Title		Voyager
Game Type	3D Action
Company		Ocean (1989)
Players		1
Compatibility	All (With Patch)
HD Installable	With Patch
Submission	Angus Manwaring Profiled Reviewer

Voyager is, in my view, a direct descendant of the old 3D tank game from
the arcades circa 1980; Battle Zone. You remember the one, green line
graphics, a flat landscape with a few objects scattered around, and the
vulnerable yet relentless enemy tanks. While simple enough, it was a great
game, and my friends and I would happily play all night while sinking our
pints, our abilities becoming poorer and poorer as the evening continued.
….Well, Voyager took the Battle Zone idea to the 16-bit home computer,
adding, to be fair, a degree of complexity, and a science fiction setting.
The man responsible for Voyager is Dan Gallagher, who went on to do Red
Zone; the polygon based motorcycle sim, and the innovative and impressive

The idea in Voyager is that Earth is about to be attacked by a race of
warlike aliens, the Rexxons, that inhabit the eight moons around Jupiter.
On each moon there is a total of 80 aliens to be destroyed, before
locating a special portal and warping to the next more difficult moon. The
game starts off with quite a nice 3D intro where your dropship approaches
the first moon and releases the assault vehicle you’ll be using to fight
from. The sequence is obviously inspired by the film Aliens, but no
problems there, it works well. Once on the surface things become pretty
similar to Battle Zone, and the method of retreating from an enemy, which
you insure remains perhaps 20 degrees off your vehicle’s forward axis, and
then quickly swerving in to line, firing, and immediately returning to an
off-set angle works well here too. Life is complicated by flying vehicles,
some of which are similar to the inverted ‘U’ shaped craft from that
superb sequence in the film Tron, and these drop mines, deadly if you`re
foolish enough to let them get overhead. Control is either by joystick or
mouse, but while the mouse sounds like the obvious option, in practice I
found it almost unusable. Once you’ve destroyed all 80 of the aliens, you
must find the portal within a strict time limit. You are provided with
some grid coordinates to help, but it is still quite tricky. On entering
the portal you must negotiate your way through a sequence of rotating
shapes, remaining as central as possible in order not to deplete your
shields. On arrival at the next level, it’s business as usual and back to
destroying 80 aliens that are more deadly than before.

The game doesn`t really work for me. I was initially seduced by the filled
3D,  still fairly rare when the game was released, and the attractive
intro sequence, but it seems like a long slog to get through each level,
to face what amounts to more of the same on the next level. It`s true that
some interesting elements have been added, like remote cameras that can be
dropped from your vehicle, and another pick-up that enables you to fly,
though I didn`t stay with the game long enough to find it. These additions
are definitely a plus point, but I`m not convinced that they have been
properly incorporated into the game in a way that really improves the
gameplay as much as it should. If you liked Battle Zone and you`re keen to
see an enhanced version, this could be the game for you, but for me I’d
sooner play the original, or a reasonable conversion of it.

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