Saturday, March 24, 2012
I played this heaps as a teenager on the Amiga, mostly against my brothers Evan and Oop.
Very few people seem to remember this game. It was a public domain game made by Kingsoft in 1989.
It took a while to get used to the controls, and it wasn't an easy game.
The single player mode involved a series of missions, much like Lunar Lander, to pick up cargo from around the level and return it safely to your base.
The worlds were populated with moving enemies like spaceships, and tanks, and also wall mounted turrets. Later there were additional threats such as moving walls, and magnetic fields.
Single player mode was all good and well, but where the game really shone was MULTIPLAYER!
You could do RACES or DOGFIGHTS against another player, and it was hectic! You really tested your skill at controlling these little ships, hurtling headlong around the levels by the skin of your fingers, all the time shooting at one another, while trying to avoid hitting the walls, getting shot by turrets, all the while flying through the checkpoints ahead of your opponent!
There was a real curve of skill and experience that you built up playing this game. Lots of little details that added up to a better strategy. You got to know the maps inside and out, every little nook and hitch you could hide behind and ambush your opponent. I think my all time favorite map was Race 1, where the track was treacherous, and intersected itself around the middle, so your opponent often had a chance to get a few shots in as they hurtled across your path. This was a great equaliser, greatly increasing the longevity of the game, as you just never knew who would win.