A&B Computing1st October 1988
Published in A&B Computing 5.10
Excellent is the word that immediately springs to mind when describing Codename: Droid. From the loading screen to the end of the game it is superb. In the graphics and playability departments it takes the Electron to new heights. But before I start to whet your appetites with details of stunning graphics let me tell you a little about the game scenario.
As John Stryker, commander in the Allied Nations you have a suicide mission. Your sworn enemies, the vicious Volgans have perfected the Z11 super spacefighter. The mission is to infiltrate the Volgan Base on their home planet. If by some miracle you achieve that, you then must steal the Z11 and fly it home. The base has tight security with Volgan soldiers patrolling in each of the three sectors in all the four zones.
The zones can be described as surface defence, ancient shrine, crew's quarters and missile factory. To move from sector to sector a lift is provided which only works when you have a passcard. Once the lift has been used the passcard is retained. As you might have already guessed this is a hybrid game: part shoot-'em-up, part arcade adventure.
The programmers have found a good balance which makes the game both exciting and intriguing. Other objects can be found and used to solve problems. For example a piece of air conditioning pipe has fallen from its housing. The pipe blocks your way, nearly is a Herbert 7000 remote control repair droid. You don't have to be a genius to figure what you have to do next! Traps are scattered here and there and are pretty obvious so you won't find yourself dying just because you trod in the wrong place at the wrong time. Thought and effort is still required to overcome the traps and puzzles.
The playability of Codename: Droid is similarly good. I managed to get quite far into the game before I lost all my lives which gave me a very strong incentive to try again. The games does get a lot harder as you move closer to completing the mission and so it should too! In order of importance after gameplay comes graphics. Here Codename: Droid excels. The loading screen is the best I have ever seen on the Electron.
Anthony Edmondson should be congratulated for his artistic ability. The animation of John when he walks, runs, climbs, kneels and crawls commando style is very smart. The scenery graphics are detailed with colours being used effectively to produce some stunning screens. The backgrounds are even animated with such things as Gargoyles turning to face you as you move past them. The Volgan soldiers which you have to exterminate are also smoothly animated.
The only thing about Codename: Droid I found a let down was the scrolling. It may be fast but it is not very smooth. This I know to be because of hardware limitations but maybe Martin Edmondson and Anthony Chamberlain can come up with a solution in the future. For the asking price Codename: Droid is worth every penny due to the amount of effort put into making this game a true piece of software entertainment. My final comment: Buy this game now!