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"Games of the Week!"

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Another Mastertronic 1.99 special quietly slips onto the streets. Don't be misled by the rather basic Spectrumesque graphics,
One Man and his Droid is great fun to play. The backing music is yet another Rob Hubbard special, and although sounding similar to Monty on the Run features brilliant voices as it pounds away. If you're loafing around with a spare couple of pound coins a-jingling in your pocket then trundle into your local shop and buy it -- it's great!


One Man and his Droid is one of Mastertronic's better releases and, despite simple graphics and play elements, it is great fun. The brilliant Rob Hubbard soundtrack pounding away in the background helps somewhat and it's probably his best piece to date, although his music is starting to get tiresome and slightly passe. An excellent game though and well worth the asking price.



Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!
One Man and his Droid
1985 Mastertronic
Programmed by Adrian Sheppard
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the eleventh issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: February 9th, 1986).

Mastertronic, 1.99 cass, joystick only

You've been sent off to the planet Anromadus to round up members of a species of alien animal named ramboids and teleport them to market. Despite the name, ramboids are not Sylvester Stallone look-alikes, but are the Anromadian equivalent of male sheep -- hence the name ramboids. Technologically things have moved on quite a bit since the days when a shepherd's only friend was his dog. The modern shepherd has traded in Shep and got himself a droid, a multi-functioning device specially designed for the job. Capable of four different modes of operation, the droid is used to guide the ramboids into the teleport chamber.

When you start the game you are given the option of inputting a password in order to resume a game you were playing earlier, otherwise you start at the beginning. There are passwords for each of the twenty different ramboid-filled caverns, and as you progress through each cavern, the computer releases the corresponding password to you.

At the start of a game the screen is split up into sever different windows. Largest and centrally placed is the main window which looks into a cavern, displaying a view of your droid placed centrally amongst the scenery. Your first task is to guide the droid to the start position. When you arrive at the start the computer takes over and places the droid in the first cavern.

Once into the first cavern, the other six windows activate. A narrow, vertical window to the left of the main screen randomly shuffles eight different ramboids within itself to set the collection sequence, which is the order in which you have to get the ramboids into the teleport. A window on the right of the main screen charts your progress, indicating the ramboids you've penned so far, with those herded into the correct place in the sequence flashing.

The four remaining windows, arranged horizontally below the main viewing window, display the four modes in which the droid can be operated. The mode the droid is currently in is highlighted by a white bar above the relevant icon. The most useful mode of transport is jet mode: using the jet it's possible to zoom about in the normal, left, right, up and down directions. The droid stays central while the bricks and earth of the cavern whizz by in the main window display. Burrow is the second mode: the droid can move left and right along ledges and burrows into the floor while fire is held down, popping up again and leaving the floor intact when it's released.

The third utility mode allows the droid to alter the cavern by digging tunnels. If the droid walks into a wall while it is in this mode, a large portion of the barrier is eaten away and the floor and ceiling of the newly formed alcove is supported with purple girders. To switch between the different modes, press fire; holding fire down reveals a map displaying the positions of all the ramboids left to be collected.

Ramboids are dim. They move very predictably, and always reverse their direction of movement if their way is blocked. Once you know this and watch the set patterns of movement, herding them is relatively simple -- but they are delicate creatures which only live for about twenty minutes. You are working against the clock all the time. Should you fail to get at least four ramboids in the teleport in the right order within the time, it's back to the first screen.


First to hit you upon loading up this cutie is the epic Hubbard soundtrack. I know it's rather easy to get blase about this man's work but the music of
One Man and his Droid is certainty the longest and probably the best he's written yet. The game itself is fairly simple but does provide more than a fair bit of challenge. It is hard, to say the least. There are quite a few clever little presentation points, the password to later levels is quite good. Though not a game of particular note I still feel that One Man and his Droid is still worth the money asked for it.


Presentation 80%
Nice use of icons, passwords for later levels but no restart.

Graphics 60%
Bit chunky and the character scrolling looks jerky.

Sound 94%
Although a bit similar to his other pieces, Hubbard's music brings life to the game.

Hookability 72%
Quite easy to get into and immediately enjoyable.

Lastability 79%
Lots of challenge and plenty of screens to keep you going.

Value For Money 87%
Not their best, but still well worthy of a higher price.

Overall 81%
Generally very good, but probably has highest appeal for those who enjoy making maps.




Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (23 Nov 2004)

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