Author Topic: Star Wars: Pit Droids  (Read 3991 times)

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Offline Strato Incendus

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Star Wars: Pit Droids
« on: August 19, 2017, 09:25:34 PM »
Okay guys, hands up: Who used to play this puzzle game back in the day? It's available now again for iPads, unfortunately without the level editor that was a feature of the CD version (which, of course, like so many old games, doesn't run on my computer anymore).

If you haven't had a chance to play it, fair enough, because this was kinda a spin-off of a spin-off: Pit Droids are the little robots that repair podracers, as they could be seen in Episode I: The Phantom Menace. So while the podracer PC game was already a side-event, having Pit Droids run through puzzle levels is probably as far away from mainstream Star Wars games as it gets.

For puzzle fanatics like Neo Lemmix players however, I can't imagine anything more suitable - perhaps even including Lemmings itself ^^. The game is two-dimensional as well, but this time lacking the dimension of height rather than depth:

Some explanations if you have never played this game:

1. Pit Droids can't jump, climb, or fall, like lemmings do, but they can walk in all four directions instead and have to be directed towards their exits using arrows. Those arrows are placed in the level before the droids are let loose.

2. Naturally, the number of arrows per level is limited. Both pit droids and arrows can have different colours, so that either all or just certain types of droids react to them by changing their direction.

3. Also, the colour of the droids can be changed in the course of the level, if they walk through an object that sprays them with a new colour - or just changes the colour of their heads while the bodies remain the same.

4. Additionally, they can be given different tools, like screwdrivers, drills, etc. These don't have any specific effect though, like miners or floaters, they are just more ways to differentiate between different kinds of droids.

5. There are barriers placed in the levels that will only let droids of a certain colour, head-colour, or equipped with a certain tool pass. Likewise, there are also barriers that let all pit droids through except for a specific colour or tool. The same is true for exits.

6. Some exits only allow a certain number of droids in before they close. Other droids will then just walk over them without being affected (like limited-number exits in NeoLemmix).

7. Locks can be placed throughout the level that do not open until all of the key buttons have been pressed (like locked exits in NeoLemmix).

8. Some levels feature pre-placed arrows that cannot be moved around. Droids will react to these the same way they react to your arrows, so you have to be careful to which pre-placed arrows you lead them.

9. There is a trap looking like a fan that opens and closes in regular, predictable intervals. If a droid steps onto it while it's open, it will quite literally get blown up - as long as it's closed, droids can walk across it safely. Consequently, sometimes you can get past this trap by sending your droids on a little detour to delay them; sometimes, there will be so many fans in a row that you simply have to take a different path.

10. Droids can have different release rates, like lemmings. Pit Droids is a field-based game (fields are either squares or hexagons), so the release rate decides how many fields of space are left between two individual droids. Sometimes, there's no space in between, they're walking right back-to-back; sometimes, the intervalls are longer. This is especially important when several groups of droids cross each other.

11. If two pit droids cross each other's paths, only one of two things can happen: Either, one will stand still and wait for the other one to pass. Or both will keep walking, crash into each other and both be destroyed. This differs on a per-level basis and can be identified by the droid head symbol at the top: A star next to the droid head means they will crash; if the star isn't there, they will wait, so crossing lines are possible. In later levels however, the mode is usually "crash". This is probably the most interesting and at the same time most nerve-wracking feature of the game. Sometimes, you also have to exploit the gaps between pit droids to make different groups of droids cross each other's paths safely, i.e. in such a way that no two droids occupy the same field at the same time.

In this example level shown below, the mode is "don't crash", as can be seen by the fact that there's no star next to the little transparent-blue droid's head in the information bar at the top.

This is perhaps the greatest difference to Lemmings, since lemmings just walk through each other's bodies - or next to each other in Lemmings Revolution - without any issues. Pit Droids are solid all the time. This also means there are no blockers: If one Pit Droid has to stand still because it can't pass a barrier, all the droids behind that one will also be forced to stand still. Or even worse, in crash mode, they will all just run against that barrier and die.

It should therefore be noted that Pit Droids are just as dumb as Lemmings and will follow each other mindlessly. ;)

(Picture below taken from AppSpy.com)
« Last Edit: March 23, 2020, 09:43:23 AM by Strato Incendus »
My packs so far:
Lemmings World Tour (New & Old Formats), my music-themed flagship pack, 320 levels - Let's Played by Colorful Arty
Lemmings Open Air, my newest release and follow-up to World Tour, 120 levels
Paralems (Old Formats), a more flavour-driven one, 150 levels
Pit Lems (Old Formats), a more puzzly one, 100 levels - Let's Played by nin10doadict
Lemmicks, a pack for (very old) NeoLemmix 1.43 full of gimmicks, 170 levels