Written by  :  woods01 (163)
Written on  :  Mar 28, 2001
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars4.25 Stars

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Explore the galaxy on one 5 1/4 Floppy.

The Good

Really the ultimate 80s space combat game. Addictive game did not have any plot, instead you'd just fly around roasting pirates and trading goods to different planets while trying to get the cash to upgrade your ship.

Combat was the heart of this game and it was fast and furious. Fights involved many ships and made you do lots of dodging and weaving as you tried to line up your Military Lasers or avoid that missle when your ECM was out. The battle to destroy the Constrictor was a worthy challenge in its day.

In addition to the combat, what really drew me into the game was the trading and upgrading you could do. I hadn't played any game at this time that mixed combat and trading like this. It was really satisfying when you managed to make your run through a pirate infested anarchy world because you knew you would finally have the cash to get that fuel scoop upgrade you've had your eye on.

Also was the large universe to explore, there were 5 galaxies to with maybe a 1000 systems to visit in each, everyone who played this game knows the name Lave. Each galaxy had a special mission which was activated after doing a lot of space jumps. The first one involved tribbles, in the second galaxy you had to hunt down a stolen prototype ship, I never made it to the 3rd mission.

The game really left a lot to your imagination as there was no plot. Instead you had to fill in your own details as you pursued careers as a trader, bounty hunter, pirate or asteroid miner. Unlike in its sequels, careers other than trader were enjoyable although not as profitable. There was plenty of neutral ships for would be pirates to attack and asteroids were easy enough to find a mine.

Modern gamers are used to being able to save anywhere they like and this game you could only save in ports. I actually like that in this game because it made trading runs to dangerous systems that much more tense.

The Bad

Graphics aren't that good on the IBM, but they never were that hot an any system. The Commodore 64 version was essentally black and white wire frame graphics, so at least this one filled in the ships!

You can only fly one type of ship.


The Bottom Line

A classic and influential space combat/trader game. Newer games might have better graphics, sound and game options but NONE, including this games own sequels have had the magic of the orginal.