Paradroid 90
for Amiga (OCS/ECS)

Mr Creosote:
Company: Graftgold / Hewson
Year: 1990
Genre: Action
Theme: Science Fiction
Language: English
Licence: Commercial
Views: 29847
Review by Mr Creosote (2008-02-08)

Graftgold never really made the big leap away from 8 bit systems. Although they created many great games on the Atari ST and the Amiga, the revolutionary and original things they had done were a thing of the past. In fact, they even 'remade' their most popular classics. Uridium got that treatment later, but for Paradroid, they at least had the humility not to call it Paradroid 2.

Quite rightly so, as the game is basically the same as the C64 classic. You control a kind of 'meta robot' which is able to take control of other robots. This is necessary, because your vessel can't survive a direct confrontation with stronger models armor and weapon-wise. So, to clear the level of evil robots, you gradually take over stronger ones to use them to destroy the rest.

To do this, you activate the 'takeover' weapon which only works at close range sneak up to your target. A small game of simple circuit logic (trying to colour as many tiles as possible) determines whether you succeed or not. If not, you're dead. Otherwise, you're driving around in a new (stronger) shell for some time. Your control power being limited, you have to keep an eye on the clock in order to jump to the next host im time.

Of course, Paradroid 90 has been improved graphically. However, it's not really that impressive. It's just good. Sure, it's nice how your robot-controlling drone attaches to the host robot visually, but on the whole, the robots still look quite 'abstract' and the colour scheme is strange.

In fact, this remake is even less fun that the original. That is because the graphics just carry less information. In the predecessor, each robot's approximate strength and model could be determined by its number. In this game, it has to happen purely visually, and many models look very alike. Also, in the takeover sub-game, the contrast between the two opponents' colours is too small to really see what's going on in this hectic.

So, in a way, the graphical overhaul turns out to be more of a curse than a blessing. With some practice, Paradroid 90 can be a lot of fun, but I'd take the original over this any day.

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