One Man and His Droid
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One Man and His Droid is a game published by Mastertronic in 1985 for use on the Amstrad CPC, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 16, Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum home computer systems. The name of the game is a play on the title of the BBC television show One Man and His Dog. The object of the game is to use a droid to collect Ramboids, the male form of alien sheep. You must move these Ramboids into teleporters to win the game.
You've been sent off to the planet Anromadus to round up ramboids (the Anromadian equivalent of male sheep) and teleport them to market. Technologically things have moved on quite a bit since the days when a shepherd's only friend was his dog. The modern shepherd has traded in Shep and got himself a droid, a multi-functioning device specially designed for the job. Capable of four different modes of operation, the droid is used to guide the ramboids into the teleport chamber.
At the start of the game, the player is given the option of inputting a password in order to resume a game they were playing earlier, otherwise starting at the beginning. There are passwords for each of the twenty different ramboid-filled caverns, and as the player progresses through each cavern, the computer releases the corresponding password.
At the start of a game the screen is split up into several different windows. Largest and centrally placed is the main window which looks into a cavern, displaying a view of the droid placed centrally amongst the scenery. The first task is to guide the droid to the start position.
Ramboids are dim. They move very predictably, and always reverse their direction of movement if their way is blocked. They are also delicate creatures which only live for about twenty minutes. The player is working against the clock all the time. Should the player fail to get at least four ramboids in the teleport in the right order within the time, it's back to the first screen.
The music of the C64 version was composed by Rob Hubbard. C64 enthusiasts and former owners frequently list Hubbard's composition as being one of the finest to feature in any game released for that machine. Many parts of the tune are based on Jean Michel Jarre's composition "Magnetic Fields Part 1".
The Atari XL and Amstrad versions had a different theme, which was shorter.
Zzap!64's reviewers thought that although the game had basic graphics it was enjoyable to play, with the bonus of a good soundtrack. It was given an overall rating of 81%.
A follow-up, called One Man and his Droid II, was written for the ZX Spectrum in 1991 but wasn't commercially published. It was eventually released on the internet in 2001 by its programmer, Clive Brooker.
The notorious ZX Spectrum programmer Harry Price created a pirate version called Don't Say It, Spray It (appropriately, published by Pirate Software). Some information on this may be found on the equ.in/ox website, and also on World of Spectrum.
- Scan of a ZX Spectrum review of the game from Crash magazine.
- Clive Brooker's website for One Man And His Droid II - includes download and information about the game.
- One Man and His Droid at SpectrumComputing.co.uk
- One Man And His Droid at Plus/4 World.