In our latest installment of Rare Game Room Gems, we look at the Atari classic I, Robot.
When you think of I, Robot, I would take a guess that what probably pops into your mind are images of the Will Smith movie from 2004, or perhaps the series of novels that the movie was loosely based on. However the purpose of this article is to let you know about the groundbreaking arcade game of the same name (that is quite the collector’s item these days).
Released in 1983 by Atari — I, Robot is actually two games in one.
As well as I, Robot, there is also a drawing tool game that is known as Doodle City that only lasts a few minutes. But the main focus of this is on I, Robot itself.
I, Robot’s biggest claim to fame is that it was the first commercial video game with filled 3-D polygon graphics.
Another groundbreaking feature was that it had some camera controls as well.
Game play wise I, Robot is a shooter, where you play as a robot that has become self-aware and has decided to take on its master to get its freedom. Over the 126 levels there is a huge eye. This eye represents “big brother” watching you and it aims to destroy you. The aim of the game is to take out the big brother robot before the time runs out.
The way that you destroy big brother sounds quite simple — in that all you have to do is turn all the squares in the level to blue by going over them.
This sounds very easy, but if you need to jump to reach another square then you better make sure that big brother’s eye is not open or else he will shoot you and blow you up.
There is a ton of other stuff that occupy the levels, making it quite hard to get all the squares changed in time.
In between these levels are some shooter levels where you are flying and must shoot meteors and other space junk. These levels look very impressive for the time frame that this game was released.
Camera control in this game does more than just change your view of the playing area, for example if you decide to zoom in you will score more points as it is harder for you to see.
I, Robot is actually a fun game still to play today, but sadly it never did that well when it was released in 1983.
This is mainly in part to the video game crash that happened that year.
Also the game was probably just too far ahead of its time. Many people found the game confusing compared to other games of the era.
Despite reports claiming that there were roughly 1500 cabinets made — very few have survived over the years. This of course has made this game a real collectors item for many arcade collectors out there.
Not only does I, Robot have a special place in history for the innovations that it brought to gaming, but it is also has some decent game play. Just be prepared to pay a hefty price, if you decide you want to go and add this to your game room.