Artillery shooting tanks.... And no worms, either....
Scorched Earth is a suped-up version of the old game that could be found on many CGA computers. The old version has 2 tanks that shoot projectiles at each other. Adjust your turret angle, velocity of the projectiles, take into account for the wind, and blast away.
Scorched Earth takes that premise to the Extreme. And the key word that describes this game is "Customizable"
Basically, you select the number of players (from 2 - 10), number of rounds (from a quick 5 to a staggering 1,000 rounds), and the computers AI Type (which range from a tank that takes a shot then determines the correct changes, to a ruthless AI that only takes 2 or 3 turns before it zeroes in on your tank)
As you play, you win money, the amount of which is determined on how long you last through the round. Between rounds, you have the opportunity to buy weapons and defenses. Weapons range from Tracers to Nukes, and from Rollers (if you hit a slope, the projectile rolls down and damages a tank below it) to Dirt Bombs (It releases dirt above the targer, then buries it). As for defenses, you can buy Parachutes (handy if the ground below you is destroyed) to Shields.
You can set the Economy of the game (interest rates for money, cash each player has at the beginning of the game), the physics (air viscosity, gravity), and even the effect of the missile hitting the edge of the screen. The map can wrap around, random (missile go in a random direction), rubber (accelerates on the rebound), padded (rebounds but looses energy), even concrete.
So as you can see, the possibilities are astounding.
The game is a DOS VGA game, but the graphics are outstanding, even by today's standard.
The sound is PC Speaker, but then again, sound isn't really needed in this type of game.
Another interesting feature is "Talking Tanks". Two editable files are included that have one-liners that appear when a tank fires or when a tank dies (Similar to Hasbro''s Sorry! where the pieces chat with each other, but on a text basis). Since you can edit them, you can put some fun stuff out there, and it's fun to watch.
It may be a little TOO customizable for the average gamer, and that can be overwhelming at first.
It doesn't not run too well under the Win9x operating system, and is better played using a Boot Disk. A Windows verion of this game would do well.
The Bottom Line
If you've ever played any of the Worms! games, then this will be very familiar to you. If you like physics, the game is a good educational tool dealing with air viscosity and wind speed. If you're looking for a game a bunch of friends can play at the same time, you'll love it.
Final Verdict: A Superb Game.