Star Fighter Other Worlds
Not wishing to depend on the trains for transport any longer, David Bradforth zooms off to Mars in his spaceship...then ends up in a tank on the ground...then running from an Enemy Viper to land back in the middle of Yorkshire's spacial regions. Confused? Read on!
Just over a year ago, iSV Products released their first Games CD-ROM: StrongGames. Despite the fact the concept wasn't exactly new (100-odd public domain games, on a CD-ROM, at a ridiculously low price) it did reasonably well. Well enough to allow iSV Products to consider releasing a commercial games compilation: that would be the product featuring in this review anyway!
This first Other Worlds CD-ROM compilation takes space as its theme, and - with the new release of StarFighter 3000 heading up the odds - actually does offer a lot along that theme.
The main item of interest is, as I've just mentioned, the new StarFighter 3000.
StarFighter Title Screen
Featuring improved graphics (the game runs with greater detail, which doesn't result in anything becoming invisible when in the distance), improved artificial intelligence for both yours and the enemies missiles, StrongARM and RISC OS 4 compatibility (useful in this day and age) and at last the ability to reconfigure the keyboard controls while playing.
Other improvements have been made, but this particular writer kind of dies before he has the chance to dig into them properly. He does last long enough, though, to state beyond a shadow of a doubt that StarFighter 3000 is perhaps the most compulsive game of its type available for RISC OS computers today. The original game was good; the PC version was very good; the new souped-up RISC OS version is the bees knees (in terms of innovations anyway). Good game, and a very good lead for the CD-ROM.
For a full list of all the new features check out the iSV Products advert in this issue of RISCWorld
Widely acknowledged as the leading space game of all time, Elite (now actually in the public domain) features also on this disc. This version does however come with an on-line manual in the usual iSV house style, as do all the games on this compilation.
You're in control of the viper (I believe) and set out to space aiming to improve your rating from mostly harmless to the almighty elite. My first big aim for the day was to destroy the horrid thing we fly out of in the first place...shame we can't do that anyway.
I'd have to admit that I'm not an Elite fan. What many may call the best game of all time, I'd actually say is about as interesting as watching paint dry. For no reason other than I had to think about it, you see: if you're into the thinking and planning aspects of gaming, Elite is for you.
Giving yourself a Northern accent, you go off to fight an amiable sort of space battle, all at your RISC OS computer keyboard. Sunburst is one of those games I didn't really understand: it's sort of a 2D variant of Elite, but with clear elements of its own strategy. Rather than digging further into a game I failed to understand, we'll republish the review Mark Moxon wrote for Archimedes World on the next disc. His conclusion was something about a retro band...but it seemed to be very positive.
The year is 2150, and wars are being waged over the barren desert lands of the Antarctic (the icecaps melted long ago) for control of the earth's dwindling energy resources. You are at Remote Combat Terminal J19 as part of a multi-national coalition that is attempting to restore the balance of power in the world. The terminal consists of two isolated airfields, with control towers and radars, entirely surrounded by enemy territory. Although heavily outnumbered, your equipment provides superior performance (as far as is known), but only the best pilots, the Aces, are entrusted to use it. You carry out your training in the Combat Simulator, with scenarios based on three 20th Century Wars. To complete a level you must destroy all enemy surface units and aircraft, including any reinforcements.
Only when you have graduated as an Ace will you be access to the few remaining craft at the terminal and be allowed to enter the Combat Arena in the great battle for Air Supremacy and overall victory.
In play, Air Supremacy occasionally becomes hectic with enemy fighters all ganging up onto your single 'movable' object. You do have the ability to blast them from the sky/ground, but you will on occasion run out of ammo making things really rather difficult for yourself...at these times, the game will certainly gain appeal.
It's a sweet little thing, which has the potential (with updating) to become perhaps the next Other Worlds leader!
All the games come with on-line manuals and can all be run directly from the CD if required. With the Other Worlds CD-ROM, iSV Products have set out to introduce the current Acorn games market to some of the best games of yester year, suitably updated to work on the latest machines. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, this is an aim which they've achieved easily - no effort required at all! Given the price of just £16.50 (inc postage) we have no other conclusion other than you should go out and buy this disc now, if not sooner.