the dictionary, the definition would be "Robotron". The cabinet design for both the upright and cocktail versions is exquisite and both have become sought after objects of desire for collectors, while the game has an intangible ability to taunt you; making you think the next time you play you will do better and maybe, just maybe, get one stage further.
10 / 10