The Colony (DOS)

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Written by  :  Dave Schenet (138)
Written on  :  Mar 26, 2001
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars

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A classic - highly immersive and innovative.

The Good

This was the first game I played with a 1st person perspective. The graphics were simple transparent wireframes (or, if you were blessed with a 286 or higher, filled polygons). The colony was immense, spanning over 5 levels, and contained within two floppy disks.

While the graphics were simple, they worked - some of the clipping bugs were even explained as a plot device ("the aliens have the ability to move through walls, but only partially").

The plot itself was fairly detailed. You uncover the history of events on the Colony by reading books, journals, notes, and computer screens. Every colonist had their own apartment, their own job, their own life - you could not only follow the main plot of the game, but you also got a glimpse into the daily life of every colonist.

You had one mission that you really needed to accomplish (restore power to your ship), but there were a number of optional sub-missions within the game, that you could ignore entirely if you so desired. There was no "score" system, so they only served to give you something else to do, and more puzzles to solve.

Most of the puzzles in the game consisted of moving objects throughout the world - transporter pods, boxes, cryogenic tubes, and so on. Surprisingly, these could get extremely complex, without being annoying.

The Bad

The only drawback I've found was that due to the nature of the space-warping experiment that had taken place, there were some maze-like areas of the colony that, once entered, could not be escaped from. Unless you happened to be in the forklift at the time, lugging around a transporter pod, you would have to reload a game.

The Bottom Line

Truely innovative - possibly the first 1st-person shooter. This interface combined with an excellent plot made it an extremely fascinating game, for its time.