Droid Assault

By: Derek Yu

On: May 7th, 2008

Droid Assault

Droid Assault is a new action game from Puppygames. Just as Titan Attacks was a “Puppified” version of Space Invaders, and Ultratron a Puppified Robotron, Droid Assault is Paradroid given the Puppy treatment.

In Paradroid, players controlled an “Influence Device,” an otherwise weak droid with a very special ability – it could control and command droids after beating them in a logic-based circuit game. Droid Assault eschews this mini-game and lets you “transfer” to a droid so long as you have enough transfer points (obtained per 1000 score points). Also, once a droid has been transferred, it joins your team and can be controlled at any time (or when your current droid is blown up).

Longtime Paradroid fans may find this a bit off-putting, since the circuit mini-game was a big part of Paradroid (and allowed skilled players to take over even the mighty level 999 droid with a lowly Influence Device). However, Droid Assault is clearly built for speed and action, and as such it’s a highly enjoyable game with frantic action. The graphics and music are also ace, as we should come to expect from Caspian Prince and his team.

If I had any complaint, its that it’s occasionally difficult to discern blocks, pits, walls, and floors. Other than that, I’d highly recommend this very affordable ($10) little game. (And give Freedroid a try if you’d like to play the original!)

  • Mischief Maker

    It’s fun, but I think it would have been better just to jack up the HP on certain robots instead of making them immune to certain low level bullets. I often find myself with more of those bomb bots than I know what to do with. More likely than not, when you meet one you can’t kill it, so it’s better just to possess it.

    Great game though. I nitpick because I like it.

  • St!gar

    Uhh… I get an error telling me that I can’t start the program because “MSVCR71” doesn’t exist…!

  • St!gar

    MSVCR71.dll, to be precise…

  • Lim-Dul

    @St!gar: Google -> MSVCR71.dll, first result… Place in game directory or any other directory in your path variable (preferably system32)…

  • St!gar

    Well, that was easy. Thanks for the help!

    As for the game itself, well, it honestly didn’t overwhelm me. Mind that I didn’t really get to play with it very long, and so probably haven’t seen quite all of the game.

    By the way, is there any way for the player to command the friendly bots in other ways than possessing them? It’s a bit frustrating to have the other bots just run mindlessly around when there’s a veritable army of hostile bots close together one room away…

  • Lim-Dul

    I don’t think there is – which may be good since the bodies aren’t supposed to last forever. In Paradroid you had the famous depleting energy…

    I for my part think this game is awesome! The best of the Puppygames titles IMHO and I played them all – the demos anyway. I might consider buying it… It fixed exactly the part of Paradroid I didn’t like: a relative lack of action. I don’t care for hacking mini-games. ^^

    I love the graphical style of all Puppygames – the robots in this one are better than ever and so cute. They even blink from time to time! It’s a mix of cool particle effects and lighting and blocky big-pixel graphics.

  • Ciardhubh

    For the “MSVCR71” problem:
    The DLL is in the game’s BIN directory. Copy it from there to the game’s main directory. Worked for me.

  • Op6

    Wouldn’t even work properly for me :/

    Every time the game loaded up i’d get music, res swap to something low, and could see background elements…but the entire UI was invisible, which makes things slightly hard to use to say the least.

  • http://greyaliengames.com/blog/ Jake Birkett

    Yeah this game rocks. The demo doesn’t do it justice as it stops in the first boss fight. I bought it and after the first boss fight the robots become much more powerful (e.g. military bots with flamethrowers, rocket launchers, EMPT devices etc from about level 15)

    You can change to your other droids quickly with Q and E, although there doesn’t seem to be much logic in which one it changes to (it may be the nearest one or something).

    I agree that sometimes you can’t tell the difference between a wall and a hole in the floor.

    As you play for longer you work out different tactics. You also figure out more like hover bots can fly over holes, sharp bullets go through walls, you need a certain level of firepower to destroy turrets etc.

  • Cas

    I’d better get to the bottom of the MSVCRT dll problem – looks trivial but slightly baffled as to why it works on some systems and not others. Mostly it works.

    I’ll probably release a 1.1 version next month with a few tweaks and balances to the weaponry and armour. And fixes the scrolly wheel/Q/E thing :)

    Cas :)

  • BenH

    Every time I download the installer and try to run it, I get an NSIS error saying that the installer may be corrupted etc. I’ve tried downloading it several times now, so I’m not sure if its my end or not.

  • Cas

    Oh and you can use the scroll wheel and PgUp/PgDn to change droids too.

  • Cas

    Ben – there’s been a flurry of uploading and I bet you just got caught in it each time! Sorry. It’s stable now.

    Cas :)

  • hammedhaaret

    i hate to be thatlinuxguy complaining his beloved OS didn’t get a mention, but there used to be a linux tag for the news right?

    the game is great and ive think ill buy it someday soon.

  • Moose

    MSVCR71? A Puppy Game that isn’t in Java! Shock!

  • raelz

    Yay! Paradroid was an amazing game, gonna give it a try asap !

  • Cas

    Nah it’s Java all right ;)

  • PoV

    Cas isn’t Cas without Java. It’s like peanut butter without Jam or Banana slices.

  • Lim-Dul

    OK – bought it now. 10$ isn’t much to ask for a game – even here in Poland. It’s absolutely awesome – especially in the later levels where you get better weapons. The demo doesn’t do it justice but that’s why you have to buy the full version. :-D

    Are you planning on adding/tweaking game features, Cas, or just fixing bugs? I’d suggest a faster energy recharge rate for the early flame-thrower bots – they’re slow, have a crappy range, usually take some time to finish an enemy off and on top of that spend more time recharging than firing. :-(

    They hardly look like an upgrade from all the nice droids you can control at that stage of the game.

    At my first attempt in the full game I failed at the level 40 boss – mostly because of my own stupidity – just two droids (one of them crappy) and maxed out transfer points *doh*.

    I’m not sure about this but an alternate gameplay mode may be nice as well – like, you can only control one bot at a time BUT his chassis doesn’t degrade so you can cherish one droid for several levels and upgrade him to awesome levels. ^^
    What would it be called – RPG mode? Freeplay? No idea – but that’s not necessary for the game to be still cool.

    Also, can you explain some features in more detail? I have no idea what the single-core and multi-core stuff does (does it improve the AI when the bots aren’t directly controlled?), nor do I know what the scanner range mentioned in the descriptions is supposed to mean… I know that there are several shield types but I don’t know which weapon is counting as what type of damage (well, some are obvious, like the EMP blast) etc.

    I could consider adding some kind of FAQ on indiefaqs.com if you’d be kind enough to provide more info. Even more awesome would be if you could send me pictures of all the droids since as a video game journalist I hate having to take screenshots in my spare time and I’m sure that the sprites (are they sprites?) can be exported to a non-interactive, non-piratable format but that’s something for a more private discussion if you’re interested in this type of FAQ. =)

    P.S. Does the contact form on the Puppygames website lead directly to you or somebody else, Cas?

  • PoV

    Few developers have “people” to answer e-mail for them. And even if they do, they can probably forward e-mails to whom they’re directed at. ;)

  • Lim-Dul

    Well – maybe some developers have e.g. girlfriends or wives to answer their mails (and wash their dishes and do their laundry :-P). ^^

  • Cas

    Yeh the enquiries form goes directly to me.

    As it happens, the things we’ve got planned are:

    1. Coloured solid walls :)
    2. Rebalancing a few hitpoints, armour and weapon damages around a bit
    3. Enabling the map editor (which is built-in to the game but disabled coz it’s buggy)
    4. I can give you PSDs or PNGs of all the bots and such in the game if you ask
    5. We’re going to put a strategy guide up on our site at some point which will have all the stats in it
    6. …and add a few more screens of help pages

    Cas :)

  • Lim-Dul

    2. *Rebalancing a few hitpoints, armour and weapon damages around a bit*

    Sweet. You could answer why sharp bullets go through walls but not destructible objects while you’re at it. ^^

    3. *Enabling the map editor (which is built-in to the game but disabled coz it’s buggy)*

    Even sweeter!

    4. *I can give you PSDs or PNGs of all the bots and such in the game if you ask*

    Check your priv messages on the TIGSource forums. =)

    5. *We’re going to put a strategy guide up on our site at some point which will have all the stats in it*

    Not if I can beat you to it. ^^
    Although you’ll have first-hand info while I’ll have to reverse-engineer the gameplay but that’s how all FAQs work, I guess.

  • Lim-Dul

    Uuuhm… The list thing didn’t work out as expected. :-P

  • Mischief Maker

    Another thing that would really help this game would be a visual combo bar, so the player knows how long they have to get another kill and rack up the points. Right now I’m never sure when I’m going to get a multiplier or not.

  • Cas

    You get one second to blow something else up (max multiplier 10). Your other droids killing enemies and crate explosions that kill enemies also count. Considering combo display.

    Lim-Dul – I’ll just give you all the XML config files too then you can peruse the data to your heart’s content :)

    Cas :)

  • Lim-Dul

    *Lim-Dul – I’ll just give you all the XML config files too then you can peruse the data to your heart’s content :)*

    And in a week or two you’ll find a game called “Bot Assault” on the internet. It’ll cost $5 and will be made in MMF2 or GM because I can’t code my way out of a wet paper bag except for batch scripting and some strange variation of Smalltalk which I picked up by accident. ;-)

    The “bots” will be palette-swapped and anagrammed (maybe even mirrored or rotated!) equivalents of your droids but they won’t be animated because I can’t animated crap either. ;-)

    All the effects will be mouse-drawn in Microsoft Paint. ;-)

    Still want to send me these files? :-D

  • Cas

    Too late :P

    If anyone *would* like to write me a Flash version of the game, I’m all ears.

    Or indeed any of Titan Attacks, Ultratron and Droid Assault.

  • http://www.the2bears.com the2bears

    I think Flash versions of your games would be great, earn some of that advertising money a la Kongregate.

    Does anyone know if a game on there makes much money?


  • Oaf



  • http://www.the2bears.com the2bears

    Well Mark? :)

    What’s the answer? Or rather, I think you should be doing the ports ;)


  • Cas

    Yes, don’t distract him, he’s busy :D

  • Oaf

    Yes there’s money in them thar Mochi ads =)