Robot Odyssey

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Robot Odyssey is an adventure game published by The Learning Company in 1984. It was released for the Apple II, TRS-80 Color Computer and MS-DOS. It reused the engine from the well known Atari game Adventure and had an easier version named Rocky's Boots (Video Game) intended for children.

The hero is a person who in a series of screens is shown to wake up from a dream and steps out of bed, inexplicably falling into Robotropolis, a city of robots. The person can escape only by programming robots to solve puzzles.

The game teaches basic concepts in electrical engineering; to solve the puzzles you must wire and rewire your robots. There is an extensive tutorial system to help you learn the concepts.

The game consists of five levels: The sewers, the subway, the city, the master computer center and the skyway.

Tropes used in Robot Odyssey include:
  • Abandonware: This game is no longer made, and you'd need a 5.25 floppy drive to run it if you found a copy.
  • Copy Protection: Utilized copy protection by checking the 5.25" disk for a "flaky bit". If the bit was not found, the player's ability to solder connections in the robots of the main game was disabled, rendering the game unwinnable. However, the copy protection was never disclosed in the manual and the flaky bit had a tendency to "settle" over time, meaning that many users found their legitimate games impossible to play past the third level.
  • Difficulty Spike: When you set foot on the master computer center level, get ready to start ripping your hair out. The puzzles are solvable, but they are light years ahead of the city.
  • Easter Egg: The second level has a secret room that can be accessed by traveling a specific direction with a message from the programmers and a mysterious keyhole that does nothing. Droidquest uses it to "unlock" the hidden fifth level.
  • Fridge Logic: Why does a robot city need a sewer?
  • Hammerspace: To reprogram a robot, you have to go inside it, and it's obviously Bigger on the Inside. You can store things inside this roomy interior, including the other two robots.
  • Klaatu Barada Nikto: pops up after solving the final puzzle on the city level.
  • Leap of Faith: Jack-in-the-Bot station on the subway level has no doors to get out of the station until you actually get off the train. The pain in the butt it is to get a subway token in the first place deters players from trying it for a long time.
  • Level Editor: The Innovation Lab gives you the opportunity to make your own puzzles.
    • It also suggests re-creating a puzzle that is giving you trouble in the Innovation Lab, but most puzzles have aspects you can't duplicate in the Innovation Lab.
  • Locked Door: The subway requires a token. Every time you ride it. And you have to ride it several times. And you need to send your robot to get the token each time.
  • Only Smart People May Pass: This game fits it well. The game teaches concepts in electrical engineering, and if you can't get the concepts down you're eventually going to get very frustrated.
  • Pressure Plate: Several puzzles require either you or your robot to activate a door this way.
  • Programming Game: Yep!
  • Robot Buddy: You get three, which you have to reprogram for a variety of tasks.
  • Run, Don't Walk Your character moves quickly at all times. You can move slowly, but it's only useful in trying to enter your robots, or get on the teleport pad at the end of each level.
  • Shout-Out: The robot patrolling one level of the sewer that zaps you if you get too close is actually a Dalek.
  • Video Game Tutorial: Not only will you need to do them, but they are easier and in some ways more fun than the game.