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Universal Warrior (or The Machines, as is the official title of the PC version) is a top-down maze shooter in the vein of Gauntlet and Alien Breed, with added economic elements.

The game alternates between equipment management and the actual in-level action, in which a remote-controlled robot runs through maze-like maps and shoots mechanical enemies. With the money earned in these sci-fi contests, improved equipment can be bought in five categories, making the robot more powerful, more maneuverable and less easy to damage. On the other hand, getting damaged means you must spend money on repairs. This encourages careful and effective playing.

The game can be played solo, competitively in two-player hot-seat mode or cooperatively in split-screen mode.

The Amiga and the PC version of the game have the same basic design, but entirely different levels. For a comprehensive list of differences between the versions see the trivia section.


Universal Warrior DOS Intro animation.
Universal Warrior DOS Title screen.
Universal Warrior Amiga Teleport puzzle.
Universal Warrior Amiga In-level action (graphics set #5).

Promo Images

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Alternate Titles

  • "The Machines" -- PC title

User Reviews

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Critic Reviews

ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) Amiga Aug, 1993 7 out of 12 58
PC Joker DOS Dec, 1995 39 out of 100 39
PC Games (Germany) DOS Dec, 1995 30 out of 100 30
Score DOS Nov, 1995 2 out of 10 20


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The game was developed by the British software house Zeppelin Games Ltd. and originally released in 1993 for the Amiga under the name of Universal Warrior. The PC port (published by Merit Studios, which had bought Zeppelin in 1994) was renamed to The Machines. The two versions differ greatly.

Most importantly, the level design is completely unique for each platform. The Amiga version ends at level 40, while the PC port contains 60 levels. The Amiga levels make much more use of the third dimension, featuring climbs and canals. The equipment differs in parts. Its availability is randomized on the Amiga, while the PC has a logical progression.

Here's a list of the most important differences between the Amiga original and the PC port:
                    AMIGA               |          	PC
         40 unique levels               |  60 unique levels
         About 10 enemy types           |  13 enemy types
         Some enemies spawn on the map  |  All enemies on the map from the 
                                        |     beginning
         Terrain height levels used     |  Terrain height levels used 
            frequently                  |     almost never
         Goal tokens required in some   |  Goal tokens required in all 
            levels                      |     levels
         Variable time limit            |  Fixed time limit (3:00 or 1:00)
         No Destruction Zone levels     |  10 Destruction Zone levels
         Less time bonus and cool bonus |  More time bonus and cool bonus
         About 45 equipment items, some |  49 equipment items, some unique
            unique                      |
         Randomized equipment in shops  |  Equipment becomes available 
                                        |     progressively
         2 chassis (= lives)            |  4 chassis (= lives)
         Illegal info long and detailed |  Illegal info short and mediocre
         32 color graphics              |  256 color graphics
         No intro sequence              |  Short rendered intro sequence
         Digitized pics in shop screens |  Drawings in shop screen
The PC port improves on the Amiga original in many ways, most notably in level design, fairness, equipment progression, enemy variety and graphics. It can thus be considered the better version, even though it is a lot more bug-ridden than the Amiga game. The game is slightly easier on the PC, mainly because it is less unfair there.
Contributed to by -Chris (7764)
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