Robots (computer game)

Robots is a computer game originally developed for the UNIX operating system, and later reproduced as clone games for various platforms.


Robots is played on a two-dimensional rectangular grid. The objective of the game is to escape from a number of robots, which have been programmed with only a single objective: to kill you.

The game is turn-based. The player character starts at the centre of the grid and the robots start at randomly selected locations around him. Every time the player character moves a square in any direction (horizontally, vertically, or diagonally), each robot moves one square closer to him, in whichever direction is the shortest way.

If the player character collides with a robot, he dies and the game ends. However, the robots are also fatal to each other - when two robots collide, they both die, leaving behind a scrap heap. These scrap heaps are also fatal to robots.

The player can also teleport into a randomly selected location in cases where escape is otherwise impossible. A teleportation counts as a move. However, because the location is randomly selected, it is possible that the player teleports right into the path of a robot. In some versions of the game, there is a "safe teleport" feature which the player may use a limited number of times (for instance once per level) and there may also be a close-range weapon which kills all robots within the immediate vicinity, the use of which would be limited in a similar way.

When all robots on a level are dead, the player moves onto another level, with more robots. Traditionally, the number of robots on a level is five times the number of the previous level. .

Other versions

Some versions of Robots are called Zombies. Others are called Daleks, after the Daleks in the British Doctor Who TV show. Tim Hartnell also wrote a BASIC version called Robot Minefield which involved fleeing from four robots on a small field of landmines. The game was more difficult than Robots since the player lacked the ability to teleport. Moreover, robots could merge into each other without being destroyed. In addition, the player could only move in four directions (North, South, East, West) while the robots had the ability to move diagonally. The game was played in real time; as the player pondered his move, the robots would continue converging toward him. This version was published in the 1983 Giant Book of Computer Games.

See also

External links

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