In memoriam, Donald Sutherland

Scorched Earth

aka: Scorch, Scorched Earth: Mother of All Games
Moby ID: 402

Description

It's all-out war in Scorched Earth, an artillery combat game. You and up to nine friends can duke it out on hills and in valleys as you nuke each other into submission in this turn-based tank battle.

At the start of each round, each player purchases their weaponry, and if they choose, shields and parachutes for defense and safety from long drops. Then it's off to battle! Aim your cannon, taking note of trajectory and wind, and fire off your weapons in attempt to take out the opposition.

The game offers a variety of weapons. A small sample of these include the standard nukes, which obliterate the screen. There's the Funky Bomb, which scatters smaller bombs in an unpredictable variety of directions. Or, if missiles aren't your thing, you can send your foes a personal gift of flaming napalm. There are also dirt bombs which can be used to bury opponents or yourself, for safety from opposing attacks.

One of the other features are the amusing quips displayed before a shot is fired, and when a tank is destroyed. These can even be added to by editing the files to give your threats a more personal flavor.

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Credits (DOS version)

Programming

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 80% (based on 1 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 56 ratings with 4 reviews)

Artillery shooting tanks.... And no worms, either....

The Good
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.

The Bad
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.

DOS · by Chris Martin (1155) · 2000

Incredible.

The Good
With Amiga roots (Scorched Tanks) this game emphasizes on a mathematically correct physics model, which makes it both realistic and a great gaming experience. The physics model is extremely accurate and allows for odd manipulations like elastic walls, wind and misc. items. The choice of weapons is huge and the shields add a lot to the general gameplay.

The Bad
The computer AI is either really good or really stupid with nothing in between. Some weapons (mainly lasers) cause bizarre bugs, and the guidance facilities are an extreme no-no.

The Bottom Line
A wonderful classic which you simply cannot miss.

DOS · by Tomer Gabel (4536) · 1999

Simple graphics yet one of the most fun games I have ever played.

The Good
You can play for hours, great to play with friends, lots of weapons and plenty of options.

The Bad
The graphics weren't great but the game didn't really need good graphics. Stupid sound effects, too.

The Bottom Line
Tank game where you set the angle of your shot and the power and try to blow the other tanks up.

DOS · by Attila (553) · 2001

[ View all 4 player reviews ]

Trivia

The game features AI text messages (e.g. "I shall smash your ugly tank!"), these are both read from plain text files (TALK1.CFG and TALK2.CFG), users can change and translate these files freely.

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  • MobyGames ID: 402
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by MajorDad.

Additional contributors: tarmo888, Wendell Hicken, Aaron A., Crawly.

Game added November 9, 1999. Last modified August 14, 2023.