Sentinel Worlds I: Future Magic

aka: Sentinel Worlds I: Future Magic - A Science-Fiction Role-Playing Mystery.
Moby ID: 755
DOS Specs

Description official descriptions

The merchants who live on the three planets of the Caldorre star system have been recently assaulted and robbed by groups of mysterious space raiders. Giant battleships were set to eliminate the threat; however, the raiders proved to be too agile, dodging them easily. A smaller, interceptor-class vessel is now dispatched to Caldorre to deal with the problem.

Sentinel Worlds I: Future Magic is an open-ended sci-fi role-playing game. It has a combination of role-playing character building, customizable spaceship combat, and exploration. The player will guide his team, flying through space and exploring the surfaces and bases of a few planets to unravel the mystery that's disturbing the known universe.

The game opens with a mission to protect a merchant shipment, which involves space combat against enemy ships. Afterwards, the player is free to explore the planets, mining them for resources, talking to characters to receive clues, trading, acquiring better weapons and armor for the crew, and upgrading the space ship.

The player can use a pre-generated party of five characters or create them from scratch, rolling their attributes. There are five character classes, but they have little impact on ground combat, with the exception of the communicator officer, who interacts with NPCs, and the medic, who has access to healing abilities. Characters also have skills, including various weapon proficiencies as well as communication skills such as bribery. Skills can be increased when characters level up.

Space travel, combat, and planet exploration are done in 2D. The player can land in any spot on the three planets of the star system and explore them by navigating an armored ground vehicle. Certain structures can be entered. At that point the game switches to 3D vector graphics, though the party, NPCs and enemies are always superimposed on the radar. Both space and ground combat in the game proceed in real time. In indoor locations the player directly controls only the party leader, while the AI manages the actions of the others.

The game features "paragraph books", where characters mention a paragraph number to read from the booklet, instead of getting the text in-game. This functions as copy protection, making the game require guesswork to complete without the manual.

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Screenshots

Promos

Credits (DOS version)

8 People

Design
Programming
Graphics / Artwork
Sound and Music
Producer
Assistant Producers
Manual by

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 78% (based on 8 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.0 out of 5 (based on 25 ratings with 2 reviews)

A lot of fun back in the day!

The Good
It had pretty cool futuristic RPG characteristics. You leveled up in strength, dex, IQ etc. You started out with futuristic-sounding (though wimpy) weapons like the sonic blade and power fist, moved up to shotgun and pistol, then to gaussrifle, machine gun, and eventually the plasma rifle. You had to be careful to read all the interstellar messages though, or you would miss clues! The plot wasn't too bad either. I wouldn't mind seeing a remake of this very cool game.

The Bad
I had to purchase a 80286 to play the damn thing. The graphics taxed my Tandy 1000 (8088 CPU) way too much - LOL.

The Bottom Line
Think Diablo in a solar-system environment....

DOS · by ex_navynuke! (42) · 2005

A lot of RPG for its days, even if it is a bit repetitive

The Good
Good graphics for its days, good sound for its days (if you got the right hardware), decent action in space, on ground, and in tunnels, lots of enemies and weapons, some decent plot twists

The Bad
Not a lot of clues on what to do, initial scenarios are quite hard without much clue on what to do, paragraph book gave away half of the plot (you have to figure out which ones are real though)

The Bottom Line
Sentinel Worlds is an RPG that broke ground for its melding of multiple planes of action. There is action in space, on the ground in vehicle, or on foot in either space ship-boarding action or on the ground in close-quarters combat. Combined with plenty of character development and some decent writing with twists, and you got yourself a grand adventure.

The story starts simple enough... A bunch of raiders are plundering ships left and right in the sector. No one really knows where they are based out of. It's almost impossible to capture any raider alive, much less get one of their ships intact. You and a fleet of other gunboats have been sent in to help.

You are dropped in the middle of the action... A bunch of raiders are attacking a convoy. You can either join in the defense of the convoy, or strike out on your own. It doesn't really matter. With your default weapons and equipment on your ship, you'ld likely take a bit of damage, and your boarding party won't do much against the hardened raiders... yet.

From there on, you can land on any of the major planets in the system by engaging your hyperdrive. You can even land on any spot you choose on the landmass... Though interesting spots (read: inhabited) would be few and far in between. Still, there may be some special shops in the middle of nowhere that you'd never find unless you know where to go.

Once you set out on foot, you can engage locals (if any) in conversations, or take them on with weapons (hand to hand, and large variety of guns, from ammo to energy). Conversations are via menus and are relatively short, with long paragraphs left in the paragraph book.

It may be a while before you can accumulate enough cash to upgrade your ship and your weapons/armor so you can take on the raiders. When you do so, you will find that raider ships usually contain a very valuable item worth quite a bit of credits if you have enough time to recover it before their self-destruct kicks in, and that will fund your upgrades quite nicely.

You will encounter inhabitants of the planets, old and new. You will explore quite a bit of caves and such. You will fight various types of enemies, from unarmed animals to extremely heavily armed super-raiders. In some locations, you can also go to various "enhancement facilities" to improve the stats on your characters (in addition to the level gains) for an exorbitant fee.

In the end, you'll locate your nemesis, find the root cause of all the raiders, and learn a new form of combat, and defeat your nemesis for once and all. But before that, you'll solve some land disputes, perform a first contact scenario, and lots of other things to do.

The graphics are pretty crisp for its time, though the actual combat is limited to colored dots and lines, with some sound effects. Locations are varied with a lot of land to explore. The mazes, however, are quite boring.

All in all, Sentinel Worlds is an achievement in its days (all on 2 720K floppies, with room for your own saved games!) that provided a lot of freedom to approach the problem as well as a coherent plot.

DOS · by Kasey Chang (4599) · 2004

Discussion

Subject By Date
does anyone still sell 5 1/4inch drives Michael Mueller Mar 30, 2009

Trivia

References

The initial ship that drops you into the quadrant looks suspiciously like a Star Trek ship. And one of the team members looks a lot like Arnold Schwarzenegger from Terminator. One of the other team members somewhat resembles Sigourney Weaver from the Aliens movie.

Sequel

Many consider Hard Nova to be the sequel of Sentinel Worlds.

Awards

  • Computer Gaming World
    • November 1996 (15th anniversary issue) – Least Rewarding Ending of All Time

Information also contributed by Kasey Chang

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Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 755
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Justin Hall.

Commodore 64 added by Terok Nor.

Additional contributors: Trixter, jean-louis, Patrick Bregger, Diamondfist.

Game added January 18, 2000. Last modified January 3, 2024.