Cyningstan DOS Games

Games for Early PCs

Team Droid: Getting the Robots Moving

Using Leap to travel the wrong way along conveyor belts
Using Leap to travel the wrong way along conveyor belts

Wednesday, 20th December 2023

In principle, moving the robots is simple. Tell them during the programming phase what actions you want them to follow, and then select Go! from the menu. The steps and missteps will all be played out in front of you, then you get another turn, and so on. In practice, things are not so straightforward, and this is where the game's challenge lies.

Click here to try out Team Droid in your browser.

Of the twelve possible actions in the game, only six are available at any one time, plus whatever action is in the robot's ROM. The available actions are rotated each turn, so that one disappears off the bottom and another appears at the top. These actions appear in the same order, so after one complete rotation of six turns, you can begin to predict which of the missing actions will or won't be available again soon.

This means that if you want to Step Forward, but the Step Forward action isn't available this turn, you'll have to do something else. In this case you could Turn About and Step Backward, if those actions are available. Or you could Sprint or Leap, and if that takes you past your desired stopping point, Step Backward afterwards. You could Turn Left and Step Right, or Turn Right and Step Left.

Always remember: the arrow pointing straight upwards is Step Forward, not "move north". Similarly the arrows pointing straight left, right and down are Step Left, Step Right, and Step Backward, not "move west/east/south". Even I sometimes lapse and get this wrong if I'm not concentrating.

Turning is sometimes equally easy to find alternative actions for. If you want to Turn Left but you can only Turn Right, then three Turn Right actions will bring you around to the direction you want to face. As will one Turn About and one Turn Right. Similarly, Turn About can be substituted with a pair of Turn Left or Turn Right actions.

Of course, the availability of all these alternative action is random, and you may not be able to perform them with the robot you've chosen.  If you're really stuck, then as a last resort you can skip the turn by selecting Go! without adding any actions, waiting for more useful actions to come back on to the list of available actions. It really is best to leave this as a last resort, though. If you can do something to get your robot moving in the right direction, then it's rarely worth waiting for even the most efficient action to roll back onto the available actions list.

In the next post I'll look into the robot's inventory management.

Team Droid: Jam Edition

Download: tdroidje.zip
Size 68kb, downloads 296.

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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