Friday, July 01, 2016


The final frontier...

Little iddy biddy Oids are our robotic friends but they are currently being mistreated in a terrible way by their evil creators, the Biocretes. Innocent oids are now being held prisoner on various remote planets located in the deepest parts of space without any noticeable atmosphere - yet strangely trees still managed to grow! ;-)

Oids was created by Dan Hewitt and was unleashed in 1987 by FTL. For years it remained an Atari ST exclusive title until 2002 when the Apple Mac received a conversion. (the older PPC Macs and not the newer Intel or ARM Macs, sadly). Anyhow, this is a bid deal for the ST because it's exclusive and I hear it's pretty good too. Let's see...

Hurry up and rescue little stickmen from that prison!

In space, no one can hear you scream!

In a similar fashion to Thrust, you need to navigate a spaceship through caverns searching for our metal friends. Use weapons to destroy the buildings holding them captive and find a place to land so they can get on board. Now, sit back and watch as the superbly-animated stickmen make their way toward your ship. Simple and elegant. Once all are found, your mothership appears high in the sky to whisk everyone to safety.

Controls are so simple to turn, thrust, fire and so on. It might sound a little strange to rotate and turn your ship in the right direction before thrusting. But it works perfectly well and in tune with the physics and gravity of each planet. It feels real, without being fiddly or difficult.

Don't expect the Biocretes to sit back and wait for you. They're darn evil and armed each planet with hazards and artillery defences: rocket launchers, gun turrets, repulsers, gravity bases, etc. Everything can be destroyed, but don't expect a mothership or ground base to be easy. Sometimes it's best to fly away like a cowardly chicken!

Hang on, so trees can grow just fine on rocks without an atmosphere?

Sound & Vision?

Visually, this game might first appear simple and without much to it. Well, you would be correct is in some ways. However, stop right there buddy boy, because this game is bang-on awesome. The outline of each planet's landscape is represented by a rough terrain which looks perfect. Buildings, turrets and all other objects are detailed so nicely. However, it's the excellent animation of those stickmen that makes my grin very wide!!

Audio is lacking in the chiptune dept - there isn't any! But we do get to hear the boing...boing... of the ball in a cool 3D intro. In-game effects are for your ship's thrusters and guns - I love the firing sounds and other explosion effects are nice. There isn't anything more required and music would kill the dead-of-space atmosphere.

Roaming around planets is fun but later levels are very, very hard to master. Learn to pilot!

The CryptO'pinion?

Every ST nutter loves this game because, well, how can I put it? Hmm, Oids absolutely brilliant!! The idea isn't original but its execution is spot-on using superb mechanics, realistic physics and interesting levels. It wasn't only an Atari ST exclusive but it's one which is so enjoyable and extremely challenging thanks to great gameplay.

Although there are several other alternatives (all of which are excellent) Oids easily remains the best of the bunch. One of the most outstanding games released - Oids is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!!


UPDATE: 8BitChip has updated Oids with faster framerates!! *

8BitChip has a download that can be installed to HDD.
Klaz Hideaway has a great download for both floppy and HDD.

Read the Oids manual (Apple Mac but relevant)

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