When you start the game, your man will be in the middle of the playing field surrounded by various robots. Depending on the wave that you are on will determine exactly what robots are ready to terminate your existence. The game is straight-forward, take out all the robots (except HULKS) to advance to the next wave. It is vital for your survival that you learn how to 'scoot and shoot'. If you don't learn how operate the controls independently and run in one direction while shooting in other directions, you won't survive very long in this game.
Equally important to 'scoot and shoot' is your ability to be able to fire on the diagonal. It's easy firing up, down, left, and right, but it takes a little more mastery to fire in the diagonal directions.
Learn the different things the enemy robots do. For example, the SPEROIDS have a tendency to congregate in the corners. This works to your advantage since you can blast about three or four before they discharge their supply of ENFORCER robots.
Your main objective is to blast a path through the robots and get to the edge of the screen. It doesn't matter what edge, just get to one. The reason is painfully simple : it give the robots one less direction to assault you from. Plus, you can lead them around in circles blasting them and also cleaning out the corners from the above-mentioned ENFORCERS.
Enforcer Bug : The enforcer bug is when an enforcer is in the lower right corner and you shoot it diagonal there is a 1 in 3,000 chance the game will reset. The reason for the game resetting is there is a bug in the diagonal explosion code for enforcers. The memory below the screen holds the stack and an unclipped pixel can get 'drawn' into the stack causing the game to lock and the watchdog to kick in and reset the system.
The only times where you won't want to seek the sides is during the BRAIN and TANK robot waves. The BRAINS fire a homing shot at your man so you need as much room to maneuver as possible so going against the wall would restrict that movement. The same goes for the TANK robots which fire bounce shots. They may miss you initially but you might get hit by the shot as it bounces up. You are safer in the middle area where you have room to maneuver. Just watch out for other enemies (which will be very low in number).
Try to rescue the humans as long as it doesn't put your man in danger of dying. You can rack up some major points on the BRAIN waves since they are loaded with humans for the BRAIN robots to 're-program'. Again, make sure you have an avenue of escape. Doesn't make sense to save a human, get the extra man, then die. You, in essence, gained nothing from that level. You can also shoot the HULK robots to push them away from humans also. On the BRAIN waves, make sure you pick off the BRAIN robots as soon as possible. This prevents them from reprogramming the humans and leaves you more people to get major points with.
The 'Mikey' bug - on the first Brain wave. There are a lot of Mommies and only one Mikey. The Brains all go for Mikey - if you can protect him (don't pick him up, though!), the Brains will ignore all other humans, making for a point-fest if you can grab them all. As soon as you die, however, the Brains will grab any human they find. This actually works on all Brain waves, but in the other waves the 'golden human' is a random Daddy or Mommy or Mikey, so you don't know who to protect. It's a bug, but a cool one. For this bug to work, the player must make sure that no humans are left alive in the level previous.
Since you don't have a limit on your shots, you can put up a 'wall' of energy in whatever direction you move. This can have a very devastating effect if applied right.
Make sure you take a quick look at the wave to assess where the main threats are. You will have from one to two seconds to get ready for action. If you can survive the initial few seconds as you blast your way toward the edge, your chances of survival will be that much greater. Also be sure to remember what each wave has in store for you, this also will give you a greater chance of getting through the wave.
If you get tired, you can take a break. That's right, wait for a TANK wave. Eliminate all of the robots except for one. After firing a few shots, the TANK robot will run out. After that, it's just a matter of avoiding the TANK and any other pesky robots.
ENFORCERS, like their SPHEROID transports, tend to congregate in corners. Use this to your advantage. Every now and then one or two will zip very fast across the field. Their main threat, though, is volume of fire. When you are on the edges, watch out since their shots tend to roll toward your man.
See all those pretty shapes on the playing field? They are there as a nuisance. They will kill your man if he hits them. They can, however, be shot out of the way but yield no points.
Robotron Name Trick : The formula consists of three sequences of buttons, that all must be completed within a quarter of a second of each other, without the player dying on-screen. The moves are as follows...
1) Fire Up while moving Right and press Player 1 button.
2) Fire Down while moving Up and press Player 2 button.
3) Move Down while firing Up.
The designer's names will appear and stay on the screen until the joystick is released from the Up position. Your game is over(!) once you've done this trick.