“The between-stages elevator “cutscene” is… an interesting touch.”
– from the full review.

You know how I said Metal Fighter was my favorite Color Dreams game? My one top pick on top of a slew of poor unlicensed NES carts?

Ladies and gentlemen, I present my favorite American Video Entertainment game.

You can file this in the “NES Games That Are Not Quite As Horrible As Many Would Say, But Are Still Certainly Not Much Good” folder, along with such non-classics as Battleship, Terminator, and Jaws.

You know what this game is? X-Men with better A.I. and weapon selection. In other words: Deathbots is a notch or two better than X-Men. Seriously.

Plus: This badass box art.

Plus: This badass box art.

It is a shame and a tragedy, in my mind, that a better team was not able to flesh out the Deathbots concept into a grander, more wonderful experience. The inventory management, world scale, and other elements of this game had real potential, honestly. But when eight robots are firing at you from down the hall and you cannot get the stupid door to open, the frustrations tend to outweigh the positives.

Nonetheless, this is a game I would love to come back to someday, and try to beat. I can make it to level 6 on a good day. There is a strange, addicting appeal upon repeat playthroughs — a certain tactical sense, making you think, “Maybe if I switch to the Blaster Rifle here, charge through those three bots, pick up the battery, use the teleport, skip the rest of the bots in this room, hit the warp…”

Is this a great 8-bt video game? No. But if you love old-school challenges, you might want to try this one out.

Read The Full Review For: Use of the terms “half-assery” and “full-assery,” along with a more pointed examination of both Deathbots pros and its cons.

NES Gameplay Tips For Deathbots: Learn to recognize when it is worth skipping all the robots in a room in order to simply dash to the exit instead. Even a partial-health-restoring battery is not worth losing half your HP for. Also, never use the basic pistol. Yeah, that crappy red thing with the scope on top that you start out with, that has 99 shots per clip? Once you get something else, get rid of that thing and never look back. Better to cycle through better weapons and have blank item slots than be stuck with that low-powered, low-range abomination. But the really big guns, the bazooka-lookin’ thing and the massive sniper rifle? Save those for the bosses. Seriously, the yellow laser rifle and the larger gray cannon should be fine for most of the bots in the game. Oh, grenades: The big ones for bosses (so great for bosses), little ones for enemy clusters. Do not be stingy with using batteries; remember, when you lose a life, you keep your items, but not when you continue. You want to go as long as possible without having to continue, since restarting in the same later level, but with just the basic pistol, really sucks.

Screenshots kaboom:




Weird use of primary colors aside, more games could have benefited from this type of inventory management.

First boss!

First boss! And maybe the coolest-looking one, too.










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