Bring me to the main page   Bring me to the Reviews Index

Carrier Command logo  Zzap! Sizzler
  • Direct the forces of the ACC Epsilon in Rainbird's 3D future strategy epic.
Rainbird, £24.95 disk

Carrier Command The immense resources of the Draziw Industries Corporation were brought to action in early 2163 to build leviathan craft. These were the Carriers: vessels to transport multi-purpose Manta fighter planes and amphibious Walrus tanks, and collect raw materials with which to build the all-important Control Centres. Their role was to aid the ongoing energy crisis, a situation which was unsuccessfully eased by wind, tidal and other forms of electricity production, nuclear power long since abolished for ethical and pollution reasons.

Two aircraft Carriers were built, the ACC Epsilon and ACC Omega, intended to be totally computer and droid controlled. Time restrictions meant that the Epsilon could not be fully completed, so control had to be under human Commander. The main Command centres and power stations were set up at the two ship base islands, and a runway built for defence weaponry.
All was well until the final sea trials of the Omega, when the Draziw Industries' Assistant Chief Engineer died of a stroke, brought on by an injected poison. A programmer was suspected, subsequently disappeared, and a demand was received from the STANZA organisation. If 15 billion dollars were not paid to them within 72 hours, they would activate the infiltrated Omega control system, now programmed to occupy and destroy the volcanic islands.

You, the Commander of the ACC Epsilon, must form your own island network to challenge that of the rogue Omega, setting up various types of Command Centre to delay the progress of the enemy. Neutralising Omega Centres by destroying and replacing them with your own of adapting them with a Reprogramming Pod, a large and powerful network has to be created before the enemy home base can be taken over, and full power restored to the free world.

Zzap! Issue 42, October 1988, pp.88-89

Gordon Houghton I heard great things about the Atari ST version of this 3D strategy game, so breath was duly bated… The extensive number of icons and system features needs a lot of understanding and background, but Rainbird have their usual high-quality packaging to make it all easier. The 64-page manual is full of screen dumps and icon close ups, matched by detailed but straightforward text making everything clear. The rotating filled-in vectors of the Carrier on the game selection screen are just a taster for the in-game graphics. The most impressive sight is the lauch of a Manta, the view panning as it leaves the surface of the Carrier. The depth is something which only a few plays can scrape, and with the variability of all the game features and many islands, countless more addictive plays are available. A graphically excellent strategy game worth anybody's money.

Paul Glancy Right from the start, the graphics encourage you to further plays; all vehicles – land, air and sea, friendly and hostile – are displayed effectively as a group of shaded geometric shapes, which rotate smoothly as they toddle about on their respective journeys. I found the strategic elements surprisingly interesting, and when my concentration began to wane (eventually), I switched to the fast-paced Manta flight simulation, attempted to convert an island with a virus pod attached to a trusty Walrus amphibious tank, and blasted a command centre with the Carrier's laser turret. Carrier Command will appeal to most games players, being a sophisticated strategy/simulation/shoot 'em up hybrid – I heartily recommend it.

Maff Evans It's great to see more strategic games stretching the Amiga's graphical abilities. Carrier Command is an example of the way this is possible, with combining excellent presentation and graphic effects with a game that requires planning and thought. Everything looks as though it is actually being controlled from an extensive computer console, with well defined and logical icons for each function. Some of the weapon and information screens remind me of the computer screens in the TV show, Airwolf (so what if I watch Airwolf? It happens to be a very exciting programme, so don't knock it!) Taking control of a number of different craft is confusing at first, but like any other strategy game, perseverance brings a certain amount of clarity. Of course you can play the 'whizz around a blast everything' game but you'll soon grow out of it! Wading through the systems is rather like watching an SF film, and playing the game is an Amiga-owning strategist's dream!

Carrier Command is played via a series of icons which surround the playing area and are selected using a pointer guided by mouse or joystick. Specialised icons and displays appear at in the bottom quarter of the screen to utilise special functions of the four main game sections. Detailed below are the uses of the main ACC Epsilon icons and the actions they allow.
 
Carrier Control-icon The most important icon is that of Carrier Control. The Carrier can be steered directly by the user or by Autopilot, and its surroundings are shown in a radar display whose magnification level can be altered.
Navigation-icon All vehicles in the game can be directed using a Navigation icon. A map of variable magnification level is displayed and the vehicle's destination and speed set, followed by Program to begin the new course.
Damage Control-icon The Damage Control icon allows you to direct the repairs of the Carriers systems, which repair themselves automatically due to a cellular composition. Each of the ten systems can be given high, low or medium priority, and are then repaired according to descending order.
Stores-icon The quantity of equipment in the Carrier's hold is given by the Stores icon, with a diagram and information on each of the 15 items displayable. Supply quantity and priority information can be set to build the hold's resources.
Laser Turret-icon Carrier Defence is headed by a Laser Turret which you can direct with the aid of a telescopic sight. Decoy Flares are simply shot into the air to decoy heat-seeking missiles, but surface-to-surface missiles need to be directed from a Viewing Drone set at a distance from the Carrier.
Amphibious Assault Vehicles-icon Amphibious Assault Vehicles are used to drop the all-important Automatic Control Centre pods on land, and can also drop virus bombs to convert enemy Centres, infiltrating Omega territory means defence is a necessity, and the AAVs have lasers and surface-to-surface missiles.
Aircraft Control-icon The Mantas (Multi-role Aircraft for Nautical Tactical Assault) are under the Aircraft Control icon, and their lasers, missiles and bouncing cluster bombs are primarily used to take out enemy vehicles. Their fuel and weapon levels have to regularly replenished, as they are a vital part of the Carrier's network-building progress.

PRESENTATION 97%
Extensive manual, game save option, theme on audio cassette and surprisingly easy to use control system.
GRAPHICS 88%
A variety of effective filled-in 3D vehicles smoothly traversing the Southern Ocean and its islands.
SOUND 74%
Samples convey the sounds of a future sea war neatly, though it's all a bit reminiscent of the ST.
HOOKABILITY 87%
An Action Game option eases you into the first few intriguing plays.
LASTABILITY 97%
Familiarity with piloting Mantas and Carrier systems allow a near infinite variation of tactics and combat actions.

OVERALL 92%
A graphically excellent and action-packed strategy game of remarkable depth.