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Team Droid: Choosing Your Robot

Bouncer can deal with these conveyor belts
Bouncer can deal with these conveyor belts

Wednesday, 13th December 2023

You might choose your robot at random. For most levels, but not all, you will still be able to successfully complete the level. But you will do much better if you examine the level and choose the robot accordingly.

Levels with a labyrinthine set of twists and turns might favour Strider. Strider can always step forward, but also has the equipment to step left and right if the corresponding actions are available. This makes Strider a good choice for sidestepping around obstacles, or even traversing an entire corridor sideways if the turn action isn't available.

Click here to try out Team Droid in your browser.

Levels with lots of turntables will also favour Strider, again because of the lateral movement. If a turntable is going to turn Strider in an inconvenient direction, lateral or backwards movement can allow Strider to carry on in the desired direction without having to turn to rectify its course.

Levels with barriers other than walls (forcefields, conveyor belts) might favour Bouncer. Bouncer can jump over a single forcefield, although two adjacent forcefields in parallel will be too long a jump, unless one of the forcefields can be disabled. A forcefield without a generator cannot be disabled, and is a sign that Bouncer might be the best robot for this level.

Forcefield generators need to be shot to turn off the adjacent forcefield. So Soldier is a good candidate, especially if it would be awkward to jump over the forcefield. With its built-in phaser, and its Shoot action always available in ROM, it should be able to disable the forcefield. If there are Guard robots on the level, especially if they are not easily evaded, Soldier might be a good choice.

Carrier might be a good choice if there are multiple cards to be picked up by a single robot. It can still only carry one at a time, but since the Pick Up Item action is always available in ROM, it will not have to wait around or resort to pushing the data card like other robots sometimes have to do. You still need to time your item drops carefully though, as only the Pick Up Item action is in the ROM - not the Drop Item action.

Be careful to note when choosing your robot that some items might be provided on a level. If the Spring is available, you can complete a level that requires Leaping with robots other than Bouncer. The robot simply needs to pick up the Spring and carry it until it gets past the obstacle. The same goes for the Phaser, which allows any robot to shoot, and the Walker, which allows any robot to move laterally.

One level in the Jam levels pack can only be completed with Multibot. You can spot this because it requires jumping and shooting, but does not provide the items in the level that allow all robots to do this. Only Multibot can Leap and Shoot.

There is no kind of level that only Thinker can complete. It lacks any built-in attachments and has no action in its ROM. Thinker's attraction is its large amount of RAM, allowing you to cram many actions into a single turn. In a level that doesn't require specialisation, Thinker can be a good choice. While the Sprint action is available, Thinker can cover a large amount of straight distance in a single turn: potentially from one side of the map to the other. In fact, Thinker is the only robot that can make it from the left hand side to the right hand side of the level in one turn.

As you can see, there's a lot to think about when choosing your robot. In the next article, we'll look at how to get these robots moving, especially if actions you really want are not available.

Team Droid: Jam Edition

Download: tdroidje.zip
Size 68kb, downloads 322.

This download requires DOSBox to run. The zip file has all the game files tidily stored in the tdroid folder. Extract the contents of the ZIP to wherever you put your DOS games and have fun! A read of the manual would be beneficial for this game if you want to know what you're doing. (read more...)

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