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Alive 9
                             "DROID 2" by SPIRAL MILE

system ..... ST, STe, 512 KB RAM, RGB, STEEM

tested on .. STEEM

genre ...... jump'n'shot

size ....... one selfbooting disk

release .... created in 1994, released June 2oo4

url ........


Quite unsuspected another game from  the nineties that was never released before
has seen the  light of day  lately, "DROID 2" by  SPIRAL MILE. SPIRAL MILE was a
small coding team from the UK that matched it to place one of their games onto a
ST FORMAT coverdisk, the  predecessor of this  one, simply  called "DROID". This
one was a quite nice platform game where you took over the control of a robot to
explore some caves  and destroy hostile objects. It featured very well drawn gfx
and animations that placed it far above other public domain games...

"DROID 2" seems to be  the straight follow up and the title gives already away a
lot about the contents of the game and you surely can get the best idea of it if
you know Earx early game "Neurobotix" for Falcon. This is a quite similar thing.
Again you  have the control over a robot  walking on two  legs that can jump and
crouch and overall is heavy armed.

With this droid  you have to walk  through a labyrinth or cave or  something and
rescue some people, the only problem  is, that it wont work  out fine as it very
often happened that I got a reset when I destroyed  the cage, where those people
got imprisoned, to be precise this happened  3 of the last  4 times I played the
game, so it  would be cool to see some further  debugging here, as the game -is-
quite good.

So far so bad... now for the good  things. As I mentioned at  the beginning, the
predecessor was already of quite good quality and so it goes on.
The most  impressive  thing on the game  are the good  grafix that  reach easily
commercial quality, or better, they  even knock out  some high  priced game. Our
Droid walks nice animated through the dark sceneries, even though the one in the
former game was slightly better animated (for example if you collected a gun you
could see that  thing too on your robot with steady turning magazine...) and the
different enemies, like static cannons and ugly green robots do as well.
Furthermore the level features small  animated fires on the  ground that blow in
some life even if you killed  all other things on the screen and as you start on
the beginning of every  part again if  got killed, it is  nice  to see something
flickering and not only a boring static screen.

To make  a big jump from  the predecessor they  also filled now  over 4/5 of the
screen with the scenery while in the former game only the half screen showed the
action. Therefore  you must switch the  info tables about  your life and ammo as
well with collected  keycards and points while pressing the firebutton and leave
your robot crouch. Not the best solution but ok.

Therefore it seems the  makers have invest all their powers into  the grafix and
forgot the fx/msx... Musix aren't  included at all, not  in the intro and not in
the game. Ok, there  are FX included, but  only for  collecting items, the usual
shots of your robot, exploding/incoming shots and enemies and last but not least
a sirene that informs you about low shield energy, but those FX are very ok.

Ok, what else is left to say? The controls  are ok, even though the game is more
easy to play with the joystick instead of the keys via emulation  as you have to
crouch at first and have to press  upwards fast then  to jump higher... and with
three fingers  on the  cursorpad... erm... you  know :) So  if possible, play it
with joystick on the real machine!

The game itself features all the usual things you know from shot'em'ups, such as
extra weapons, keys to open several doors, "service points" to reload your ammo,
smart  bombs (that take  the  half of your  ammo), doors to  change  between the
levels that can  be used to go back too, this is good if you need to reload your
ammo for example, and several other gimmicks that make a game interesting.

Only negative point is the missing scrolling, the screen scrolls only if you are
close to  the edge to the next  screen and on some  points it even turns shortly
black, esp. on such shot'em'up games this is always a drawback for the player...

Something more to say except of the final words?

Final words... "Droid 2" is a classic shot'n'jump with well done grafix and good
styled sceneries, the  things that  leaving your  speakers aren't
mind blowing but doing their job as well as the controls. Because
I had that problems with "Bold" I  didn't tried it on Falcon, but
it would be cool to know  if it runs. But  anyone who likes games
of that  kind, "Gods" or "Magic Pockets" fans, just  grab  it and
take some blasting rounds... it's really worth a try.

PS... If you checked their website that  features also the predecessor game, you
      should check the "Hoog" page, too. That game obviously was never released,
      too, except  of  a demo that  appeared on  STellar PDL, anyway, that  game
      gives the best impression of the knowhow  of the coders  and offers a neat
      styled jump'n'run blaster with "Rainbow Islands"/"Magic Boy" touch...


Alive 9