Robot Nightmare

Robot Nightmare Intro screen #1 Robot Nightmare Intro screen #2
Robot Nightmare Intro screens 1&2

Robot Nightmare Intro screen #3 Robot Nightmare game over screen
Robot Nightmare Intro screen 3 & game over screens

Robot Nightmare Level 1 screen Robot Nightmare Level 2 screen
Robot Nightmare Level 1&2 level screens

Robot Nightmare Level 3 screen Robot Nightmare bonus screen
Robot Nightmare Intro screen 3 & game over screens

Robot Nightmare is Ken Reighard's first fully ML game (previously he had done hybrids like Nightmare Highway). To make it as colorful as possible, he also used a higher Semi-graphics mode; but he only used graphics characters (even for things like score) so that it can work on a Coco 3 as well as a Coco 1 or 2. The game itself is based on M Networks Atari 2600 game Dark Cavern, which was Mattel's port of their Night Stalker game for their Intellivision console to the Atari. In the game you have keep track of your ammo; you only have a limited number of shots (20 to start with, although you occasionally will see ammo boxes - but you only have limited time to grab those 10 extra shots before they disappear) and you can only have one bullet on the screen at a time. You will see 4 different colors (types) of robots (the highest point one is also worth a free life to the player - and what color robots appear is based on how many are active on the screen at once), the green snake that will temporarily paralyze you, and the Blob, which steals some of your ammo. While all of these opponents can be killed, they re-spawn, so you are only buying yourself some time.

After you have killed enough robots (the number left is on the bottom of the screen in orange), a trap door to the next level will appear. You get a point bonus (how much will depend on what level you are on) once you enter the trap door, and then you proceed to the next level (which will feature a different maze). Of note is that you no longer get points for killing robots once the trapdoor appears. You can recharge your ammo (up to a maximum of 99) before entering the trap door, however. There are 4 mazes in total, and the higher levels keep cycling through those 4, except with more robots, or two headed robots that shoot in two directions. By level 20... the maze turns invisible, greatly adding to the challenge.

The game also saves your high scores to disk; a BASIC utility is included so that you can wipe out the high scores and start them over. Ken was also kind enough to include support for the ALT and CTRL keys on the Coco 3 keyboard to work as up & down arrows, so one use a comfortable two handed keyboard setup on either the Coco 1/2 (with the 4 arrow keys) or on the Coco 3 (ALT, CTRL and the left/right arrows). You can play with a joystick as well, of course. A very well done, well presented game with good animations on the semigraphics and a pseudo 3Dish look for the top down view of the walls.

Title: Robot Nightmare

Author: Ken Reighard

Publisher: Ken Reighard

Released: August 2022

Requires: Color Computer 1,2,3, 32K RAM, joystick optional, disk drive

Purchase link (both electronic, and physical souvenir editions available).

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