VMware's Micah Dowty is working on a neat personal project: porting The Learning Company's logic adventure game Robot Odyssey to the Nintendo DS, possibly with some added touchscreen support. This comes after a month spent playing and reverse engineering the old title, which he says is "one of the games that [he has] the fondest childhood memories of."

For those of you unfamiliar with the 1984 title (released for Apple II, TRS-80, and DOS), it tasks players with finding their way back home from Robotropolis, an underground city full of robots. In order to escape, players have to program their robot helpers to solve puzzles.

Dowty explains the homebrew project:

"Before you ask, this is not a general-purpose DOS emulator for the DS. It's actually a static binary translator which does most of the work in porting a DOS game to the DS, but there's still an awful lot of manual intervention required. I only really developed the translator with Robot Odyssey in mind, so there are sure to be features missing that you'd need in order to use it with other games.

My intent is to turn this into a real port of Robot Odyssey to the DS, not just an emulation. In particular, I'd like to re-do the load/save game UI to support timestamps and thumbnails, and I'd like a soldering mode that makes use of the DS's touchscreen."

Here are a couple shots from the DS port so far: