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