The Transformers (1986 video game)

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The Transformers
Transformers 1986 video game cover art.jpg
C64 Cover art
Developer(s)Denton Designs
Publisher(s)Ocean Software
Platform(s)Sinclair Spectrum, Commodore 64
Genre(s)Platform, shoot 'em up
Mode(s)Single player

The Transformers is a platform shoot 'em up game based on the Transformers franchise. It was written by Denton Designs and released by Ocean Software for the Sinclair Spectrum and Commodore 64 home computers in 1986


In the game, the Autobots are searching for four parts of an energon cube which have been scattered around a city, which consists of a number of platforms and ladders. The Decepticons are also seeking the energon cube, and will destroy the Autobots in order to retrieve it.

The player controls five Autobots: Optimus Prime, Hound, Jazz, Mirage and Bumblebee, one at a time. When not in use, the Autobots hide in Defensa-Pods[1]; while inside these pods they cannot be harmed, and will slowly recharge their energy. The Decepticons are represented by Megatron, Soundwave, Starscream, Buzzsaw, Skywarp, Laserbeak, Ravage, Frenzy and Rumble. The Decepticons can regenerate and do not transform.

Each Autobot has three attributes (Shields, Power and Weapons) with each character having them in different distributions (Optimus Prime has a high Power rating, average Shields and low Weapons, while Mirage has a high Weapons rating but lower Power and Shields).

Each character can transform between their vehicle and robot forms by facing forward and pressing the fire button. Unlike the cartoon, all the Autobots can fly while in robot form, although they travel faster by using their vehicle modes. Driving off the end of platforms or into stationary objects will cause the character to die.[2]


Review scores
Crash60% [4]
Sinclair User4/5[2]
Your Sinclair6/10[5]
Computer Gamer13/20[6]

The game's received mixed reviews - Sinclair User gave the game 4 stars out of five,[2] while Your Sinclair gave it 6/10[5] and Crash gave it 60%.[4] Max Phillips from Your Sinclair said the game was "slick but nothing new, the keyboard controls are awful and the cassette inlay is diabolical"[5] while John Gilbert of Sinclair User said "Transformers is a game where a high score is all-important, and I am sure that once you have found the energy cube you will still enjoy a scrap with the Decepticons".[2]

When asked, in an interview with Julian Rignall of Crash, which of their games they were least pleased with, Ally Noble, one of the developers of The Transformers admitted that it was "definitely Transformers... it's really a personal thing, we all like different products, but I think Transformers was an embarrassment".[7]


  1. ^ Instruction manual
  2. ^ a b c d "Transformers Review", Sinclair User, March 1986
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b "Transformers Review", CRASH, April 1986
  5. ^ a b c "Transformers Review", Your Sinclair, March 1986
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Art for Art's Sake... Money for God's Sake". Crash Magazine. July 1986.

External links[edit]

The Transformers at