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Cyberdillo (3DO) artwork

Cyberdillo (3DO) review


"It's weird, but that alone isn't enough reason to play it from beginning to end."


Cyberdillo is a repetitive, frustrating and yet intriguing single player first person shooter that is noteworthy only because it is very strange compared to a lot of first person shooters released at the time.

On starting the game, a short video using early 3D graphics shows an armadillo in the desert that is killed by a random passing car. A narrator says, among other things, that the desert is "usually compared to a dirty ice cube, except that it is dry, and very, very hot." The manual states that the armadillo was revived by a mad scientist and turned into a cyborg. There isn't much of a plot, or even an antagonist.

In most respects the game plays as a conventional first person shooter. The player can move around using the directional buttons, strafe, and fire weapons. The default weapon is a gun that shoots toilet plungers. It is weak but fires quickly and has unlimited ammunition, and will be the primary means of defeating enemies. Special weapons also can be found in certain locations. They have very limited ammunition and the player can only hold one at a time, but they cause significantly more damage. These special weapons fire 8-track tapes, billiard balls, slices of toast, and other things. Late in the game there isn't enough ammunition to use them regularly and that's when they are most needed, when harder enemies start to appear.

The game's engine is roughly as powerful as the Wolfenstein 3D engine. Walls are all at ninety degree angles, ceilings are all at a fixed height, and all enemies and objects are sprites. Unlike in Wolfenstein 3D, floors are not always flat and are sometimes at an angle. It is possible to jump, and in theory this could help avoid some damaging floors like lava, but because of the low ceiling height jumping is almost useless. Sometimes colored keys are needed to unlock doors. Keys are usually near the doors they unlock and levels are mostly linear without much, if any, backtracking. In total there are thirty two levels, divided into eight sets of four levels. Each set of four levels has a very loose theme to it. The first four levels are disco themed, the next four levels are based on The Wizard of Oz, four level are based on toys, and so on. The objective in every level is to reach the exit, which is represented by a different object in each level. The Wizard of Oz levels might have a pair or ruby slippers as the exit, for example. There is a map feature but it is cumbersome to use. The radar that shows nearby enemies and objects is more useful.

Common enemies include cans of hair spray, eyeball monsters, walking hot dogs, spitting plants, and computer monitors. Enemies all have the same behavior. They amble around and fire a projectile towards the player. They often get stuck in and around doors and the corners of rooms. The only thing differentiating one enemy from another is the amount of damage they deal and the amount of health they have. Some late game enemies like the spitting plants deal excessive amounts of damage and take way too many hits. Interestingly, there are no boss enemies in the entire game. One of the most annoying is the mine. It is a red spiked ball that either remains stationary or moves along a path. They can't be destroyed and can deal significant amounts of damage to the player. Movement is slippery, so colliding with them is easy to do.

The weirdness of the levels and the objects within them is the only reason to play this game. After about eight levels or so, the game becomes very monotonous. By level twenty or so it becomes clear that the game isn't well balanced. Early levels have plenty of extra health items and are relatively easy. In later levels enemies deal so much damage it's easy to die in a couple of seconds. Dying at any time shows an image that is a parody of the classic painting The Death of Marat and returns the player to the title screen. While it is possible to save and load a game at any point, doing this a dozen times just to pass a level gets tiresome. The game ends abruptly after the final level, and shows a "Congratulations!" message and the number of enemies killed.

Probably the most notorious aspect of the game is its use of bathroom humor. An occasional obstacle is a box of laxatives. Colliding with it gives the player twenty seconds to reach a bathroom stall or the player immediately dies. One of the guns shoots excrement. Four levels have bathrooms, outhouses, urinals, and urine as a general theme to it. It's extremely juvenile and most people won't want to play a game with these kinds of things for an extended time, and with thirty two levels in total, it's a long game.

More than anything, Cyberdillo feels like a bunch of clip art and stock assets were thrown together to make an overly long first person shooter. It has no meaningful plot, no cohesive theme except grossness, and the combat quickly becomes a hassle. Watching a few clips from the game or playing a level or two in order to see how strange it is might be worthwhile, but playing the entire game from beginning to end is not worth the time.

2/5

Bouchart's avatar
Community review by Bouchart (February 05, 2018)

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