Insert Disk collects Escape From The Planet Of The Robot Monsters for the Commodore Amiga.
Today’s retro game review is Escape From The Planet Of The Robot Monsters for the Commodore Amiga. This retro gaming classic pits you against hoards of robot monsters that are overseen by reptilian overlords. In terms of B-Movie plots Escape From The Planet Of The Robot Monsters has it all. Your mission is to destroy the robot monsters, rescue the hostages and finally Escape From The Planet Of The Robot Monsters.
Greetings collectors and welcome to today’s retro game review. Today I’m taking a look at an arcade classic from 1989. It’s time to Escape From The Planet Of The Robot Monsters on the Commodore Amiga. As the name might suggest the aim of the game is to escape from the planet of the robot monsters. This B-Movie sci-fi game mash up is somewhat of a cult classic for gamers of my generation although in recent years it seems to have slipped through the cracks without much notice of future generations of gamer. The game is best summed up by the back of case text. The plot is also nicely summed up in game as the opening sequence runs you through your briefing through a series of comic book style animations. It’s done in a very charming way and really sets the tone of the game well. You’ll play as Jake and Duke in the isometric based playfield of a robot factory where the hostages are being forced to create an evil robot army. Your task is to fight the hordes of robot monsters and rescue the hostages.
The controls take a little getting used to. The nature of the isometric perspective is never the easiest play style to get used to but it works reasonably well here. To rescue hostages simply run over them and watch the high energy animation. Be careful though as there are usually screenfulls of robots to contend with and this is the real essence of the game. Wave after wave of robot monsters will attack you. Often you will find yourself boxed in or in situations where you are vastly outnumbered. Thankfully the game designers compensated for this by a decent amount of player lives to even up the odds a bit. You are armed with a standard laser but this will slowly upgrade in strength. As you kill the robots, some will drop green energy orbs. Collecting these will add strength to your gun. Between rounds there is also the opportunity to win an extra life in the cyber sled stages of the game. The task is to get to the end of the canyon course in 30 seconds. There will be dead ends though making this quite tricky. Interestingly these stages only appear in the 16-bit editions of the game so yet another reason to hunt down a copy for the Commodore Amiga rather than some of the other home editions of the game.
The experience is very much that of the arcade, it’s simple, fast and fun with very little to get in the way of a good time. The graphics are basic but fit the overall theme. The sound effects are limited and the music track can get slightly annoying due to its repetitive nature but all in all this is a solid arcade to home conversion. Escape from the planet of the robot monsters was ported to numerous home systems. Each with their own unique quirks. I personally favour the Commodore Amiga version as I find it to be the closest port to the original arcade version.
My edition is the large case edition. This is also sometimes known as the “Flight of Fantasy” special version as it was not sold individually as a retail unit but as a package. The front artwork is everything you would want it to be. A highly stylised, colourful a piece of artwork in itself. The pop art/cartoon feel continues on the rear of the packaging. Inside the case you get the all-important floppy disk. The inside cover also doubles up as the game manual and supplementary comic. The hardcore EFTPOTRM’s collectors will want this edition of the game for the spelling mistake on the cover. The manual as well as in game reference player 2 a “Duke”. However, the outer packaging refers to player 2 as “Link”. It’s a small mistake but one that makes this edition of the game more desirable than others. Prices for this edition of the game are fairly stable, pay no more than £5 for this one, in the US $5 is also an achievable price. There is a big box edition of the game that can fetch closer to the $20 mark in mint condition.
Having played EFTPLOTRM when I was younger I’m pleased that it hasn’t aged too badly. It’s a bit clunky in places but the charm of the Sci-Fi B-Movie feel does more than enough to make this game stand out as a lost classic. At this price I would highly recommend to anyone looking for some colourful retro fun.