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Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday (DOS)

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MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.6
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
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Description

Buck Rogers had once fought in the cold war, a pilot sent into outer space to destroy a Russian weapons platform. He was successful, but his success destroyed the planet, as nuclear war was launched, and you went into a centuries long cryogenic sleep, abandoned by the people who could not retrieve you. In the centuries that he slept, Earth colonized the solar system. There are large groups of people on Mars, Venus and Saturn. The colonies once existed to bring resources back to an Earth that had problems sustaining itself.

But the intervening centuries brought a power shift. Now Earth is at the Mercy of the interstellar alliance RAM—formerly the Russian-American Mercantile, but now the superpower, based on asteroids surrounding the planet Mercury. Mercury exploits the Earth for resources, at the expense of Earth's population. Earth has fallen into barbarism, except for one small light—the New Earth Organization (NEO). These "rebels" consider themselves freedom fighters, and they are fighting for Earth's freedom from the interstellar powers. Awakened from centuries long sleep in the 25th Century, Buck Rogers becomes an ancient military hero and symbol of earlier times. As he is brought up to date, he decides to join the the NEO, to fight for his home planet.

Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday is a role-playing game similar in gameplay, interface, and visual styles to the Dungeons & Dragons games by SSI, despite the completely different setting and sci-fi scenario. The player's first task is to create a party of six characters from a choice of five classes (Rocketjock, Warrior, Medic, Rogue, and Engineer) and six races (Human, Desert Runner, Tinker, Venusian, Martian, and Mercurian). Then, these six new NEO recruits are trained, and are thrust into the battle for Earth.

There are several navigation modes in the game. The player can navigate the space ship on a top-down map of the Solar System, choosing planets to land on. Hostile ships may attack the player-controlled ship in this mode. Landing on a planet usually positions the heroes on a local overworld map. Finally, navigation in individual locations (towns and hostile areas) is done in first-person perspective, with pseudo-3D environments. Combat is turn-based and is viewed from an isometric perspective; characters are represented as icons and can be freely moved on the battle field.

Screenshots

Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday DOS In the Lowlander's village.
Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday DOS We've been captured by space pirates!
Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday DOS Main Menu
Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday DOS A Venus Lowlander.

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User Reviews

Good attempt at recreating the paper n' pen version! OlSkool_Gamer (99) unrated

The Press Says

ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) Dec, 1990 885 out of 1000 88
Power Play Dec, 1990 83 out of 100 83
PC-Spiele '92 1991 8 out of 10 80
Joker Verlag präsentiert: Sonderheft 1992 66 out of 100 66

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Trivia

Cover art

The game's cover artwork, by Jerry Bingham, is shared with the cover to the Buck Rogers XXVc role-playing game boxed set and the cover of Dragon Magazine issue 157 in May 1990, officially launching TSR's contentious Buck Rogers product line.

German version

As for many SSI RPGs in the early nineties, a completely German version of this game was manufactured. This version sold quite well in Germany (despite being more expensive than the English one).

Extras

Some production series of this game (most likely the first English one) included a Buck Rogers novel. Its story is the same as used in the game.

Information also contributed by Pseudo_Intellectual.
Tony Van (2688) added Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday (DOS) on Nov 28, 1999
Other platforms contributed by NGC 5194 (17313)