Thursday, December 29, 2016

Droid

Droid is a homebrew platform-shooter released in 1991 by the distinctively titled M.P. Lord. You are a robot mech who is apparently lost within a catacomb of well-armed caverns and the aim is simple, to escape. Forget you saw that Psygnosis game as you explore, looking for keys and killing the metallic baddies along the way!

However, if ever a game had a steep learning curve, this is it. Droid can be incredibly frustrating to control, especially when making those tight jumps. Our mechanoid doesn't seem able to turn around without also walking a few steps, in a strangely similar fashion to Black Lamp. So get used to fine joystick tapping to get around that "mechanic" otherwise you shall end up falling many levels, which can be a tad upsetting! I struggled with its cruel learning curve but stick with it because Droid offers a long-term challenge and is certainly one of the best PD games for the Atari ST.

The MechWarrior fun doesn't end there because Jamie Hamshere released an audio-enhanced version a few years ago - for the Atari STe. This replaced the bleep-bleep sound effects with thumping DMA sample and I strongly urge all STe owners to download this update over the original. The good news continues on - only days ago - he announced news of a brand new project to completely rewrite Droid from the ground up featuring ultra smooth hardware scrolling, Blitter graphics, DMA samples, and Jagpad support. Heck, he also shared an early beta which gives you a good idea just how well progress has begun. To say I'm excited about this new slab of homebrew is an understatement and I certainly wish him well. I'm really looking forward to more updates (and releases) throughout the coming new year!!

LINKS

 - The brand new early-beta can be downloaded from Atari-Forum right now. Remember, Atari STe only.
 - Along with the animation, I made a video but YouTube typically kills it. Best experienced using a real Atari STe!
 - Whilst we eagerly wait for completion, why not download the original game?
      --> Atari STFM dudes should download the original found on Adrenalin #20 using Stonish.
      --> Atari STE nutters should play Jamie's audio-enhanced update downloadable via Atari-Forum website.