#140 Oids

Posted: 12th June 2012 by Jeroen in Games
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154th played so far

Genre: Shoot ‘Em Up
Platform: Atari ST/Mac
Year of Release: 1987
Developer: FTL
Publisher: FTL

Now then, back to simpler times. Oids is not one of the oldest games, but we are now going back to the Atari days (a platform we hadn’t touched yet). There’s not much to it – according to the manual, you’re supposed to be freeing androids from other mad conquerers by travelling to planets and shooting at buildings, but that’s not clear from the game itself, as always.

Still, a shoot ’em up with Asteroids influences. Why is it special enough for the list?

Our Thoughts

Let’s start with the firsts – somehow, despite its age, this game looks good. Yeah, sure, it’s all small pixels without much details, but somehow everything is clear and the environments look interesting. Maybe not gorgeous, but enough to happily stare at for a little while before you crash into the rocky planet surface.

Although the control scheme clearly dates back to Asteroids, the games owes as much to Lunar Lander‘s constrained environments and careful landings, creating a game where you need to be careful. At the same time, despite wanting to take your time navigating through it – and you do need to be careful at times – the fire coming from several cannons makes the game a lot more complicated to get through and means you don’t always have the time. The controls aren’t simple, although you quickly get used to it, making some moves more complicated to pull off.

The game is fairly simple – kill things, move around – but with its difficulty, it has a far more longetivity than you might give it credit for. Even if you’re done with all those levels, there’s always the ‘roll your own’ option. The game includes a level editor – make it more difficult if you’re already done… or go for the easy way out and make a level you can easily finish to practice your maneuvers.

Final Thoughts

This makes me wish that we had covered Asteroids but we did look at Mad Planets so that’s gonna have to do. We take these sorts of games for granted nowadays. Anyone with a smartphone can download a game like Nucleus and enjoy something that really has a lot to thank the likes of Oids for… and even they don’t include a level editor.