Help For the Game Of Robots


Welcome to the network Robots server. The challenge command is described here. Other commands are the same as for all pbmserv games.

    robots challenge [-level=number] userid

Starts a new game for userid. The -level parameter sets the starting level [1..20] with the default being 1.


It's you against the robots. Each level you are randomly placed in a room with a number of robots. After each move, all robots take one step directly towards you. If two or more robots try to step onto the same spot they crash and form a scrap heap which you can hide behind, but if a robot reaches you the game is over. When all robots are destroyed, you move onto the next level.

A sample game is shown below.

   +-----------------+    | . . . . . . . . |   | . . . r . . . . | @ = You    | . . . . # . r . |    | . . r . . # r . | r = Robot    | . . . # . . . . |    | . r r . . @ r . | # = Scrap heap    | . . . . . . . . |    | . . . . . . . . |    +-----------------+
    Level     = 1    <---- Current level.
    Teleports = 2    <---- Number of safe teleports left.
    Can Blast = 1    <---- Whether blaster is still available.
    Kills =     6    <---- Total number of robots destroyed.

If @ stays where they are, then a robot will kill them next turn. However moving NW (up and to the left) is a safe move that will win the level after one more turn.


N, E, S, W, NE, NW, SE, SW
Take one step in a direction.

Blast in a direction, creating a scrap heap adjacent to the current position. The blaster can only be used once per level. If the blaster is not used on a level then a bonus safe teleport is given for the next level.

Pass. Stay where you are and let the robots take one step towards you.

Teleport to another location. If the "Teleports" indicator is greater than 0, then a safe teleport is guaranteed. You can still teleport if the indicator shows 0, but your safety is not guaranteed and you are taking a grave risk. Unsafe teleports are marked '*' in the move list. One safe teleport is accumulated per level, plus one bonus safe teleport for each level on which the blaster is not used.

Last stand. Continue passing until the robots either reach you or all destroy themselves.

Quit the game.

It is possible to make multiple moves per turn. Up to eight moves per turn can be specified. The server makes as many legal moves as possible, but bails as soon as a bad move, a Last stand or Quit command is encountered, or the level is completed.


You score 1 pt for each robot destroyed. The total number of turns taken is subtracted from your final score, so it is good to queue up multiple moves per turn whenever possible.

Since you are not playing an opponent then your rating is equivalent to your highest score, and the rankings list is effectively a high score table. Improve your rating by beating your high score. The win/loss/tie breakdown shows the number of times you have beaten/fallen below/equalled your previous high score.


The move syntax is indicated by the following examples:

    robots move board# userid password n      (step to the north)
    robots move board# userid password p      (pass this turn)
    robots move board# userid password t      (teleport)
    robots move board# userid password bse    (blast to the southeast)
    robots move board# userid password l      (make your last stand)  
    robots move board# userid password q      (quit)
    robots move board# userid password n,p,sw,t (step north, pause, step southwest, teleport)
    robots move board# userid password t,t,t,t  (teleport a few times)

References and History

Robots has been around for donkey's years under various names.

Implementation and help file by Cameron Browne, April 2004.