An amazingly good game with a simple but at the same time stunning title screen theme. Johnathan Dunn could’ve adapted the movie theme but chose instead to create an original piece that suits Robocop perfectly.

While this is a conversion from the Data East arcade game it is also a conversion of the film.

Confused? Ocean obtained the rights to the film and then Data East approached Ocean to sub-license the rights from them.

Still with me?

Data East then developed the arcade game which Ocean then adapted for the home computer formats but Ocean also added into the mix various sub-games such as the photo-fit sequence  which added an extra element to the game and raised the level of the game. In many ways the home computer versions were superior to the arcade version.

The Game

Take on the role of avenging angel as you mete out rough justice to the perpetrators of evil and lawlessness. Some of the most exciting scenes ever to fill a computer screen confront you. The future is here and now when you take up this challenge – PART MAN – PART MACHINE – ALL COP Robocop – TM & © Orion Pictures Corp.

Patrolman Murphy was the 32nd cop to be gunned down in Detroit since Security Concepts Inc. took control of the police department. It was the opportunity OCP had been waiting for…They took what was left of Murphy and turned him into a deadly killing machine with a reinforced titanium body, an erased memory and a programmed mind. However they could not completely wipe out the memory of his horrific ordeal and he sets out to track down the gang responsible. In this game you are Robocop! You are the future of law enforcement.

Critical Reaction

Much acclaim greeted the release of Robocop on the ZX Spectrum with the reviews all positive, although Your Sinclair were the least impressed of the dedicated Speccy gaming press awarding Robocop 8/10;

Playable, efficient but uninspired shooty thing based on everyone’s favourite gorefeast.

Crash awarded a Crash Smash with a rating of 92/100 and Sinclair User gave a rating of 94/100.

The first thing that strikes you about RoboCop is the character’s animation which is probably the best ever seen on the Spectrum — it really is that good. Scrolling is perfectly smooth and sound is great, with sampled speech saying ‘RoboCop’. Playability, as far as we’ve got, is great. Going back to the start of sections is frustrating, as is the ammunition limit, but since the enemies always follow the same patterns this forces you to get really good. Other sections, such as the ID stage, are surprisingly effective as well, making this an instant Spectrum classic.

Other magazines rated it highly as well and it featured as No1 in the charts for over 18 months!!

My Thoughts

I was really impressed with Robocop and of the games that I got for Christmas this was my favourite. Fab graphics, great sound and a difficultly level pitched just about right for a 14 year old to deal with. I’d loved the film, my parents were quite liberal when it came to letting my brother and I watch stuff on video, and the game didn’t disappoint me.

The side scrolling shoot-em up sections were tricky and the inclusion of the other sections really added to the feel of the game. Trying to shoot the criminal who had taken the women hostage was great, although you couldn’t deal with him in the same way Robocop did in the film (a shame tbh). The trickiest sub-game was the photo-fit as sections of the pictures could vary by only a few pixels so trying to get and exact match in 40 seconds was rather hard.

Still, it was all really good fun and a game I still recommend playing. Once again the 8bit Speccy shows what could be done!

The Music

Before I provide the ZX Spectrum title screen music in all it’s wonderful glory I’d like to add a fun bit of trivia;

The Gameboy version of the Robocop title screen theme was used in a television advert by the consumer electronic s company Ariston to promote their products. The full length version of the advert can be found after the ZX Spectrum music.

ZX Spectrum

Ariston TV Advert


About Phendrena

Father, Retro Gamer, PC Gamer.

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