Mech Force V.3.77

Title		Mech Force V.3.77
Game Type	Combat Sim
Company		Ralph Reed (Shareware)
Players		1-Several
Compatibility	All
Submission	Angus Manwaring Profiled Reviewer

Now this is a tricky one. First impressions of this game are not great.
Okay, it's a Mech game ........good, it`s Shareware .......okay, it's a
2D hex based affair ......Eek!! Now, hold on, looks aren't everything.
What we`ve got here, is a suite of programs, that combine to let you
create a Mech pilot, with his own outfit, his own Mech, and the ability
to amass wealth and experience. For anyone who is unfamiliar with the
term Mech, it`s used to describe a huge armoured fighting vehicle,
frequently of humanoid configuration, and with enough firepower to
seriously spoil pretty much anyone's day.

Because of the way the experience points work, you'll start off by
stumbling around the arena, sometimes actually falling over, and
generally missing whatever you try to shoot at. Obviously this changes
as you acquire more experience, and choose which skills to develop. One
of the most cunning elements of the game is the way heat is generated,
and the effect it has. You will generate heat by doing just about
anything. Not just firing weapons and being hit, but even by moving
around too much. As you get hotter your Mech becomes less effective, and
your accuracy decreases. Eventually, if you don't limit your activity,
your Mech will shut down, and you'll have to wait until the heat has
dissipated before you're Mech is operational again, assuming of course,
nobody decides to take advantage of your down time and give you a good

The gameplay does not work in real time. This means that while you are
about to swivel left to bring an enemy into your sights, for instance,
you'll suddenly run out of time, and it'll be your opponent's turn to
trigger that full salvo of long range missiles your direction.

Being quite interested in armoured warfare myself, one of my favourite
aspects of the game is the Factory, where it is possible to design your
own Mechs, and if you can afford it, buy them. This is fascinating because
you're faced with the classic armoured fighting vehicle compromise of
where your priorities lie: Firepower, Armour or Mobility? Obviously each
of these has an effect on the other two, so you can have great fun
tweaking vehicles to your particular requirements, and then trialling them
in actual combat. The detail goes right down to how much armour you wish
to assign to almost every part of your Mech, back or front, so you can
really let yourself get involved in the interesting business of Mech

I haven't got anything bad to say about the game, it's clearly not going
to be everybody's cup of drinking chocolate, but what the game attempts to
do, it succeeds at extremely well. I must admit, I`d have loved the Amiga to
get a 3D realtime interpretation of this game, maybe one day. Until then
however, we can comfort ourselves with the satisfaction generated by having
an Auto Cannon 10 hit the mark, and blowing the enemy's head clean off!

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