Rules of the game:

The evil robots are after you. Moving at the same speed as you, one point per turn. You will die instantly if any one of them reaches you, and you have no weapons against them.

Sounds daunting? Fortunately the robots (+) are stupid enough that they always move one unit towards you (@). That means they occasionally crash into each other, or into junk heaps (*) left from said crashes. Which is rather essential for your aim of destroying all of their shiny metal asses.

As there are typically dozens of robots in one level, things can easily get unfair to you, despite the limited level of AI the 'bots possess. For those moments the game provides the magic 't' key of teleportation, which throws you into a random location. Unfortunately that might take you right next to a metalman which means GAME OVER, but that's just one of the lovely little quirks in this piece of CURSES.

By the time you're in a secure location - possibly surrounded by wreckage to shield you from the enemies - you may wait until the end and let the bots die. In addition to bringing the level to a quick and painless end, you will gain some bonus points for each robot thus eliminated.

Basic strategies

Generally, it's a good idea to go for the mass center of the robotic population, while of course steering clear of them (avoiding the need to teleport). That way they will converge on you, making crashes after crashes. Usually this will guarantee a few junkpiles, but not necessarily where you want them. Of course anything that reaps the metal mob down is good for the teleports.

For a more strategic placement of junk, you'll need to focus on the details of your surroundings. Look for pairs or triplets of robots next to each other, in a line perpendicular to their line of approach; those guys are gonna crash!

             (wait         *
        +    one turn)
   @    +      ===>        @   *

A technical remark

Due to the wonderfulness of the character-based display, a diagonal move takes you slightly further than a horizontal or vertical one. Of course the same applies to the robots as well as you, so it doesn't make a huge difference. But this seems to affect the way the robots' movements are programmed; when the line of approach is diagonal, there's much less convergence.

Similar games

Daleks has been around since the 1980s. Its main difference to Robots is the sprite-based graphics with animated motion. In addition there is a short-range weapon, but it only has one shot per level.

The games package of GNOME includes a sleek remake named Gnobots with some additions to the original rules. There are a few advanced droids that move twice as fast as others; on the plus side, you have a limited number of safe teleports in each level. You can collect more of these via the "wait bonus" described above. Gnobots also features several themes; in one of these you are chased by copies of Windows and IE.

There are probably more games in the Robots family; please /msg me for any additional info or corrections.

Robots was written by Ken Arnold and Christos Zoulas. Many Linux distributions include it in the BSD-games package.