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Shadow of the Third Moon logo  AGA 

Andy Smith 's not the first person that springs to mind when there's a alien threat to be neutralised, but he's all we've got...

Shadow of the Third Moon Yeah, well you'll all be thankful when I've saved the world yet again. Except that, erm, it's not this world I'm saving. Look, what difference does it make? I'm on the side of the goodies and everyone I'm killing is a baddie, so it doesn't really matter whether I'm fighting on Earth or on some obscure moon around a fictional planet, does it?

Good, just be aware that in this game you're a pilot fighting through some 48 missions against a bunch of evil types. The action's mostly viewed from the cockpit. You can jump out of it for missile views and the like, but after a couple of minutes you'll want to climb right back in.

Shadow of the Third Moon After a short training campaign which each consist of five separate missions, one flown in a bomber and one in a fighter, you then have a further three campaigns to fight against 'live' enemies, ranging from other fighters to laser towers and tanks.

There's been a great deal of attention paid to the learning curve, progressing from simple one-target missions to full-on, everything coming at you at once missions. This has been executed extremely well and makes you feel like you want to continue from one mission to the next because you know it's going to be a slightly harder challenge.
Thankfully, the programmers haven't penalised you for failing a mission. There's none of this dying and having to create a new pilot or whatever as you simply try it again and again until you get it right.

Shadow of the Third Moon The missions themselves are nicely balanced and usually involve you being designated a primary target, say a couple of tanks in a valley with a secondary objective like the laser turrets protecting the tanks, so there's always a nice balance of targets to go after.
You even get the chance to issue orders to a rather handy wingman who joins you on occasional missions. Simply call up a target, hit a key and your wingman goes after it. You may not actually want him to, because going after the enemy yourself is great fun, mainly because the controls are so lovely.

Forget your joystick and control your plane with the mouse in one hand, with your other hand over the keyboard ready to hit the keys that cycle you through the targets in range, the weapons at your disposal and so on, and you'll be playing the game as it should be played.
And you'll be having a lot of fun when you're doing just that. The mission structure is great, the action is intense at times without being too overpowering (mostly) and yet there's no idle waiting around for something to happen. You start each mission just outside the danger zone so it's never going to be long before the sparks begin to fly.
With the fairly limited building blocks the programmers have given themselves, they've managed to come up with a great, solid, enjoyable action flight sim.

Shadow of the Third Moon The graphics are splendid, despite the fact that the landscape is horribly jagged when you're skimming over the ground. It's wonderfully fast, on an '030 at least, and some of the effects are very pleasing, including things like smoke trails from your missiles and burning enemy craft and so on.

However, the sound is a big disappointment. The sound effects grate after a short while and, although the music adds atmosphere, you wouldn't want to listen to it for pleasure, though that's a criticism you could level at just about any game music that's ever been written.

Shadow of the Third Moon Shadow of the Third Moon is one of the most playable and enjoyable games of its type for a very long time. If you've got a souped up A1200 then you're going to be stuck in front of the monitor for a good long while, but maybe not quite long enough which is why I've shied away from actually giving it an AF Gold award. This is because the missions tend to be on the quick side, but there are certainly enough of them to justify purchasing the game.

So there you have it, a great game that's going to entertain and excite you. Another fine reason to sneer at anyone who says the Amiga games market has had its day.

Amiga Format, issue 107, February 1998, pp.32-33

(Many thanks to Blackcornflake for providing the original scan of the review)

Shadow of the Third Moon is one of the most playable and enjoyable games of its type for a very long time.

PUBLISHER: Blittersoft (01 90826 1466)
PRICE: 24.99

... going after the enemy yourself is
great fun, because the controls are so lovely.

Fast, smooth and very pleasing.

Score Graphics: Four out of five
Well, they won't spoil the game for you, which is a blessing.

Score Sound: Two out of five
Good learning curves, it's very difficult to try just one mission.

Score Addiction: Four out of five
The mouse/keyboard combination is a dream.

Score Playability: Three out of five
I'm not convinced it'll last you as long as it should, probably because you'll find it hard to put down. Now read between the lines and buy it anyway. You'll thoroughly enjoy it.