ASCII-GAMES - Play and Review
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torus review by wliao 02-Dec-03

Torus: the demented child of robots and a wormhole. Set in
yet another featureless plain, two armies of robots stalk the

The first army, the Horde, moves at the same speed as the
player, and is truly legion at the higher levels. The second
army, the Wolf, moves quickly, but is thankfully fewer in
number. Both armies are united in their desire to destroy the

Each time the player moves, the Horde moves one step and the
Wolf moves two steps closer towards the player. When the robots
collide with each other, a pile of rubble is left.  When the
robots collide with the rubble, a pile of rubble is left as
well. Unfortunatley, when the robot collides with the player,
the game is over.

Points are awarded with the destruction of each robot. If the
player is sure of victory, there is an option to make a last
stand to earn bonus points.

The player has two types of  random teleports, and an anti-
matter shot that clears out any adjacent robots.

What really separates torus from robots is the field itself.
As the name suggests, the field is not a bounded finite space.
Both robots and players can move ``off-screen'' to the left
and appear on the right side and vice versa, as well as move
up to appear on the bottom of the field and vice versa. This
change takes a bit to get used to, but quickly becomes second
nature for the gamer.

Like robots, torus is easy to play and understand: move around
to avoid the robots, and lead them into each other to score
points.  The extra type of robots and the torus field makes
things a little more complicated, but the adjustment is easy
to get used to. A nice touch is the statistics on the bottom
of the screen that lists the number of robots and heaps.
Another nice plus is the environment variable options that
alter the gameplay such as the ability to move the rubble
heaps around.

Unfortunately, torus also suffers the same frustrations as
robots: an element of luck is necessary to advance at times.
Torus also lacks the ability of robots to skip to an advanced
level. Plus, while robots has a minimum screen size, there is
no advantage to a larger screen. For torus, a larger field is
possible with a larger screen. This gives an advantage to
gamers with larger screens: the bigger the field, the better
the chances of a safe teleport.

Bottom line, torus is an interesting twist to the classic game
robots. Although it suffers from the unfair gameplay feature
with regards to the screen, torus and its extra features is
still an improvement over robots.

Overall, 4 out of 5 killer robots for fair players, but 2 out
of 5 smouldering rubble heaps for munchkins who maximize their
terminal window.