Sadly nothing to do with paranoid androids, but still quite interesting.

Source // Wikipedia

There was really only two reasons for me to buy the 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die book. One was to see how many I'd played already and see how smug I could get, and the other to find out just what I've missed from four decades of video gaming.

Paradroid is one such title. I've never seen it, never heard of it, not in person nor in passing. Paradroid is a complete unknown to me, and based on the description in the 1001 book and online, I'm a bit disappointed to have not known about it sooner.

Robots taking over other robots in order to destroy robots and free the crew of a space ship? Sign me up.

Source // YouTube

Fun Times

You roam the hallways of a space ship hunting down droids. Some will just get in your way and others will shoot at you, and you'll only know which when you are within line of sight to them. Not that that helps much, with droids being displayed as nothing but floating numbers loosely denoting their strength.

The only way to increase your strength is to assimilate other robots, ramming into them to launch a mini-game where you assign power to a central circuit board, and if you've managed to assign the most power, you get to control that droid, or rather become it.

Become the right kind of droid and you'll have weapons available to you, meaning you can destroy everything, which is your mission at the end of the day. You can either chip away at tougher robots with the first weapon you get, to climb the robot ranks, find the best weapon and then take out as many other droids as you can before your plans fail.

Not that I'm pessimistic...


That sounds pretty good, but I don't know for sure because - yes, again - I haven't managed to play it yet. Rest assured that it's climbing up the to-play list though.

Judging by the video, I may run into a couple of problems. Firstly, finding everything I need to destroy. If the lights in a room have gone out, that means there's nothing left to blow up. Handy, but with nothing being visible to you until you first lock eyes onto it via line of sight, hunting for droids may become a little time consuming, or else nerve-racking. Nothing too wrong with that though.

Secondly, no matter how many times I've seen that mini game, I'm still not entirely sure what you're even meant to be doing, how long you've got to do it, what you can and can't do, what strategies do and don't work... are there strategies in the first place? All unfortunately unanswered.

Final Word

So, not for the first time and not for the last, I can't offer anything definite here, other than that I definitely want to try it out for myself. It got big reviews back in the day, so it really does seem like it belongs on this list - hopefully as a stand-out game full stop, rather than a token offering from the Commodore 64.

The gameplay might get old quick, but that's hardly a unique problem in gaming these days, is it?

Fun Facts

Designer Andrew Braybrook's diary wash published by Zzap!64 magazine where he mentioned an idea to recreate the Paradroid spaceship in LEGO in order to see if all the lifts would be in the right places.

Paradroid, developed by Graftgold, first released in 1985.
Version watched: C64, 1985 (DerSchmu)