Cyberpunk Review » Paradroid

October 12, 2010


Review By: SSJKamui (Forum Link)

Year: 1985

Developed by: Andrew Braybrook

Released by: Hewson, Jester Interactive Publishing (Ovine by Design)

Platforms: Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari ST, Acorn Archimedes, C64 Direct-to-TV, Wii(Virtual Console), Windows

Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: Medium

Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: High

Rating: 5 out of 10


SSJKamui gives you retro gamers something to consider from our forums. In 2006, indie developers Ovine by Design remade this classic for modern Windows systems. The screencaps you’ll see will be from the Ovine remake.

Overview: Paradroid is a videogame for the C64 computer, created by the English programmer Andrew Braybrook, where the players play a robot who has to fight other robots who have overtaken a spaceship. If the player wants to, he is also able to hack the robots to control them.

Story: The robots of an unknown spaceship (the Paradroid) rebelled against their masters and took the ship into their control, but one small Robot fights them.


Like all older computergames, the story is extremely thin and only contains a few cyberpunk elements. The elements present in the story are a focus on the underground (the game centers around the robot servants of humanity and the player is playing one of the weakest robots. This can be seen as the “Underground of the Underground”.). The Information Access theme is present through the hacking parts.
The negative impact of technology is also present, because the robots attacked the humans on the ship and possibly even killed them. Because, in the game, there are no humans, there is obviously no “Fusion of Man and Machine” element.

The Visuals: The Visuals of the game are abstract labyrinths, mixing metallic looking borders with a cyberspace like environment. (Because of this, the Visuals are very cyberpunk.)
The robots on the grid are represented as abstract circles with a registry number in the middle. During the hacking, you see the actual physical shape of the robots. The hacking interface is a circuit diagram like representation of the ports of the robot. (This is also very cyberpunk like.)


The abstract visuals are among the coolest aspects of the game, although they are extremely simple.

Gameplay: The player moves his robot through the ship and is able to attack hostile robots with his lasers or he can dock and try to hack them. The hacking is a more hardware hacking, where the player has to gain control over the ports of the enemy robot. (In fact, this is extremely complicated and requires a high amount of dexterity. Because of this, I never succeeded in it.) When the player fails, he is destroyed. Else, he controls the enemy robot and can use him in turn to hack other robots. The higher the registry number of the robot, the more complicated is hacking him. In some aspects, the game is a kind of “Hacking arcade game”. The gameplay is fun, but personally, I think it’s a little bit too hard.


If you’re familiar with hacking in Nercron, this should look familiar.

In the game, nearly nothing about the game mechanics is explained, so, a look in the manual is often needed.

Conclusion: Paradroid is a very interesting game, but not a very good game for long term play. It’s more a game for short sessions. The graphic is simple, but indeed interesting. Because of it’s high difficulty, I can’t recommend it for people who don’t play very often. For hardcore gamers, it can be indeed a very entertaining game.

Postscript from Mr. Roboto: If you want to play Paradroid, but don’t have your C64 anymore, head over to Ovine by Design and download their remake, Project: Paradroid. It’s Paradroid with updated graphics. See if it brings back any fond memories of your Commodore days.


This post has been filed under From our Reviewer Forums, Cyberpunk Games by Mr. Roboto.


October 12, 2010

duo said:

This game is awesome! But i prefer graphics in the original. You can still play it on VICE emulator.
And this hacking stuff isn’t so hard, maybe you tried to hack too strong robots.

SSJKamui said:

Wow. Thanks for uploading my review. :thumb: I am so glad to see that finally, a review of me made it to the main site.

I was also a little bit surprised that you uploaded this review because in the Forums, it only got 2 responses. I am nevertheless glad that you chose this review because Paradroid is a really cool, original and innovative game.

The pictures are a very good choice and thanks for the information about the Freeware remake. :) I didn’t know about that. The graphics of the remake look very good, although it lacks a little bit of the stylized Cyberspace esque Style of the original game.

The cover of the remake also looks cool. It reminds really strongly on C64 Game Box arts. :thumb:

Perhaps, I was so bad at the hacking parts because I played the game on Wii. (Many other C64 Roms on Wii have got terrible controls.)

Most of my game reviews posted in the forum are about Retrogames, because I really love to play old games.

October 13, 2010

Mewler said:

Mewler said:

Huh, I just posted a reply, but its gone 0.o

October 14, 2010

Sniper said:

Whoa, I`ve read this article and found the game in my Linux repository, the name is freedroid. I haven`t seen the original on C64, since I never had one (I`ve got a never assembled ZX-Spectrum though :)), but I believe that`s the very original graphics on Linux. The game is great, real old school. Would someone kindly keep`em coming? ;)

October 16, 2010

duo said:

i have found even flash and java remakes ;D

October 21, 2010

Anonymous said:

Thanks for sharing the information about the freeware remakes.

The Doctor said:

This is one of my favorite games for the C-64.

There is another version of Paradroid out there, an open source version called Freedroid (, which also has an RPG variant that I must confess I haven’t played (because I love the original too much). I highly recommend it (and it uses libSDL so it’s cross-platform)

October 22, 2010

SSJKamui said:

An RPG Mode? Hmm. This makes me really curious how this might work.

December 26, 2010

deadmovie said:

wow. nostalgia thanks. I miss the old days Commodore

January 5, 2011

Sniper said:

The RPG must be freedroid-rpg, right? Well, I’ve played it recently. Just a 16-bit hail-robots-kill-all-humans useless thing. Better play freedroid some more, if you-re feeling like it.

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