Retro gaming fans--those partial to the Commodore 64 in particular--will be pleased to hear that a port of the classic 1985 Hewson title, Paradroid, has come to the iPhone and iPod touch in the form of Droidz [App Store] from Glen Ames.

As Wikipedia describes the original,

The game is set on a spaceship viewed from a top-down perspective. The ship consists of numerous rooms and levels, each one populated by hostile robots or "droids". The player, in control of a special droid called the "Influence Device", must destroy all the other droids on the ship. Each droid (including the player) is represented as a circle around a three-digit number. The numbers roughly correspond to the droid's "power" or "level", in that higher-numbered droids are tougher to destroy.

The Influence Device is numbered "001". The primary way in which the Influence Device destroys other droids is by "linking" with them, effectively taking them over. When the player takes over another droid, the previously-controlled droid is destroyed.

Taking over a droid is done via a mini-game involving basic circuit diagrams and logic gates. Each droid has one side of the screen, with a series of logic gates and circuits connected together. The droids have a number of "power supplies" that can apply power to one circuit. Higher-numbered droids have more power supplies. At the end of a short time period, the droid supplying the most power to the circuit "wins". The logic gates are the key to allowing lower-numbered droids to beat higher-numbered droids. There is also a strategy in timing when power is applied to a circuit (as two supplies of power to the same circuit result in the later supplier of power gaining control of the circuit).

Droidz utilizes accelerometer control for movement and a tap in the direction of an enemy for firing.  The game features a 16-level ship from which the player must clear all droidz.  Once a level is clear, it will shut down and other levels can be explored by way of elevators.  Droidz features audio similar to the original and an updated set of graphics taken from the Freedroid project.

A review of the original Paradroid (published last year) lavishes the game with high praise.

Paradroid is an absolute masterpiece. The keyword is balance: Where most shooting games restrict themselves to a linear path of upgrading weapons, the power is inversely proportional to the time it can be used here. So the player is always on the run here, jumping from robot to robot, always anxiously watching the remaining time until burnout. Not to be missed!

See our brief gameplay video to see a bit of the action.  A video of the C64 original can be seen here.


[ Full HD version | Low Bandwidth version ]

It's worth mentioning that Droidz is very much a retro title.  Those without an early attachment to the original may well find the gameplay and overall presentation somewhat basic as compared to today's shooters.

App Store Link: Droidz, $1.99

  • ConraDargo

    OMFG must have!!! o/

  • ConraDargo

    OMFG must have!!! \o/

  • heorge

    Peope these games are avialable free via the ney, way overpriced jeesh.

  • heorge

    Peope these games are avialable free via the ney, way overpriced jeesh.

  • http://www.c64glen.com c64glen

    I wondering what is legal situation is, charging for a game that uses another games concept, graphics and sound. C64 games are NOT abandonware.

  • http://www.c64glen.com c64glen

    I wondering what is legal situation is, charging for a game that uses another games concept, graphics and sound. C64 games are NOT abandonware.

  • Ataru

    Assuming someone still owns (and cares) about the copyright to this, it isn't going to last long. Great game though.

  • Ataru

    Assuming someone still owns (and cares) about the copyright to this, it isn't going to last long. Great game though.

  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

    Well, the existence of the Freedroid project, linked in the article, may point to this being an abandonware game. I dug about the Freedroid site looking for such an indication but found little, however.

  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

    Well, the existence of the Freedroid project, linked in the article, may point to this being an abandonware game. I dug about the Freedroid site looking for such an indication but found little, however.

  • zenchord

    This game looks stupid.

    • Brainz

      ...only to an idiot...

  • zenchord

    This game looks stupid.

  • Ataru

    @zenchord Thanks for that intelligent comment. There are reasons why this is widely regarded as an 8-bit classic, but I guess you're too lazy or stupid to find out for yourself.

  • Ataru

    @zenchord Thanks for that intelligent comment. There are reasons why this is widely regarded as an 8-bit classic, but I guess you're too lazy or stupid to find out for yourself.

  • Adams Immersive

    @heorge: A game that's free online won't play on an iPhone. That takes WORK to make happen.

    (Aside from that, the adult in me does have questions about directly using another game's IP - or cloning the look too closely - especially if copyright still holds. But the kid in me wants all KINDS of my favorite abandonware on the iPhone! And the horse in me wants a carrot.)

  • Adams Immersive

    @heorge: A game that's free online won't play on an iPhone. That takes WORK to make happen.

    (Aside from that, the adult in me does have questions about directly using another game's IP - or cloning the look too closely - especially if copyright still holds. But the kid in me wants all KINDS of my favorite abandonware on the iPhone! And the horse in me wants a carrot.)

  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

    This (recent) review calls Paradroid abandonware:

    http://indygamer.blogspot.com/2007/06/retro-review-paradroid.html

  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

    This (recent) review calls Paradroid abandonware:

    http://indygamer.blogspot.com/2007/06/retro-review-paradroid.html

  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

    I just updated the article with a review link and excerpt. FYI.

  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

    I just updated the article with a review link and excerpt. FYI.

  • http://www.secretexit.com Frand

    Paradroid isn't abandonware, the rights to Graftgold games are owned by Jester Interactive.

  • http://www.secretexit.com Frand

    Paradroid isn't abandonware, the rights to Graftgold games are owned by Jester Interactive.

  • Jayminer

    Oh, I love this game! Too bad my phone is broken right now :(

    And since the game was released on Virtual Console (Wii) not very long ago, I wonder what the copyright holders really think?

  • Jayminer

    Oh, I love this game! Too bad my phone is broken right now :(

    And since the game was released on Virtual Console (Wii) not very long ago, I wonder what the copyright holders really think?

  • zenchord

    @Ataru.....I don't care if it's 8 bit classic..... it still looks retarded. The only thing that's good about it is the sound. It sounds like a space ship from Mars trying to communicate with another alien. Why don't they modernize it if it's so good and make it look more real. We aren't back in the 60's anymore.

    • Brainz

      ...it only looks retarded to a retard...

  • zenchord

    @Ataru.....I don't care if it's 8 bit classic..... it still looks retarded. The only thing that's good about it is the sound. It sounds like a space ship from Mars trying to communicate with another alien. Why don't they modernize it if it's so good and make it look more real. We aren't back in the 60's anymore.

  • Eric5h5

    If they made it look "more real" then it wouldn't look like Paradroid anymore, duh. There's something to be said for simple clean graphics, especially on a small iPhone screen. I played Paradroid 90 a bit back in the day, and it had more updated graphics, but that didn't make the game any better or more fun. In fact it was kind of worse, because the fancier graphics made it harder to distinguish droids at a glance, and there was no horizontal scrolling with big levels anymore.

  • Eric5h5

    If they made it look "more real" then it wouldn't look like Paradroid anymore, duh. There's something to be said for simple clean graphics, especially on a small iPhone screen. I played Paradroid 90 a bit back in the day, and it had more updated graphics, but that didn't make the game any better or more fun. In fact it was kind of worse, because the fancier graphics made it harder to distinguish droids at a glance, and there was no horizontal scrolling with big levels anymore.

  • Ataru

    @zenchord Why not modernise it? Because it's a retro game FFS. It's supposed to bring back memories of playing the amazing original back in the 1980s, which is does admirably. If you don't like it then go and play something else, it's not as if you're spoilt for choice on the appstore. Oh and what on earth is the point of making incredibly brief, moronic comments about games you clearly have no interest in? You are a troll, and not welcome here.

  • Ataru

    @zenchord Why not modernise it? Because it's a retro game FFS. It's supposed to bring back memories of playing the amazing original back in the 1980s, which is does admirably. If you don't like it then go and play something else, it's not as if you're spoilt for choice on the appstore. Oh and what on earth is the point of making incredibly brief, moronic comments about games you clearly have no interest in? You are a troll, and not welcome here.

  • Chad

    Pac-man was an 8-bit classic and it was a lot better than this. This looks like one of those horrible games you got on a CD that had "10,000" games on it back in the early-mid 90s.

  • Chad

    Pac-man was an 8-bit classic and it was a lot better than this. This looks like one of those horrible games you got on a CD that had "10,000" games on it back in the early-mid 90s.

  • simon

    this is one of the best games i ever played and a great example of what makes a classic - it was very well put together in the first place - updating it with lots of flashy graphics is precisely what it doesn't need.

    well done to the developers for recognising that - it takes something to realise that when it can't be done better then just stay out of the way and just present it.

  • simon

    this is one of the best games i ever played and a great example of what makes a classic - it was very well put together in the first place - updating it with lots of flashy graphics is precisely what it doesn't need.

    well done to the developers for recognising that - it takes something to realise that when it can't be done better then just stay out of the way and just present it.

  • Geert

    Yesss! This was the game that made me download all these C64 emulators!

    • Brainz

      Indeed.

  • Geert

    Yesss! This was the game that made me download all these C64 emulators!

  • shivers

    im going to have to agree with zenchord that this game looks incredibly stupid, not to mention hard to control. it just looks.... so boring when the guy is playing it in the demo.

  • shivers

    im going to have to agree with zenchord that this game looks incredibly stupid, not to mention hard to control. it just looks.... so boring when the guy is playing it in the demo.

  • Cinepod

    It is a shame the video does not show more of the gameplay. To complete this game as a shooter only blasting your way through the game as the standard droid is not only boring but also very hard. Instead use the "Transfer Mode" (not sure how it works on the iPhone) holding down the fire button while bumping into a higher model. Now the real fun begins as you will be able to battle for control of the robot you bumbed into (though only for a limited time) including using its powers which consists of better lasers and some AOE blitz attack. The transfer mode is done by shooting off electric charges at the "brain stem" in the middle of the screen, but beware as you do not have as many charges as your opponent. The one who has most active electric currents between itself and the "brain stem" wins. There are various ways the electric current can go, some of the circuits are blind others devide into two circuits before reaching the brain stem, and some enhances the electric current making them permanent. The electricity does not last forever, so do not just shoot them all away at once, use your charges wisely, look at what your opponent is doing. If your electric current meets with the opponents electric current, the two currents will batle for dominion, so try to use your charges at unused circuits (the ones your opponent does), or use them when your opponent has used all his charges and the energy of electric current is wearing out increasing your chances to win that circuit. This is hard to describe, so go try it out yourself. Start with a level 1 or 2 droid at first to get some practise before trying to take on the larger level droids. Also, as you take over a robot you not only get its weapons, you also get a higher number of electric charges making the next transfer easier. Beware of the Cyborg droid though, it can be a little tricky to transfer as it has quite a few electric charges. Good luck. :)

  • Cinepod

    It is a shame the video does not show more of the gameplay. To complete this game as a shooter only blasting your way through the game as the standard droid is not only boring but also very hard. Instead use the "Transfer Mode" (not sure how it works on the iPhone) holding down the fire button while bumping into a higher model. Now the real fun begins as you will be able to battle for control of the robot you bumbed into (though only for a limited time) including using its powers which consists of better lasers and some AOE blitz attack. The transfer mode is done by shooting off electric charges at the "brain stem" in the middle of the screen, but beware as you do not have as many charges as your opponent. The one who has most active electric currents between itself and the "brain stem" wins. There are various ways the electric current can go, some of the circuits are blind others devide into two circuits before reaching the brain stem, and some enhances the electric current making them permanent. The electricity does not last forever, so do not just shoot them all away at once, use your charges wisely, look at what your opponent is doing. If your electric current meets with the opponents electric current, the two currents will batle for dominion, so try to use your charges at unused circuits (the ones your opponent does), or use them when your opponent has used all his charges and the energy of electric current is wearing out increasing your chances to win that circuit. This is hard to describe, so go try it out yourself. Start with a level 1 or 2 droid at first to get some practise before trying to take on the larger level droids. Also, as you take over a robot you not only get its weapons, you also get a higher number of electric charges making the next transfer easier. Beware of the Cyborg droid though, it can be a little tricky to transfer as it has quite a few electric charges. Good luck. :)

  • Cinepod

    Correction to the above: The one who has most active electric currents between itself and the “brain stem” when the timer ends wins - you only have a certain amount of time to win the transfer.

  • Cinepod

    Correction to the above: The one who has most active electric currents between itself and the “brain stem” when the timer ends wins - you only have a certain amount of time to win the transfer.

  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

    Indeed it's a brief video - probably our shortest. A vid of the original game is linked in the article. At any rate, I think the target audience, even after seeing the short vid, will have a pretty good idea of what to expect.

  • http://www.blakespot.com Blake Patterson

    Indeed it's a brief video - probably our shortest. A vid of the original game is linked in the article. At any rate, I think the target audience, even after seeing the short vid, will have a pretty good idea of what to expect.

  • Kerr Avon

    If Andrew Braybrook isn't getting a 50% cut of the profits then this guy is a loser AND a theif and Apple should be taken to court by AB.

    I wish everyone had talent, but sadly it appears this is not the case and others were only born to copy and duplicate other peoples' creative genius.

    • Brainz

      ...whilst agree that AB should be seeing some reward for all of the clones made of Paradroid, I think it's safe to suggest that the makers of Droidz are/were simply producing an ode to the original and not attempting to pass it off as an original concept and, frankly, I would almost call their production a public-service for those fans of the original who have been wanting a mobile version of this mega-classic.

  • Kerr Avon

    If Andrew Braybrook isn't getting a 50% cut of the profits then this guy is a loser AND a theif and Apple should be taken to court by AB.

    I wish everyone had talent, but sadly it appears this is not the case and others were only born to copy and duplicate other peoples' creative genius.

  • Dion

    Completely agree with you Kerr Avon (nice Blake's 7 reference there!), and have e-mailed Jester to report this.

  • Dion

    Completely agree with you Kerr Avon (nice Blake's 7 reference there!), and have e-mailed Jester to report this.

  • http://iphonetiny.com Craig Grannell

    @Kerr Avon - it's not like Braybrook likely got a penny from the VC release, sadly. Most of the old programmers aren't making a bean off their old work.

    As for the game itself, Paradroid is one of the best things ever to grace the C64 and remains a top game today. Droidz suffers due to its controls and the lack of save-on-quit, but it's not a bad conversion, and I've seen much worse on the App Store. I just gave it a 3/5 on iPhoneTiny.

  • http://iphonetiny.com Craig Grannell

    @Kerr Avon - it's not like Braybrook likely got a penny from the VC release, sadly. Most of the old programmers aren't making a bean off their old work.

    As for the game itself, Paradroid is one of the best things ever to grace the C64 and remains a top game today. Droidz suffers due to its controls and the lack of save-on-quit, but it's not a bad conversion, and I've seen much worse on the App Store. I just gave it a 3/5 on iPhoneTiny.