Robotron: 2084


Williams Electronic Games

Origin Date



Robotron: 2084 (also referred to as Robotron) is a multidirectional shooter developed by Eugene Jarvis and Larry DeMar of Vid Kidz and released in arcades by Williams Electronics in 1982. The game is set in the year 2084 in a fictional world where robots have turned against humans in a cybernetic revolt. The aim is to defeat endless waves of robots, rescue surviving humans, and earn as many points as possible.

Jarvis and DeMar drew inspiration from Nineteen Eighty-Four, Berzerk and Space Invaders for the design of Robotron: 2084. A two-joystick control scheme was implemented to provide the player with more precise controls, and enemies with different behaviors were added to make the game challenging. Jarvis and DeMar designed the game to instill panic in players by presenting them with conflicting goals and having on-screen projectiles coming from multiple directions.

Robotron: 2084 was critically and commercially successful. Praise among critics focused on the game’s intense action and control scheme. Though not the first game with a twin joystick control scheme, Robotron: 2084 is cited as the game that popularized it. It was ported to numerous home systems – most of which are hampered by the lack of two joysticks – and inspired the development of other games such as Smash TV (1990). The game is frequently listed as one of Jarvis’s best contributions to the video game industry.