Covox Speech Thing is a trademark of Covox Inc. The package includes a memory game flipping over tiles to find match- ing pairs , animated puzzles with four to 64 pieces each and a look-alike hunt against the clock. Circle Reader Service 1. Yet more quality shareware from the Kings of Di- rectsoft. In this series of action adventures. Keen must run, jump and pogo his way through an action land- scape frought with peril. Like the more involved action games, in this one Keen can find secret passages to under- ground caverns and other secret areas filled with goodies.
Kids will be keen on Keen without stripping their parents of the green. Circle Reader Serv- ice 2. Circle Reader Service 3. The Bad Guy Illit- erati have conspired to rid the world of books! Unfortunately, its Nintendo-style ac- tion may be too difficult for its educa- tional age-range. Circle Reader Serv- ice 4. Centron Software Technologies, Inc. From the people who brought you Puz- zle Master and Casino Master now comes their multi-pack of "Mac -like" Windowsware.
It is, es- sentially, standard fare for minds that like to wander as they look through the Windows on their computer. Circle Reader Service 5. Anyone who has been to an animation festival these days may have noted the increasing number of computer-gener- ated animated shorts. Now, with this robust package, amateur animators can try their hand in this new medium.
Fea- tures include the ability to model and render objects with splines and patches as opposed to polygons , a library of objects and basic shapes, quickly gen- erated multiple views, libraries of com- plex character motions and a plethora of shadowing, mirroring, light tracking and image wrapping capabilities. Is the next Max Fleischer or Chuck Jones ly- ing dormant within you? Circle Reader Service 6. Players, ages , begin as crew members of the space shuttle, working their way up through the ranks to conducting mis- sions on the space station and, finally, leading the expedition to Mars.
The sound eard from Creative Labs. Experience the full power of voice synthesized music and 8-bit sampled sound effects. Don't just hear it. The scream of your F's engine as you elude enemy fire. No wonder Sound Blaster is the world's 1 seller. With Sound Blaster from Creative Labs. Sound Blaster is a trademark of Creative Labs, Inc. Windows is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
Circle Reader Service the way, they are routinely asked for simple programming tasks and must deal with unexpected turns of events which are solved with a little thought and some occasional eye-hand coordi- nation. A condensing of the entire space program in a box, this product is not only educational, it is downright compelling to play! Circle Reader Service 7. The player, as the ris- ing young ace reporter for the U.
Daily Star, must wind his or her way through U. Ideal for the Carmen Sandiego set. Headline Harry is newsmaking in more ways than one. Circle Reader Service 8. Boom Box is a software "toy" that is, in effect, a do-it-yourself music maker. Users can create their own mixes, save them, import saved tunes and remix or add reverberations to them with remarkable ease. While designed for even the computer illiterate to use with ease, a bit of DOSy knowledge would help when it comes time to save and load files. Circle Reader Service 9. In a world of flight simulators, it is interest- ing that we get two aerial strategy games, almost back to back see the Battle of Britain 2 review on page 1 52!
Air Force Commander puts players in an "Operation Desert Storm" kind of atmosphere, turning their computer into a central control display with a green lined map and radar static. Air- bases are alerted and sorties conducted by individual airplanes as they attack or defend targets in hostile lands through- out the Middle East and Persian Gulf regions.
The player must be part air traffic controller and part minister of production to balance all the factors needed for successful play. Modem and thought-provoking, this real-time strategy game has enough scenarios to get players going quickly and keep them exploring for quite a while. Circle Reader Service Can violent arcade games really warp a young mind? Well, the creators of this biznrre spatio-logic game might be used as supporting evi- dence.
Two players can simulateously play Yeet and Boik on their escapade to free the imprisoned Bad Guys and get their buddies out of the bread lines. Do Pfeil-Aircraft Disk Just when one thought LucasArts and the Third Reich had exhausted their rightful allotment of aerospace innova- tion, they come out with the Domier Do "Anteater", "the most dangerous piston-engined fighter ever built!
From the odd look of its front and rear, push-pull prop design, one must won- der just whom it was dangerous to. King Charles of Bretagne is dead, without a clear successor to the throne. Unfortunately, other inhabitants have the same idea. To win, you must survive. To survive, you must scout the surtounding tertitories, defeat the native militias, subjugate the land with castles, feed and maintain the people, forge diplomatic alliances, appease the church and unite the land undet your iron fist. Did we forget to mention the other power hungry barons? In addition to building castles, you can now siege, attack and destroy them.
Forge political and military alliances with the other computer players, or fight and conquer them in the fields or in their castles. Scout unknown territories, spy on and sabotage enemies, recruit infantry and cavalry. Circle Reader Service 74 gather gold and grain, mine for iron, trade for timber and stone, research new weaponry, and pay the church for indulgences Interplay Productions S. Definitely a casual package for the causual gambler. Play- ers will run their little hom-helmed warrior aroimd a VGA landscape, hoarding hundreds of weapons, suits of armor, magic items and food stuffs while bashing the hundred mon- sters that inhabit these realms, based loosely on Norse myth.
Its primitive interface, along with its repetitive and number-intensive game system which, BTW, owes much to an older Macin- tosh shareware game makes this one a diversion for only the most stalwart and easily amused adventurer. Based on the as- sumption that it is as much fun to de- sign games as it is to play them, here is a program to help fulfill the needs of wannabee arcade game designers.
Monsters can even have a certain amount of AI put into them. In addition to a bit of "painting" customi- zation, sounds, too, can be adjusted to suit. The game company on the hill has launched a line of budget software for IBM computers which fea- ture simple little games. Each package is about a half-inch thick although the packages themselves are entirely dis- posable and comes with a single 3.
Documentation beyond that like how to play the individual games is on-line. The two games in the King Graham package. Checkers and Backgammon, look as if they are similar to those found on the Sierra Network. In this mini- package he offers gambling types the chance to take their chances on a slot machine, a Black Jack table and a video poker machine. Surprisingly and thankfully , the package does not in- clude a lounge act. Dominoes and Yacht — a Yhatzee derivative. Circle Reader Service 1 8. That's Mhere you coMe in. He even Ipoh I little hunyru, but dennitely ot For staket 1 [t contains: V house key, uhich you take.
Cut and pasted out of the Space Quest game, this package is for the truly masochistic. Brave Sir Robin invites all-comers to a little tournament com- memorating his heroic deeds in Con- quest of the Longbow. And why do you behave the way you do? We are all seeking Insight into our own nature and this software package appears to be a clear and focused lens with which to view ourselves. When combined with the audio tapes included in the package, this model may provide useful answers to the difficulties inher- ent in our stress-rich worklife.
Couch and Austrian psycho- analyst not included or needed. Circle Reader Service 2 1. If one can get the kids off of the Super Nintendo send them to bed early! The standard golf ameni- ties are included in these packages: Gold has been cmising for code in Europe these days and has turned up this adventure game from Delphine, the producers of Out of This World and Future Wars for Interplay.
Although the French game group has used their characteristic super-smooth animation technology in this one, it seems they have lost some of their former game- play shine. Once past the frustrating code-wheel copy protection, one dis- covers that this is a rather ordinary mur- der-mystery adventure with a rather inconsistent interface and dull graph- ics. Cir- cle Reader Service No jet fighter frustrates enemy planes more easily than the incredible Harrier Jump Jet.
That's because the Harrier can baffle opponents with sudden mid-air stops. It takes off and lands vertically. It even flies in reverse. Take full control of the world's most unique strike fighter and tear through ultra-realistic battle theaters in Hong Kong or the Falklands. Face ruthless opponents along front lines. Land in secret hides. Perform wild ski jump-assisted take-offs. And fly action-packed missions with a friend as wingman via modem. Jump Jet from MicroProse. Jump into the cockpit today. Your enemies will hate you for it. To order, visit your favorite retailer or call Actual screen shown.
Actual screens may vary. The acquisition is in- tended to strengthen what has been per- ceived as a healthy partnership. Paragon has invested heavily in the creation of state-of-the-art design tools and MicroProse expects that research and development to pay off as the par- ent company continues to broaden its product line over the next few years.
PC Globe was reported as being sought by two other companies, including In- traCorp, before the Broderbund deal could be finalized. In integrating Bright Star into the corporate structure. Sierra is expected to use the same successful strategy of allowing the new subsidiary to function as a wholly-owned, independent unit of Sierra i. ERTS , has signed six new "afilliated labels. He asked for it. Now give it to him! Three action-packed computer games for one great price. All of which allow the lucky recipient to give his enemies just what they deserve.
And in F Stealth Fighter, he can launch awesome firepower against dangerous foes as he pilots the jet fighter no radar can detect. It's the gift that keeps on giving and giving and giving. To get your copy, visit your favorite computer game retailer today. Coarsegold, CA C ruising on a luxury liner can prove such a relaxing experience. The gentle rocking of the ship as it cuts through the ocean waves, inhaling the fresh sea air and gazing upon clear', blue skies all add to a peaceful, restful journey.
Unless, of course, one is imfortunate enough to be strangled in his sleep and stuffed conveniently out of sight in a luggage trunk. A Stab in the Dark The year is Art Deco, the Charleston and speakeasies are in vogue. It is also a time of great fascination with discoveries unearthed in the field of archaeology, especially relating to ancient Egypt. Suspicion, intrigue and murder will envelop all those who come into contact with it.
Her first assign- ment focuses on the newly discovered Dag- ger which, as events reveal, was stolen shortly after it arrived at the Leyendecker Museum. Thus, her task is to investigate its theft. However, what starts as a simple as- signment soon involves Miss Bow, and the player, in a deadly string of murders.
If not careful, her name may appear in the obitu- aries rather than as the byline to her story. This simplicity of interaction has opened up adventuring to a larger audience by making it easier for the neophyte to successfully complete a game. However, the experienced adventurer may feel a bit cheated by the loss of "verbal" interaction and the speed with which he or she can now complete a quest.
Sierra, however, has improved their icon-driven interface in this latest effort with the addition of the "Ask" Icon. Earlier releases employed only a "Talk" icon which severely limited character interaction. At least now the player can question those he or she meets about numerous people, places and items. Play Acting, Adventure Style Dagger is presented sequentially in a series of six acts. Little changes in Act 4, though the pace does increase.
However, Act 5 introduces a major change in the tenor of the game, becoming more urgent and frantic. The final Act places the player in the crime solving sequence where Miss Bow must exhibit her superior sleuthing abilities. All considered, the flow of the story moves along well with only a few exceptions. Although possibly designed to provide some variety in play, it actually results in a rather slow and somewhat boring beginning to the adventure. Until Act 3 begins, the actual puzzle solving is too sparse to maintain a strong interest on the part of the player.
Once into Act 3, however. The Dagger ofAmon Ra becomes quite absorbing. The puzzles employed are logical and varied in complexity. There is also a real sense of suspense devel- oped, enough to startle one when "happening" upon a murder. From this point forward, the game is very difficult to set aside. From the gorgeous hand-painted. Art Deco-style backgrounds to the evocative roaring 20s orchestrated soundtrack, a certain rich- ness permeates the atmosphere of the game.
Those involved in the creation of Dagger should be justifiably proud of their efforts, having provided a beautiful, ambient world to explore. Animation is well executed, though character movement still needs some improvement. While most movements appear lifelike, a few tend to exhibit a sort of nervous "jumpiness.
Hopefully, Sierra will smooth out the animated wrin- kles in future releases. Documentation has received significant attention, and lends a sense of authenticity to the adventure. Provided is a brochiue on the Leyendecker Museum, complete with a map of groimd floor exhibits, and a booklet entitled the Official Guide to the Leyendecker Museum which contains, among other things, a description and depiction of the Egyptian gods used for copy-protection.
Cab Fares and Caveats As usual, a few criticisms must be leveled against this otherwise fine product. Cab rides are, unquestionably, too long! These "jaunts," apparently tied into the length of the accompanying music, cannot be bypassed. Taking the cab quickly became a tedious and unwelcome process. A more critical concern involves items essential to the game which can become "lost" or unobtainable if not acquired before a new act begins. For example, if the player fails to collect the boot found in the medieval armor isplay during the fourth act, it will be gone once Act 5 commences.
Two other critical items which should be procured before reaching Act 5 are the cheese from the security office and the snake oil from the mammalogy lab. A new act should not commence until the player has acquired all that is necessary for use later in the game. Once Act 5 ends and the last act begins, the player has no further oppor- tunity to examine any evidence collected.
Only his or her memory and written notes are available to aid in identifying the murderer s and motives. Once past the rather slow-paced, moderately inter- esting first two acts, game play becomes quite enthralling — so much so that the rest of the game seems to pass much too quickly. Regardless, armchair detectives and amateur sleuths alike will find The Dagger ofAmon Ra an enjoyable adventure and a nostalgic excursion into 1 s America.
Though one could wish for more object-oriented puzzles in the early stages, and a bit more game play overall, few will not enjoy their stint as a reporter for the Trib — and you can quote me on that! How could we possibly surpass the non-stop action of F 11? For starters, we've introduced a revolutionary new visual system. A system that creates dogfighting so realistic you'll scramble for the eject button.
We've designed incredible new photorealistic starting and ending screens to surround you in the complete Strike Eagle experience. And you'll get to battle against modern high-tech opponents as ruthless as those real F pilots face. But, of course, the real test for any great flight simulator is how fun it is. And what could be more fun than blasting a friend out of the sky in our new head-to-head combat mode?
Or flying alongside each other in our sensational two-plane mode? We enhanced the gameplay of the F to challenge even the most experienced pilots, too. But if you're not experienced, don't worry. Because we also worked to ensure that the easy-to-learn qualities of the first two Fs remained intact, as well. We're sure it will be the most thrilling flight simulator you'll ever pilot. Release date subject to change. Eventually, two players will sit at the same table. This tournament is the showcase of World Series of Poker Adven- ture, a game designed to give a player the feeling of going to Las Vegas, visiting a casino, sightseeing at Lake Mead and competing in the World Series.
The game is from Mojave Software, a Las Vegas-based company. Russell, a self-taught pro- grammer, has worked closely with Jim Albrecht, coordinator of the World Series, and several past World Series champions to make the tournament in World Series Adventure as realistic — and hard to win — as possible. In this single-player game, players sign in with their name, nickname, hometown, and age.
The on-screen player who walks around the casino can be either sex.. In addition, there are 24 floors to explore within the hotel. It contains a gambling log that shows the length of time invested in playing video poker, slot machines, blackjack, and poker. It keeps a running breakdown of the money won or lost at each game and a rate of winning or losing per hour. There are also "satellite" games available: The latter two items can be hocked for cash should the first item disappear.
Which it soon does. There is also a slot machine that usually will take in more money than it dishes out. If one prefers, a blackjack table is available. Like some casinos, the dealer only uses one deck, so anyone who knows anything about counting cards is likely to be able to add to their stake at this table. If players get bored, they can wander outside and find a travel agency offering a trip to Lake Mead or a theater offering several acts.
More useful, however, is the pawn shop and a book store. Here, books with helpful articles can be purchased. Players are likely to need this advice the best way to get into the World Series: Playing in one is an experience. Two cards are dealt face down to each player. A betting round follows. Then, three cards are turned face up in the center. The cards on the table serve as "community" cards — players combine them with the two they hold to form the best hand. The first three cards are fol- lowed by a betting round, after which another card is dealt face up to join the trio.
A betting round is followed by a fifth, and final, face-up card. Then, a final betting round. One would think that, with five cards out of a possible seven exposed, it would be easy to judge how good the hands held by oneself or the other players might actually be. To complicate mat- ters, there are "blinds. The player clockwise fi'om the dealer bets a "small blind," and the player to his left bets a "big blind," which is double the small blind. The deal moves around the table, so all players have to bet the blinds. They increase as the game progresses. When "the blinds go up," players Page 22 Computer Gaming World The most playable fantasy role-playing game ever created.
Every decision molds your Hero Puzzles have multiple solutions depend- ing on your character type. Overcome obstacles with might, magic, and cunning. The key to this world is your wits. If you survive, you may discover an unspeakable evil that lives at the very heart of fear and violence. And if you succeed, it will be because you cut to the core of the mystery with your mind, not because you managed to sort through a series of stats or slash through a thousand mindless monsters.
Play as different character types, approaching problems with different skills and solutions. Every decision you make builds your Hero Play as a Fighter, play as a Magic User, play as a Thief. Each calling will lead you down new roads of wonder, danger and excitement. It's time to break the mold.
Visit your retailer or call to order. Box ; Y K ' Redding, California So much for card play. What about the game? Buffet Quest The adventure part of it — walking around the casino, touring Lake Mead — is a cute diversion. If one ventures out to Lake Mead, however, it may be a good idea to click on the trash can. There is occasionally a bit of money to be found. Like everything else in Las Vegas, however, these activities are but sideshows to the gambling at center ring.
The poker games are where the best graphics reside. The card table is shown from an overhead view. The cards and chips are realistic. Bets are made from pop-up buttons using the mouse the game requires a hard drive, mouse and VGA monitor. The tables are the same for the ring games, satellites, and World Series. At the World Series, however, players are given four infor- mation screens in ad- dition to the poker ta- ble.
The first and most important screen is a map of the 24 tables, with nine players to a table. These screens are re- duced in number as players are knocked out and tables are combined. On the right side ofthat screen are two vertical bar graphs. Above the bars are statistics: The second information screen shows the 1 7 levels with their respec- tive amounts of antes and blinds. At timed intervals, the antes and blinds increase in the World Series until they reach their highest level: Like any card game, luck is involved.
But time and again, many of the top finishers in the World Series have been there before because they rely on skill. This computer game closely mimics the top players. At least 90 out of of the hands were being played the way a skilled player would bet them. World Series of Poker Adventure escorts players in and out of Las Vegas with their wallets left in one piece. The video poker, slot machines and blackjack tables let players experience a casino. And the computer is polite enough to not even chuckle when it rakes in a big pot. Ihe game is lull of sumptuous graphics.
Your Chance to get your own back! In a truly epic production, you are both the general,planning campaigns, and the army commander, directing troops within each battle. All battles are played out in real time, with your soldiers moving into formation in fantastic, colourful animation! You can become as involved as you like -from watching progress, to instructing individual men if you wish to! Ross Stassen A lot of people will tell you I ran out of money.
Other people will tell you I ran out of courage. Who knows why it happens? RAW Entertainment knew it was time to decide not to publish their Struggle for Guadalcanal game and I knew it was time to abort my unsuccessful run for the presidency. It all started when I mshed into my store- front campaign headquarters and passed the "boiler room" of Young Interactive volun- teers from the local university who were busy pasting address labels on campaign brochures. I bumped the comer of a desk and was about to spew forth a character string of expletives to be deleted later when a reporter came through the door.
In response, a perky, blonde co-ed smiled with an admiring gleam in her eyes. I quickly grabbed one of the brochures she had been labeling and faced the reporter. Then, he went over the line. He said my campaign brochure was like a computer game engine that was used over and over again wifri only the plot lines changed. Louis, MO Spedfj ley order to: I turned to walk into my office and the reporter issued a challenge to my back.
He told me he was writing a story about my skepticism concerning Wing Commander III and asked how a cynic like me could justify being a candidate of hope. I pirouet- ted with the grace of a drunken gorilla and told him the cold, hard truth. It takes place in the Wing Commander universe, but has a completely different emphasis than its counterpart series. No, best keep my sources to myself. Here was this guy who really wanted to prove me wrong, right in front of my adoring public. I went into my office and wearily sat down at my desk.
I looked out at those hard-working young volunteers and real- ized I was tired of being second-guessed. Would, in another situation, they believe that I was not "covering up" if Mindcraft announced that they were adding modem play to Siege and all I knew was that they were seriously considering putting it into the product? Or would that be considered a dirty trick?
Speaking of dirty tricks, I glanced over at the office copy machine where the "covert campaign" unit was supposed to be copying faux position papers, allegedly written by my opponents and outlining absurd propos- als which they were, according to our fic- tion, planning to enact. The game is based on the Games Workshop role-playing game where players maneuver miniature figures either Genestealers that look suspiciously like cousins to the film monster in Alien or Space Marines assigned to clear the Space Hulk of the alien pres- ence through the corridors and rooms of an aging spaceship.
I wondered what my alien source would say about this. I thought about telling them it was wrong to copy the maga- zine article, but then I remembered what kinds of dirty tricks I had recruited them to do for my campaign and turned back to my desk. As 1 feared, it was yet another reporter. I told him that I thought Avalon Hill should be congratulated for contracting the game out to an experienced group of IBM programmers. He told me I was unAmeri- can. I decided then and there that I was through with politics for good. As for writing lousy columns?
Some beings think my writing is out of this world. Step back into history with the men and machines of W. Il combat in the Pacific. Up against enemy fighters and aces, you'll intercept bombers, dive- bomb enemy carriers, launch ground attacks to cripple the enemy air- the terror and exhilaration of carrier landings.
Fly for either America or Japan, experiencing the sights and sounds of air combat in the Pacific: Carrier deck landings and take-offt, torpedo dive bombing, mid-air explosions and billowing clouds of smoke. For ordering information, visit your favorite software store or call Sierra On-Line at On first examining the parameters of the product, this reviewer was struck by its appeal — the "world-builder and monitor" aspects were a Johnny Wilson-type attraction and the "two- player modem capability" was an Alan Emrich- type magnet.
So, why assign the product to the wargames editor? Does the word "bushwhack" mean anything? In order to review this simulation, I carefully prepared myself — driving to MacFishy, I purchased a "Dolphin Burger" and ran down a squirrel on my way home. Making sure to discard the non-biode- gradable trash on the grass, I was ready after turning on the air conditioning to maximize the output of flurocarbons.
Let the Game Begin! It has an "open world" scenario as well as eight pre-designed scenarios e. The "Save a World" option offers four different scenarios post-nuclear, post-industrial, global warming, and natural resource-depleted. Other comments may be added such as misleading, sparse and downright incorrect.
The constmction tools are explained, but a much-needed tutorial is lacking. In explain- ing the use of solar power, the documentation notes that it can power up to 25 city blocks. In game play, I found that a 1: Similarly, we are informed that sewage farms "are needed near large cities. If this is not done, the population will decrease from disease, thereby leading to a fatal dose of coprophagy. This essential infor- mation was revealed by an EA technical repre- sentative who pointed out that recycling plants are "stand alone" and therefore, the documenta- tion meant "immediately adjacent" when it re- ferred to "nearness" for sewage plants.
Ahh, the subtleness of those British designers when it comes to semantics! As the misanthropic cynic once observed, we are two peoples ". The manual is correct — it is scarce, and inexcusably so. The game is difficult enough without the designer having to obscure the operating parameters. The fatuous explanation for its brevity is completely unsatisfying, unless one is a masochist. This simulation showed a great potential, but its manual documen- tation would force the user into an arduous and unnecessarily diffi- cult learning experience.
City blocks expand on their own initiative and must be carefully controlled by the player in order to avoid bankruptcy. Power refineries and storage facilities are clearly delineated, and the open gas flames pouring from oil "cracking" refineries add to the local color. The perspective is an overhead view a la SimCity. The construction tools are logically defined and drawn e. On the screen itself, one can view the playing area, as well as two smaller graphs environmental balance and global warming.
These graphs must be carefully monitored as the smallest deviation could set a fatal trend. Special options allow environmental detailed data reports which again cost power to access , as well as obtain seismic reports essen- tial for determining the location of oil, coal and other natural re- sources. Blueprint for a Better World Game Mechanics A "look-up" protection scheme requires the user to match four geometric shapes with an icon. Only then will the game actually begin to load — which presents a problem.
There is no provision to quit a game and begin another; one must go through the entire tedious process again. There are thirty building tools which are arranged in a continuous strip, and one merely scrolls through the list. It looks simple, but elegant, until one begins to play.
One can create "user-friendly" macros; simply select a tool, press down the shi ft key and then select a function key. That tool is now called up by the function key; thus, one can have up to twelve short cuts. I recommend that the following tools be used in macro-mode; plant trees, chop trees, destroy man-made block, city limit, power cables, pipelines, city block.
The macro functions are not saved to disk and must be reset every game. Sometimes, the "tool selection" process goes awry and the strip just scrolls continuously. City blocks can self-generate, but when one fine-tunes the environment, he will want to place the city block in a planned location. Pipe- lines and power cables are probably the most important macros to set. Of course, each player should develop his own preferences and make a written list of what those preferences are.
One lives and dies based on power, but everything costs power — even scrolling the map! To get a report, to see a map — nothing is free. This becomes thistrating when a prob- lem occurs and the player has no way of moving to the troubled area. GE would seem to be pre-set for modem play and in fact, the documentation notes how to set up a null modem cable for play. However, the manual recommends against telephone modem play. So much data is transferred that self-cor- recting protocols have not been used, and any- time the modem would pause to recalculate line speeds, the game would crash.
The manual goes on to say that "the modem facility is present, but use it with care. That gives a player confidence! Slim Earth Game Play There is a real game in the box. Unlike SimCity, which has been described as a "software toy," GE possesses game playing, competi- tive elements. It resembles the oft-told story of the boy opening up a present on Christmas Day only to find it full of horse manure. This is not mentioned in the documentation and immediate action be taken for survival.
Actually, any minor deviation from global "norms" seem to rapidly escalate into life- threatening crises which then take years to correct. The discussion herein is based on the "Green Field Scenario," ostensibly a one-player scenario. Carbon dioxide CO 2 levels rap- idly decrease after a small hole appears in the polar ice cap ecosphere.
Using the default planet settings is a road to extinction. Power is minimal, so only one mine should be developed. The city should be powered by three ugly belching coal power plants, sufficient to pollute their way into a CO 2 surfeit. Cities themselves should be carefully constructed; allowing the AI to expand a city is also fatal. Each city should be carefully defined by "City Limits" and trees as to minimize power consumption. Once the power plant appears, cities begin their own growth unless controlled. Therefore, have service tools farms, sewage and recycling facilities present before bringing the power station on-line.
Keep the city small; a total area of 15 blocks should be more than sufficient.
The cities should be blocked in by trees. However, a one tree depth will often prove insufficient.
If a tree "fell in the forest" and the player was elsewhere, his return to the site would find a city growing and using power in an aggressive and game-losing manner. Use a three- to-six tree depth for blocking in cities. A fter the CO 2 levels stabi lize, plant more trees and convert to nuclear fuels. The NIMBY not-in-my- backyard syndrome does not exist, so nuclear plants in the midst of urban centers will yield no negatives beyond the occasional "melt-down" — and, given the plethora of global disasters present, such a "melt-down" is a "minor" problem.
By the time one converts to nuclear energy, power levels are not a problem, so one can invest in technol- ogy for "natural" energy sources. It is expen- sive, but necessary for longer-term survival. Now, we have a basic scenario which kills the player without fair warning. But, if one wishes to continue, there are computer opponents.
The military option seems to be a virtual after- thought and one which again is poorly docu- mented. There are other points of confusion. As the Ice Age comes to its inevitable and fatal con- clusion, one is rewarded with a picture of nu- clear devastation. Either the ice is radioactive or else the program has another "minor" flaw. I suppose that the military conflict portion can be interesting; I suppose that the ecological protection can be interesting.
However, with the flaws and traps for the unwary player, caveat emptor. Special attention should be paid to the placement of pipelines and power lines. They are not allowed to cross one another, and the more egregious error would be to place the pipeline between a water treatment plant and a sewage facility too close to one another; they would loop and create either very bad water or over-cleaned sewage; in either case, not the most effective use of assets.
However, it is a "diamond in the rough" and appears unfinished. If the manual had been more complete, if the interface had been made more user-friendly, if the scenarios themselves were more forgiving, if, if, if.. A lifetime member of the Sierra Club with a Ph. As for the rest of us. Now, when you switch your home long- distance service to Sprint, you can select any Sierra game, free! And after enjoying six months of high-quality long- distance connections , you'll receive a second Sierra game or one month of free long distance service.
Experience for yourself Sprint's "pin-drop" clarity that makes both your long- distance calls and PC data transmissions crystal clear and error free. But unsurpassed call and data clarity is just one of the many benefits you will enjoy as a Sprint customer Sprint has a service or calling plan that's right for you. At Sprint, we make no compromises when it comes to dependable, personal service - we do it all: And we do it getting two Sierra games 24 hours a day!
Your satisfaction is guaranteed: San Jose, CA S cience fiction writer Frederik Pohl has won acclaim through the years for transcending the apparent limits of his genre. He mixed science fiction and fantasy; he told stories about aliens who were plausible extraterrestrials, not ram- paging, bug-eyed monsters; he wrote about ecological threats long before it was fashionable and has continued to do so, with great conviction, now that it is ; and he wrote fim, pulpy adventures with- out abandoning the core of scientific veri- similitude that makes the best sf come alive.
Pohl is not the only writer who did these things, of course.
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All the greats did, first in the pages of magazines such Astounding and Amazing, then later in dime paperbacks, and most recently in hardcover bestsellers. However, it is important to put Pohl in the same category as the other greats — Asi- mov, Clarke, Heinlein, Bradbury — where he belongs. Unfortunately, no one knows what these destinations are or what one might find at them. So, traveling in a Heechee ship is like a game of cosmic Rus- sian Roulette: Some most missions end in fiery de- struction. Others produce limitless riches in the form of new Heechee technology.
The risks are high but, since the rewards are higher, there is no shortage of foolhardy adventurers ready to give interstellar pros- pecting a shot. In Gateway, the player takes on the role of one of these foolhardy adventurers, a lucky soul who, having won a lottery, now has the wherewithal to buy a ticket to the Gateway space station, where a thousand Heechee ships are docked. From there, the player has two responsibilities: Both are as difficult as they sound. Once the player has proven himself by going on a number of successful missions, a third duty is introduced: In the meantime, just to keep things interesting, a number of mysterious subplots unfold on the space station itself and between mis- sions, the player has to take time out to investigate these.
In- stead, he faces his oddest challenge yet: The heart of Gateway, how- ever, is the series of puzzles the player has to solve while seeldng out strange new worlds and new civilizations, and these puzzles owe less to Fred Pohl than to the last decade of adventure game design. Except for a handful of puzzles centered around the fad of the moment, virtual reality, most would not be out of place in a golden oldie such as Starcross or Planetfall.
The puz- zles are, for the most part, pretty good. Gateway offers an excellent and varied soundtrack, good graphics and a couple of nice ani- mated sequences. The game even comes with a hint book and maps for the benefit of players apt to make use of such aids. The only thing lacking, in fact, is the one acces- sory one would like most: The Way of the Heechee Gateway looks and plays essentially the same as all previous Legend games.
There is a graphics window, a text window and a number of "assistance" windows such as a compass rose indicating directions in which the player can move, a list of verbs the player can use, a list of objects, and quick- click buttons for some commonly issued commands. These "windows" are not win- dows in the sense of being movable and alterable in any substantial way. They are simply an arrangement of information on the screen intended to be optimally useful. The most important and useful, of course, is the text window. I found myself ignoring the rest for large stretches of the game.
The compass rose is nice and the graphics are good; these windows, at least, provide use- ful amenities. However, amenities de- scribes exactly what they provide. The game also has a few other command screens which one encoimters whenever one uses some technological device, Heechee or otherwise. Flying a spaceship, for instance, requires one to enter course codes into a control panel, as does opening a Heechee dome on one planet.
There are three kinds of puzzles in the game: A lot of conversations in- volve typing "wait" or "listen" over and over. Some of the conversations require skill to navigate, though, and most are well- written. Editing would have made them shorter and shorter would have been better because some characters do ramble on , but for the most part the interactive puzzles are fine. Situational puzzles are ones which re- quire the player to do something with the tools at his disposal in order to overcome an obstacle.
List of German BattleTech novels - BattleTechWiki
The puzzles on Kaduna 3 and Nemira 3 are of this variety and they are quite good. How does one get past the ven- omous, inflated pufferslug that is blocking access to the shield generator or cross the alien-infested swamp? The solutions do not always make a great deal of sense such as the odd puzzles involving a tuning fork , but most are fine. Which symbol in a row of five does not belong? What color flag goes in which opening of the Heechee machine?
Which path should one follow through the maze of rooms painted with the colors of the spectrum? Puzzles like these do not proceed from the situations in the game; they are pure abstractions, a holdover from the days when adventure games were less interactive fiction than they were exten- sions ofthe puzzle page of Scientific Ameri- can. In Gateway, they seem jarring and inappropriate.
Though it takes a long time to get through the game, a lot of this is because of time used up in navigating the station and flying around in the spaceships. Each alien planet, once one arrives, consists of only six to sixteen locations. The space station itself only has three levels, none of which is especially extensive.
Even worse are the shameless and annoy- ing stall tactics that are used to make the game longer. The first time one goes through this se- quence, it is fun: The second time one is put through the paces, it is already less fun. By the sixth or seventh time, most players will he climhing the walls and pressing the space har to cut the animations short. Frankly, I just cannot be- lieve that it is good game design to force the player to engage in long sequences by rote. Once the player has gotten through the se- quences a couple of times, the program should create a new and much shorter segue to replace the animated obstacle course.
List of German BattleTech novels
When one gets to the planets one finds them all well drawn, but not strikingly so: Further, the music that accompanies the various scenes is very good, but this may not be a good thing. Music is the last thing I want in a text adventure, since it distracts from the text and, indeed, prevents me from immersing myself in the story. I found myself con- stantly trying to read faster to keep up with the music.
After polling the editorial staff, we discovered that there is a tremen- dous polarization on this issue. Some peo- ple like background music when they are reading. The latter will not enjoy soundtracks behind their text adven- tures. Maybe most distressing are the elements of the story that go undeveloped. In princi- ple, there is supposed to be a risk involved in being a Gateway prospector; prospectors are supposed to die more often than they are supposed to succeed.
This seems to directly contra- dict the premise of the game. Closing the Gateway Gateway is a good enough game, but good enough for what? It is certainly play- able. It is generally entertaining. It takes place in an interesting universe and is well plotted. Just as it is full of filler puzzles, it is a filler game, treading water in the shallows of interactive fiction.
Pohl is well served by the game, which is faithful and respectful to his work. Players, unfor- tunately, are less well served, and Gateway will most likely join Rendezvous With Rama, Fahrenheit and their like in a dusty comer of adventure game history. A deck of cards easily fulfills this need, as do many computational devices. After careful study, recreationologists have actually been able to document the amazing efforts of primi- tive mathematicians to mn a respectable game oi Hunt The Wumpus on an abacus!
Even more astounding is the method by which these ancient hackers were able to "download" the program, using only camp- fires and bongo-dmms. That these early efforts at computer gaming remained un- known to historians for so long is now attributed to an obscure sect of abacus pro- grammers whose name roughly translates as "the origin.
While one may choose to question these facts concerning ancient abacus gaming, our knowledge of the history of playing cards remains nearly as limited. It was not until the 19th century that the mles for solitaire, or "patience", were actually re- corded. It has been conservatively estimated that there are at least variations of solitaire being played throughout the world today.
Of these, the best known is "Klondike" often mistakenly referred to as "Canfield" and it is this game which has most frequently been adapted for play on a computer. Klondike, Canfield and a number of other variations have previously been bundled into several commercial packages available for PCs. The structuring and setup of a solitaire card game is well-known.
For most games, cards are dealt from a stock-pile onto a tableau where they are put in a special order and, finally, placed on a foundation from which the fmal score is tallied. This happens according to a set of rules which range from brief and simple to mind-taxingly difficult. In addition, each variation also features a unique blending of luck and strategy. Each game is played with either one or two card decks, so that a maximum score of either 52 or points is possible. How- ever, Journey also provides for additional realms of conquest by organizing clusters of games into tournaments, quests and jour- neys.
Meticulous records and statistics are maintained for each individual who uses the program. This will prove useful not only for establishing healthy competition between large numbers of players, but also for em- ployers who are looking to estimate the number of pay-hours to deduct from office personnel who are unable to resist favoring this activity over their assigned chores. A mouse is strongly recommended for playing Journey, with which the player first points to the card or cards to be moved and then to a destination. Use of the keyboard is also possible, but is somewhat clumsy.
Us- ing pull-down menus. Journey allows for several options during play. Perhaps the most useful of these is the ability to take back one move at any time during the game. There is also an "auto-play" function which will move to the foundation any cards from the tableau which may legally be trans- ferred. The value of this is that once a victory has been assured, the player is spared the effort of moving one card at a time. This is certainly useful, though it may turn out to be a strategic error if used too early during the game.
At any time, a game may be restarted using either the same se- quence of cards — so that the player may go back and attempt a different strategy — or a newly shuffled deck. Games in pro- gress may be saved to disk, but these are erased once they are reloaded into memory. Peeking under piles of cards, cheating, or altering the rules are all strictly prohibited by the program. Loudly voiced profanities are not restricted, although QQP apparently does not accept responsibility for the con- sequences should the player be moved to use them.
The instructions for each of the games are available at all times from a pull-down menu, and appear as a series of information windows. For the most part, anyone who has ever played Klondike solitaire should have very little trouble fol- lowing these descriptions. However, there are a few cases where these rules may be slightly confusing, and a less condensed description is desirable. Tournaments include up to ten games, the simple object of which is to obtain the highest total score. Each partici- pant, however, is given a different shuffling of the cards, so that players are clearly not competing under the same conditions.
The program contains several tournaments which group together games based on level of difficulty. The user also has the option of bundling together any of the games in order to stage a tournament of his or her own design. For a "journey," the player is presented with a map of North America from which a cross-country route is selected. Moving from city to city, a monetary reward is given for each point earned in the solitaire games found at the various locations.
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