February 3, 2015

Robot City

Byron Preiss Multimedia, 1995

Robot City is an excellent adaptation of Isaac Asimov's three famous Laws of Robotics, which he wrote over sixty years ago in his Robot stories. According to the First Law of Robotics, a robot may not injure a human being, or through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm. The Second Law bounds a robot to obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. Now, in the light of these first two Laws a robot can not be held responsible for the murder of a scientist in place where your are the only second human being. Hence, you are the prime suspect in this murder mystery and your main goal is to prove yourself innocent by investigating and bringing the real murderer to justice.

As per the Third Law, a robot must protect its own existence, as long as such protection does not conflict with the First and the Second Laws. So, your only protection instrument in the Robot City is the accurate utilization of these Laws. For example, to get rid of your valet robot, who is protecting the main door of your apartment in which you are detained for interrogation, just tell him that you are going to escape and he will leave to tell his supervisor that the suspect is trying to escape. Isn't it funny? Anyhow, this is just one example of the right use of the Three Laws of Robotics, because you will use these Laws in different ways for different situations. During your investigation, another human being, a woman and your personal robot, Alpha will aid you in solving the crime. There are many places that you can visit by way of a transit system, which you must activate in order to use it. By the way, the murder is not the only mystery in this game that you have to solve, as there are many other mysteries about Robot City that must be unraveled.

Other then the dialogue puzzles, there are few logical puzzles in the game, which are quite enjoyable and entertaining. Visually, though the game doesn't have dated graphics, but they are quite nice in design. The roads are like mazes where you either move forward or turn left and right by mean of an animated arrow cursor. The cursor changes to a cross-hair if the object has an action related to it. While sound and background music are bit monotonous and repetitive, the voice acting is great and enjoyable. All in all, Robot City has a compelling story that most adventurers crave in a game and I highly recommend it to the fans of the genre.