Hi. It’s Simon Byron from Curve Digital and I’m here to tell you what it’s like to be the oldest person alive.
I was born in the ’70s, which is a decade that no-one really remembers because it was pretty grim. Genuinely, I struggle to think of anything good that happened during that time – it was broadly rendered in black and white, and the weather had the default setting of miserable.
There was a Jubilee – bunting everywhere all the time – and you could never watch TV as the power was always being cut off because of all the adults going on strike. The ’70s were rubbish.
Things improved dramatically in the following decade. Colour was discovered, for example. It was the decade of shoulder pads, big hair, linen trousers and soft rock. It’s tempting to look back and laugh at People From The ’80s, but many things we enjoy now can be traced back to that period.
Particularly videogames. The 1980s were the years that the videogame arcades rose to prominence. Initially popping up on coastal towns, these imposing machines were worshiped by teenagers, drawn towards them with pockets full of change.
Compared to now, these arcade cabinets were technically limited, meaning designers learned to innovate, creating stunning games within basic hardware confines. A modern-day doorbell probably has more oomph than some of the games back then.
But what they lacked in visuals, they more than made up for in gameplay. We all have our favourites – but surely one game which has the ability to transport anyone of – ahem – a certain age back in time is Robotron 2084.
Looking at screenshots of Robotron 2084 these days, it’s impossible to appreciate the sense of terror created by that particular cabinet. It popularised the twin-stick control scheme now used widely across a range games and genres. Those who managed to digitally carve their initials into the high score tables were truly gods among teenagers.
I could not tell you how much I spent on Robotron. But every single penny was worth it.
Ultratron – which is out globally on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita (Cross Buy enabled) on 12th May (priced £7.99 / €9.99) – is what happens when you take the spirit of Robotron but update it for the PlayStation generation.
The last human has been slain by evil killer robots. You are the one remaining humanoid battle droid. Your mission: avenge the human race. Boost your battledroid with power-ups, buy cute but deadly pets in the shop. Blast your way through 40-plus glowing neon levels, avoiding Chasers, Turrets, Spawners, Minelayers, bombs, and bullets, and take on the four giant boss ‘bots of the Apocalypse – Ieiunitas, Bellum, Lues and Letum.
Whilst the core old-school gameplay remains, Puppygames has brought the genre bang up to date, with a host of achievements, unlocks and upgrades designed to keep players challenged way into the night. The visuals are hypnotic – modern, with a retro twist. There’s even a simulated CRT screen curve designed to mimic the displays of the era, which were the opposite of high definition.
We’ve worked with Puppygames before – on the excellent Titan Attacks!, which paid tribute to the space invading genre. You will be able to pick both titles up in our special PlayStation-only bundle we’re calling ‘Arcade Apocalypse’. Available at a super discounted price, it’s a brilliant way to remind yourself on how great the ’70s and ’80s were, even if the hair wasn’t.
Ultratron will be available on all PlayStation formats on 12th May. We hope you enjoy being transported back in time – without the risk of accidentally splitting your parents up.