The Colony

Title		The Colony
Game Type	3D Adventure
Company         Mindscape, 1990
Players		1
Compatibility	All
HD Installable	Yes
Submission	Angus Manwaring Profiled Reviewer

The Colony bears some resemblance to the Alien films in terms of its
plotline. You are travelling through space when your ship is forced down
on a bleak and inhospitable world. There you find a Colony that been
attacked by alien beings. You discover that while many of the colonists
are dead, they managed to preserve their children by placing them in
suspended animation chambers, thus preventing their vital signs from being
detected by the marauding aliens.

The game is presented in first person perspective 3D, except when
interacting with things like control panels and doors, whereupon a a
monochrome 2D image is displayed, allowing you to click on suitable areas
of the static graphic to perform certain functions.

The game was originally released on the Macintosh computer and this is not
difficult to detect from the look of the game. Apparently though, while the
Mac version was monochrome throughout, the Amiga incarnation sports
relatively colourful surroundings. It has also been suggested that becuase
of the common cpu; the motorola 68000, shared by both computers, the game
enjoys an exceptionally good compatibility with later Amigas. Indeed, I
have the game running on another screen as I write this, and have run it
while on-line without problems.

Before your forced landing, you had an unfortunate meeting with a
blackhole which drained your ship's energy core, so in addition to your
rescue mission this problem must also be solved. The game starts with you
on the flight deck of your damaged ship, literally groping in the dark.
After restoring the lighting, you can explore the ship which is of a fair
size. Sooner or later you'll discover how to leave the ship without being
instantly killed, and will find yourself on the planet's surface. At this
point the game resembles Battlezone the 3D line vector tank combat game,
and filled vectors are dispensed with until you return to your ship or
enter the colony. To have got this far you will have found the Armoured
suit and will have probably destroyed a number of aliens. Its quite
enjoyable but not particuarly special, so the exploration and story
revelation aspects of the game beckon you onward.

You will discover all sorts of things within the colony, ranging from
incidental memorandums from various individuals to useful information on
the alien invaders. Without giving too much away the aliens come in
various shapes, and most of them, if you drain them enough with you
lasers, will shrink to a tiny egg like representaion of their basic shape.
At this stage they can be absorbed by you, boosting energy to your various
systems. There are essentially 5 levels to the colony, that can be
accessed either by lifts or stairs, and as you might expect, you won't
find the most dangerous of them on the first level.

Although the gameplay is fairly simplistic, wandering around trying to
find your objectives, and attacking or avoiding the various aliens, the
game provides that little extra to encourage the player to contine his
quest. The sound is fairly basic and owes much to the original Star Trek,
as well as Holst, but new discoveries like a driveable vehicle and more
data about what has transpired at the colony are well conceived, and are
ample reward for the player.

I could not describe the game as umissable, but if, like me, you are fond
of a 3D world to explore, with a bit of adventure and a bit of action, The
Colony is an interesting, and conveniently system friendly oddity that is
well worth a look.

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