robots - Man Page

fight off villainous robots


robots[-Asjtan] [scorefile]


robots pits you against evil robots, who are trying to kill you (which is why they are evil). Fortunately for you, even though they are evil, they are not very bright and have a habit of bumping into each other, thus destroying themselves. In order to survive, you must get them to kill each other off, since you have no offensive weaponry.

Since you are stuck without offensive weaponry, you are endowed with one piece of defensive weaponry: a teleportation device. When two robots run into each other or a junk pile, they die. If a robot runs into you, you die. When a robot dies, you get 10 points, and when all the robots die, you start on the next field. This keeps up until they finally get you.

Robots are represented on the screen by a ‘+’, the junk heaps from their collisions by a ‘∗’, and you (the good guy) by a ‘@’.

The commands are:


move one square left


move one square right


move one square up


move one square down


move one square up and left


move one square up and right


move one square down and left


move one square down and right


(also space) do nothing for one turn


run as far as possible in the given direction


do nothing for as long as possible


teleport to a random location


wait until you die or they all do




redraw the screen

All commands can be preceded by a count.

If you use the ‘w’ command and survive to the next level, you will get a bonus of 10% for each robot which died after you decided to wait. If you die, however, you get nothing. For all other commands, the program will save you from typos by stopping short of being eaten. However, with ‘w’ you take the risk of dying by miscalculation.

Only five scores are allowed per user on the score file. If you make it into the score file, you will be shown the list at the end of the game. If an alternative score file is specified, that will be used instead of the standard file for scores.

The options are


Don't play, just show the score file.


Jump, i.e., when you run, don't show any intermediate positions; only show things at the end. This is useful on slow terminals.


Teleport automatically when you have no other option. This is a little disconcerting until you get used to it, and then it is very nice.


Advance into the higher levels directly, skipping the lower, easier levels.


Auto-bot mode. Lets the game play itself.


Increase the number of games played by one.


Ken Arnold Christos Zoulas (autobot mode)



the score file


Bugs? You crazy, man?!?


May 31, 1993