Burntime AGA

Title           Burntime AGA
Game Type       Strategy
Publisher       Max Design (1993)
Players         1
Compatibility   All (Seperate AGA Version)
HD Installable  Yes
Submission      Andy McCarthy thunderchild@genesia.freeserve.co.uk

Burntime hails from the studios of Max Design in Germany, and puts the
player in the carnage of post nuclear Earth. Aye, The Americans and
Russians apparently threw SALT to the winds and proceeded to blow the
world into fish food - for fun!

Before I deliberate about the game itself - I MUST bring up the manual
situation here and deliberate about THAT.

The game manual is divided into two parts -
1. How to play the game
2. The Greenpeace Soapbox.

Max Design gave 75% of the manual for Greenpeace to use as a soapbox, and
it is quite a good read - if you like that sort of thing. It tells of all
the nasty environmental issues in the world, like the greenhouse effect,
water wastage and overpopulation - and then it goes on to talk about
nuclear war and nuclear accidents. Well I LIKED it!!

As a sort of interlude - do you know that if you drink 100 cups of coffee
a day, you will be less vulnerable to radiation? - the caffeine apparently.

Well, you can just IMAGINE the post apocalyptic coffee commercials -

Girl : "I'm your new neighbour, and I am out of Coffee...."
Boy : :: shaking psychotically:: "THERE'S NO COFFEE HERE !! ::spasms::

OK  - I'm getting on with it!!

The game.
The object of the game is not only to survive, but to seize control of
what's left of the country and eliminate two other AI players who are
trying to do the same. You do this by recruiting people and capturing

You start off alone wandering the wasteland a la Mad Max, with a Combat
Knife and a few days worth of food and water. Food and water is crucial -
you must really think ahead - I have died many times, simply because I did
that five day hike in the desert without water. The post apocalyptic
cuisine consists of dogs, snakes and maggots - so if you see these
critters buzzing around, kill them and feed!

To recruit people you must have food - some people will only accept a
snake, while some prefer dogmeat. It is worth it though, one piece of
dogmeat will buy you a lot of cannon fodder!

There are three types of people you can hire :
1. Fighters - they who kill for you while you sunbathe.
2. Technicians - they who can repair broken equipment.
3. Doctors - have a guess.

Not everyone is for hire - there are hordes of mutants running around, all
dying (literally) to give you megadoses of radiation sickness, they should
be killed whenever encountered - same goes for the packs of dogs.

When you have a few people you will quickly realise that you cannot
possibly feed them all with what you can find, so it is time to capture a
settlement. There are lots of settlements to seize, from simple
encampments to ruined factories, villages - even a monastery, in which the
monk will jabber on at you in badly translated English about the decline
of religion. Actually the bad English is a good thing, since he sounds
even more insane - - Oh that was done on PURPOSE?? - sorry Max Design!!

When you have captured a settlement and hoisted your flag, you can order
your companions to stay there and produce food for your army. Also you can
store items of value there without fear of losing them.

Some places are as deadly as the inhabitants - there are radiation
hotspots all over the place, which should only be entered with a radiation
suit. Also - there are towns which have large pockets of toxic gas, for
which you need a gasmask. Oh and when you finally find the above items and
enter the locations - there will be lots of mutants  - you have been

There are some places that you cannot capture - they are the five major
cities - and you can't even fight in them. In those cities - you can find
Traders and Doctors. Trade is very important since it allows you to obtain
crucial equipment like rat/snake traps, water pumps, radiation suits, guns
etc. Traders also come into your settlements from time to time - and don't
even THINK of attacking them - instant death, and then some. Doctors will
patch you up after a scrap, but don't bother with them if you already have
a doctor in your group.

While you are expanding your territory and showing people the light of
your democratic rule - the other two fascists are doing the same thing.
eventually it is going to come to blows (or bullets if you are lucky
enough to own a gun) There is no diplomacy here chaps - if you see an
enemy settlement, attack and butcher everyone in it, raid the food and
water stocks and take any useful equipment.

Welcome to the wasteland.

HAQ - Hardly Asked Questions

What are the graphics like ?
Awful - Max Design have gone for the most awful engine you can possibly
imagine - sometimes the characters look comical. There is no excuse for it
- since it was made around the same time as Syndicate and Genesia. Oh,
sorry - there is an excuse - laziness.

Someone asked me once what the AGA version was like - and I got a very
stunned look when I said " Er... that WAS the AGA version" God knows
what the A500 version was like.

Hard Disk - Better performance ?
The disk swapping isn't up to the UFO level of tediousness, so
installation is an option, not a necessity - the game is quite nice when
played from floppy, and a little faster when installed. If you have a
small HD then don't install it -

How's the AI ?
There are three difficulty levels - the lowest gives a high availability
of special items and an awful AI. Whereas on the high level - you won't
get any decent equipment unless you pay through the nose - and the AI is
wonderfully brutal.

Two player mode then ?
Yes, two can play against each other on the same Amiga.
Try not to FALL OUT -  ;-)

Comparisons ?
Well, this game stands alone really - unless you want to bring in
"Fallout" and "Fallout 2" from Interplay, but that would be unfair, given
the fact that they are PC based and have graphics.

Final word.
In German, "Herzleid" - you call it "Heartache".
Gameplay is better than beauty, always has been - always will be, but the
graphics ( or lack thereof) have really let the game down. Apart from that
though - a deeply engrossing post nuclear strategy game.

Category list.

Alphabetical list.