Screenshot of Drol
|Developer(s)||Benny "Aik Beng" Ngo|
|Designer(s)||Benny "Aik Beng" Ngo|
|Mode(s)||One player only|
Drol is a 1983 computer game published by Brøderbund. It was originally released for the Apple II, and was later ported to the Commodore 64, Atari 8-bit, and Sega SG-1000. The original list price was US$34.95.
The player controls a robot flying through a four story maze, attempting to rescue people and animals while avoiding traps and enemies such as alien creatures, snakes, eagles, magnets and axes.
There are only three levels, but the game repeatedly starts over in a more difficult version if the third level is completed. In the third level of some versions, in order to reach the final floor without being eaten by a plant sprouting from out of nowhere, the player must choose between three different trapdoors, and the correct trapdoor varies from game to game. However, with proper timing, a player can avoid this particular death by quickly flying back up when they've hit an "incorrect" trapdoor, before the plant actually reaches them.
Drol's reviews by the magazines of the era were generally positive. RUNmagazine, analyzing the Commodore 64 version in May 1984, gave it an "A" — its highest rating — and described it as "fun, funny, and exciting," although it was criticized for slow loading times due to the Commodore 1541 disk drive's notorious sluggishness.
There are three people to rescue. A little boy wanders the first screen, moving from floor to floor randomly chasing a toy plane. Shooting the plane grants points and also virtually stops him. Touching him effects the rescue, and ends the screen. The little girl of the second screen chases a balloon that may also be shot to make her stand almost still. If a child exits on a floor, it will re-enter on a randomly selected floor, and always at normal speed.
On the third screen, their mother is tied up in a chair at the end of the bottom floor, requiring the player to fight through all the floors to get to her. She yells at times and struggles against her ropes, until the player reaches her, ending the level, and starting the reward screen.
On the screen 1 and 2, the player must also rescue a pet with jet propulsion. The level only will be completed if both the child and the pet are rescued.
In all player screens, there is a scanner view of the whole level, with enemies indicated, but only a scrollable section to fight in.
On the second screen, the witch-doctor often appears and can be shot when he is either entering, jumping or leaving through the floor. On the third screen, if the robot stays aloft too long on the second level of the maze, a flying saucer appears to fire darts that have to be avoided, as they cannot be shot.
Magnets on the second level, unlike the other foes who can directly take a game life by shooting or touching the player, jam his weapons by sticking to the screen character, making it easier for enemies to eliminate the hero. Shots can slow an approaching magnet and ducking through a trap door will dislodge them.
Hatchets, thrown in sets of four, are as deadly as the other enemies, though they score no points when shot down. When hit, they fall harmlessly to the floor, remaining visible for a moment before vanishing.
After the first playthrough, there are more enemies and they fire missiles. On all 3 screens, each time the player enters a new floor, all the enemies on it change direction to advance on them. If the player has above 4000 pts or on the 2nd or higher level, they start firing. .
End of level
When the player completes a level, they are rewarded with a congratulatory message appropriate for the level,( and then, in the Apple ][ version), an animated scene of the mother and her two children, now free, being lovingly reunited. After a few seconds, however, the witch-doctor appears, performs a magic rite that sends the trio back into the dungeon, grins at the player, and then de-materializes to oversee the efforts to free them all over again. Like in the play levels, animation is smooth, no matter how many objects or characters are on the screen.
The game is known for being full of ridiculous objects:
- A bird that turns into baked poultry after being shot
- Lions, hens and snakes jumping like kangaroos
- A flesh-eating plant
- Small bugs making a car-horn-like sound