A colorful and chaotic pre-crash arcade video game, Robotron: 2084 is played using two joysticks. The left stick moves your character in the direction you push it, while the right stick fires laser beams in the direction you push it.
Like most early video games, rather than work towards an ending, the goal in Robotron: 2084 is to amass points. There are defined waves, or levels to advance through (you are sent to the next wave after destroying all of the robots that can be destroyed), but the wave you're on when your game ends is irrelevant. Points are what matters, and they are added to your score in two ways: rescuing humans by touching them, or destroying robots by shooting them. In each wave, the first human you rescue is worth 1000 points, the second is worth 2000, the third is worth 3000...up to 5000 points for the fifth and each thereafter, but you must start from 1000 again when your character dies, something he'll do often. Each type of robot is worth a different number of points, but their values aren't important, as even the highest are only worth 200 or so. All the big points, and therefore the high scores in this game come from rescuing humans.
What is important to know about the robots is that each type behaves differently. The main type of robot, the grunt, simply walks directly towards your character. They're not too exciting or dangerous, but they do have numbers on their side.
The second wave introduces the hulk, which walks around more or less at random and kills any human he touches. The hulks cannot be destroyed, which makes them very annoying.
The third wave introduces sphereoids (sic), which, if not destroyed quickly enough, move to the corner of the playfield and produce enforcers, which move around pretty quickly and shoot many asterisk-like objects at your character. This is where the hulks start to get really annoying, because the sphereoids have an irritating habit of hiding behind them and can usually crank out at least a few enforcers before you get to them.
The fifth wave introduces the brain robotrons, which fire cruise missles, and turn any human they touch into progs, which zip around the screen trying to crash into your character. This wave is a good opportunity to score enough points for an extra life or to, but it's also possible to be overrun by progs, in which case you are royally fucked. Don't worry too much about the brains though, cause chances are, the machine will be telling you GAME OVER long before you see them again.
The major reason for this is the quarks, introduced in the seventh wave. They have a fairly erratic movement pattern, and produce tanks, which are somewhat similar to enforcers, but more annoying, if you can imagine that.
In addition to all of these robots and the projectiles fired by the enforcers and tanks, the playfield is littered with electrodes, glowing objects which kill you on contact. Fortunately, the electrodes do not move, and can be destroyed with a laser beam.
Robotron: 2084 is probably starting to sound complicated, but it really boils down to very simple but challenging gameplay: Run around and shoot stuff. Even with the simplicity of the game, though, there is a definite need for practice, and you will see your scores increase over time. You'll know you're good when you can reach 100,000 points. Good luck, and keep an eye on those damn sphereoids.
Disclaimer: Yes, I actually did take the time to write this. I didn't even go to a page to check on the names of the robots I couldn't remember, I alt-tabbed away from Everything to play Robotron under MAME. Do I have a life? I'm seeing an answer appearing, and it looks like Hell...followed by No....