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Sunday, June 10, 2007
Paradroid Paradroid is a game by Andrew Braybrook that was originally released for the Commodore 64 in 1985.

Yes, I am writing a review of a 22-year-old game. Yes, this retro-review deviates a bit from standard Arthouse Games practice. I justify this deviation with the following two excuses: 1. I never played the game when I was a kid, so it's new to me (and probably new to many of you, too); and 2. there's very little modern grist for the Arthouse Games mill (art games are few and far between). That said, I'm not sure that Paradroid is an art game---more like an interesting landmark in the art of game design.

Okay, first things first: how can you play it? Paradroid was re-released as Paradroid 90 on the Atari and some other platforms. It has a few modern remakes for PCs (see http://paradroid.sf.net, http://paradroid.ovine.net/, and http://freedroid.sourceforge.net/). All of these remakes differ slightly from the original in graphics or gameplay, but they're probably the easiest way to get a taste of Paradroid on a modern computer.

This review covers the original 1985 version for the C64---you can download a disk image of that here: paradroid.zip. I played it on the VICE emulator, and I had to download C64 system ROMS separately (from this package), since they no longer ship with VICE for legal reasons. I unzipped the paradroi.d64 disk image, mounted it as a disk in VICE, and auto-started the program on the disk. I had a bit of trouble here and there along the way (Paradroid is looking for a joystick---or emulated joystick---on port 2), but I was able to get Paradroid running smoothly with a bit of perseverance. If this process sounds too involved, try one of the remakes linked above.

Read the full review over at Arthouse Games.

Name: Paradroid
Developer: Andrew Braybrook
Year: 1985
Platform: Commodore 64
Type: Abandonware

Labels: ,

5 Comments:
Blogger gnome said at 6/09/2007 09:31:00 AM:  
Uh, I meant, "fantastic review Json"

:)
Blogger CosMind said at 6/10/2007 10:24:00 AM:  
'tis a shame this cat can't get with a coder and rock out a remake of the game:

http://www.itchstudios.com/psg/main.php?id=paradroid

the character design/art is so slick. i'd love to see it translated into sprites and acting as the visual backbone for an updated paradroid :)
Anonymous Jake Birkett said at 6/11/2007 01:40:00 AM:  
twas a great game. There was also a similar one on the Spectrum called Quazatron http://www.crashonline.org.uk/29/quazatron.htm . I also recently completed a remake of Paradriod 90 made in Blitz3D, it was good fun!
Anonymous Anonymous said at 6/11/2007 05:35:00 AM:  
Never could get into this game even back when it was originally released.
Blogger Chris said at 6/12/2007 01:31:00 PM:  
Your commentary is spot-on. This *is* an artistic landmark in game design - and I think that was Jason's entire point. I commented in more depth on that issue here:
http://www.somatoware.com/chris/2007/06/09/arthouse-games-reviews-paradroid-c64/