Droid Buster (Matra) Review | Blast Annual - Everygamegoing

Blast Annual

Droid Buster
By Matra
Spectrum 48K/128K/+2/+3

Published in Blast Annual 2020 Volume 1

Droid Buster

For the ZX DEV competition 2018 / 2019, Ariel Endaraues entered Droid Buster which is his remake of the Commodore 64 game Mandroid. Droid Buster received 13th place with 10,750 votes from the judges.

Developer: Ariel Endaraues

Ariel released Pumpkin Poe in 2017 which was a decent platformer featuring some fantastic spooky music. This time round Droid Buster has no platform elements and your character is free to explore the entire screen. The term remake is used loosely here as Droid Buster bears very little resemblance to Mandroid in either graphical style or gameplay.

The emphasis on firepower has been removed as Droid Buster simply uses his fists to pulverise everything in sight.


Droid Buster

The game begins in a central room from which you are able to pick which direction to go. Each way is fraught with danger and requires some expert timing to pass. There are clear graphical differences throughout the game and a variety of enemies which stops it from feeling all too similar. The enemies all have their own attack patterns and weaknesses which you’ll need to learn fast if you are to survive.

With only one life and an extremely unforgiving energy bar, this is a very difficult game. Be prepared to die a lot. That being said, after some perseverance you will steadily start to make progress and learn from your mistakes. The game is set in Hexagon City where our hero, Frank Talbot is tasked with destroying the evil robot minions of Arcon. Only when every robot on screen is destroyed will the door to the next screen open and you will be one step closer to the head honcho. The final showdown itself is limited by the use of AGD and its fixed sprite sizes.

The screen filling Acron is therefore only represented by static blocks. You are treated to a smashed up version of him on the final screen which is satisfying in its own right though. The graphics are well drawn, chunky and full of personality. The main character actually speaks, with phrases appearing at the bottom of screen, adding humor to the game.


Droid Buster

The gameplay is quick to feel natural and the chunky characters ensure that the collision detection is not as terrible as some AGD games can be. The music is excellent and adds to the atmosphere of the game. The enemies are varied and the level design is good.


The energy bar drains ridiculously fast and you are penalised more for touching a static enemy than you are for being shot.

The game can become frustrating as you die so much and begin trying to rush through to get back to where you were which leads to mistake after mistake and the subsequent rage quit which follows!


Overall, Droid Buster is a fun and addictive game which will entertain you for a while; frustrate you to breaking point but then make you come back for more. The fact that you start to memorise the rooms and patterns ensures you continue to make progress and this ultimately keeps you plodding on until you finish the game or swear off it forever!

This is well worth your attention whether it's for a quick fix or some prolonged agony that the masochist in you just can't get enough of!

Dougie MCG

Other Spectrum 48K/128K/+2/+3 Game Reviews By Dougie MCG

  • Ninja Gaiden: Shadow Warriors Front Cover
    Ninja Gaiden: Shadow Warriors
  • Laetitia Front Cover
  • Booty: The Remake Front Cover
    Booty: The Remake
  • Mister Kung Fu Front Cover
    Mister Kung Fu
  • The Malignant Gore Front Cover
    The Malignant Gore