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Psygnosis * £24.99 * Joystick, mouse and keyboard

It's doomsday plus! The world has gone up in a cloud of nuclear smoke, which few have managed to survive. You are one of the lucky folks who found some shelter when 'it' hit the fan. However, as part of the military, you share partial responsibility for starting the whole shooting game in the first place. The bulk of the populace perished, but some survived, and have they got an axe to grind.

Now the survivors are planning their revenge. Using a star-wars satellite beam they aim to wipe your base off the face of the planet. Your only hope is to find the five component parts of a neutron bomb and total the survivor's control centre, before they total you.

Six of the best
Your team, employing six different vehicles, must sally forth from the safety of the bunker base and fight their way to the bomb components. In their way stand the survivors, who possess the same kit as them. Using fire-power, tactics and guts you must recover all five bomb sections, then hit the ground station. Five bomb sections have to be recovered and you your team have to, using all the fire-power, tactics and guts you can muster, achieve this and then hit the ground station. To slow the enemy down you can blast their production lines, while yours still churn out the necessary vehicles for each mission.

At your beck and call are a heavy tank, hovercraft, helicopter, stealth fighter and bomber. The full range isn't available to begin with, scientists and engineers have to be set to work researching and building the vehicles you need. Each craft has strengths which must be used to support the others in the recovery race. Bombers and fighters, for example, can prepare targets, leaving the field clear for the tanks.

Every vehicle can be controlled individually, but more effective commanders will use the way-point facility. This method lets the computer guide a craft to the target while you prepare another arm of the assault force. This process results in some slick screen swapping as you try to control up to six different craft simultaneously.

Operating from the bunker you are quite safe because a vehicle is only vulnerable to attack when it is topside. To help crews survive each vehicle has a deflective shield, and cloaking devices can be built to provide ultimate protection.

These babies rapidly drink fuel and must be used sparingly if your boys want to make it back home. Tanks are the heaviest gas guzzlers but prove to be the hardest vehicle available, while hovercraft are economic but easily killed.

Nightdrivin'
To cut down on fuel consumption the bomber can drop teleopds which can transport your vehicles around the 80km square battle zone. Nightsights can be developed to allow 214-hour battling, this is an essential aid, because you must finish the bomb before the satellite turns Psygnosis' polygon playground into plasma.

The craft, and the world in which they explore, is composed of high-standard 3D polygons. Everything moves smoothly and at a reasonable lick. Perspective dots help the airborne craft to judge distance, while shifts of perspective are handled with a smooth cinematic pan.

Battlezone
The six vehicles share similar control layouts which makes swapping craft easy, but controlling them is a different bag altogether. The tanks don't like stopping quickly and the hovercraft slides crazily.

The helicopter is simple to get airborne but a swine to land, while the bomber barely manages to take off. The fighter is the only problem craft, exhibiting strange quirks, particularly when pulling high G moves. As a bundle though, they provide the necessary tools, once you've learnt to control them!

Fusion
Armour-Geddon manages to fuse a range of game styles. It has a management side where you have to ensure the scientists develop the correct weapons and that the engineers have enough supplies (which are liberated from destroyed enemy bases) to build them. It employs a low-level strategy hook, forcing you to judge the best balance of craft and payloads to knock out certain installations. On top of this it offers six different vehicle sims.

The vast array of keyboard controls do make Armour-Geddon a bit of a slow starter. However, these are quickly mastered and their scope does allow for maximum gaming flexibility. There are still problems though, which really frustrate you the first time around. The intelligence screen for example, which is sued to select way-points, doesn't display co-ordinates.

N-Bomb
Armour-Geddon is a well-structured six-mission muli-sim blast. The game has to be studied thoroughly if the vehicles abilities are to be fully exploited as both the sims and the foes are unforgiving. The player who can build and drop the neutron bomb will have to be perfect; good just won't cut it.

Armour-Geddon, though, lacks the initial focus needed to pull players through this very necessary learning curve naturally. These skills alone however, once mastered, allow you to discover a tough, mixed genre, game.


BOMB THE BASE
Armour-Geddon 1: Heavy Tank Armour-Geddon 1: Light Tank Armour-Geddon 1: Hovercraft
Heavy Tank - Hard, slow and drinks fuel. Can collect neutron bomb parts from wrecked bases. Light Tank - Quick, quite tough and good on gas. Can also collect neutron bomb parts. Hoovercraft - Fast, hard to drive but excellent on fuel. Never use during a full atack.
Armour-Geddon 1: Stealth Bomber Armour-Geddon 1: Stealth Fighter Armour-Geddon 1: Helicopter
Stealth Bomber - Slow and dull, it is used for re-supply. It's needed to drop the neutron bomb. Stealth Fighter - The main attack plane, can match anything the enemy throws at you. Helicopter - Fast, easy to fly, hard to land. Carries good weapons range and is reasonable tough.

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Was fällt Euch zu Psygnosis ein? Nur schwertschwingende Barbaren, Ballerorgien in den Tiefen des Alls, putzige Lemminge und hübsch bedruckte T-Shirts? Dann grübelt mal schön weiter, denn im neuesten Game der Liverpooler ist nichts von alledem zu finden...

So richtig typisch für Psygnosis ist an dieser Flug- und Panzersimulation mit strategischem Tüftel-Touch eigentlich nur das aufwendige Mega-Intro; der Rest erinnert mehr an Rainbirds "Carrier Command". Hier werden allerdings keine Inseln abgeklappert, hier geht es um postnukleare Streitigkeiten: Nach dem großen Knall haben sich die Überlebenden in zwei Gruppen aufgeteilt; während die einen sich in unterirdischen Anlagen einen schönen Lenz machen, dürfen die anderen sehen, wie sie im verstrahlten Freien zurechtkommen.

Über diese Unrechtigkeit erbost, haben die Ausgesperrten einen riesigen Laser gebaut, um damit die faulen Seppel zu zerbröseln. Wie im richtigen Leben auch, schlägt sich unsereins auf die Seite des Müßiggangs und macht sich widerwillig auf die Suche nach den fünf Teilen einer Neutronenbombe - der Knallfrosch wird das aufmümpfige Pack schon kleinkriegen! Das ist mal eine intelligente Story, was?

Wie dem auch sei, zunächst ist strategische Planung angesagt: In der Heimatbasis müssen mit Hilfe diverser Menü-Screens Fahrzeuge und Waffen erst entwickelt, dann gebaut werden; eine zoombare Landkarte dient zur Vorbereitung der Einsätze. Mit Jagdfliegern erkundet man das umfangreiche Spielareal, Bomber eignen sich für Attacken gegen Bodenstellungen, und schwere Tanks holen schließlich die Teile der Bombe (deren Aufenthaltsort von Anfang an bekannt ist). Neben den gegnerischen Angriffen macht auch die schlappe Reichweite der Bodenfahrzeuge Probleme - der Bau von Tankstellen oder Teleportern sei dem Retter des Wohlstands also heftigst empfohlen!

Die verschiedenen Gefähre können dann zwar auch per Maus oder Stick gesteuert werden, im Sinne einer langfristigen Lebenserwartung sollte man sich aber völlig ans Keyboard gewöhnen. Dabei hilft ein Schema für die Tastaturbelegung, das all die vielen Funktionen von der Aktivierung der Schutzschilder bis hin zu den diversen Außenansichten übersichtlich aufzeigt.

Die deutschsprachige, aber ziemlich lieblos hingeschluderte Anleitung ist bei der Bewältigung der Flug- und Fahrsequenzen jedoch keine echte Unterstützung. Dabei gibt es natürlich gerade hier das meiste zu sehen: Die Vektorgrafik ist zwar nicht ganz ruckelfrei, aber durchaus hübsch und flott geraten. Na gut, allzu viele Objekte sind nicht zu bewundern und die vorhandenen meist in graugrün gehalten, aber dafür sorgen Tag/Nacht-Zyklen für Abwechslung. Den Sound (Motorengebrumm und nervige FX) darf man dabei allerdings getrost abschalten.

Fazit: Mag der Spielablauf streckenweise auch ein bißchen unausgegoren wirken, als Einstieg ins harte Simulations-Geschäft ist Armour-Geddon den Action-Spezialisten doch ganz gut geglückt. (jn)


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A bit of strategy, a good dollop of flight sim, some easy-to-use controls and a fair smattering of shooting - could this be the recipe for a Carrier Command for the '90s?

Let's get the obvious comparison out of the way first. Armour-Geddon feels a lot like Carrier Command. Much more than Battle Command, the real follow up, did in fact. Just check out the similarities - both have gigantically scaled wargames for a plot, both offer a range of vehicles and weapons to bomb about and do some damage with, both overdose on snazzy 3D polygon graphics and - yes! - both boast lashings of ultra-violence.

In fact, the biggest difference between the two seems to be that Armour-Geddon offers rather less water and rather more of everything else - a wider selection of tanks and planes to control, prettier 1990s graphics and (perhaps most importantly) simpler more user friendly controls. While it might not be quite as stunningly original (in fact, you couldn't really say it was original at all) as its illustrious predecessor, it does give the impression of updating everything quite well. There. I've done the review. You can all go home now.

What? You want more? Oh dear. Okay, plot first., and it's a doozy. We're back in post-World War III land once again, I'm afraid, with the vast bulk of the planet devastated, and the area you happen to be living in one of the few bits to get happily un-mutilated. (Useless you count the odd pyramid shapes of the 3D polygon mountains as mutations, that is).

You play the leader of a high-tech military group hidden in a series of bunkers underground. Safe, well equipped, you've only got one problem - you're living in a state of siege. The surviving surface population of the earth blame you for the war, you see, and are out to get you using any means (which mainly involves bombing around in similarly futuristic weaponry to your own) that they can.

AN OFFENSIVE GAME
So here are the points in your favour:
1) You've got a big bunch of scientists and engineers along with you in your bunker, complete with plenty of high tech machinery and a fair smattering of natural resources. They've already built you a nice little squadron of vehicles to get about in, but (at the rate at which I smashed them up, anyway) it's always worth having a few more. In fact, it's a good idea to start the game by dividing your non-fighting types into little working parties and getting them busy with their Meccano sets.

Erm, that's more or less it actually for points in your favour. Points against, however, stack up rather horribly:
1) The surface population are building a giant beam weapon which, when aimed up into the sky and bounced off an orbiting satellite, provides a ray plenty strong enough to fry you in your concrete warren.

2) They'll have finished it and be ready to fire by tea time (within a few days in the game's terms) so you'd better find a way to stop them fast!

3) Actually, you might as well give up looking for ways to stop them - there only is one, and I'm about to tell you what it is. The thing is, the only weapon powerful enough to destroy the enemy cannon is the world's last remaining Neutron Bomb. Unfortunately, the five parts of the bomb have been scattered about the landscape - it's your job to locate them, collect them in various vehicles, get your scientists chappies to build them into a complete bomb, and take off on your final bombing mission in your cumbersome, difficult to control, bomber.


SUSPEND YOUR FEELINGS OF DISBELIEF AND YOU'LL FIND THAT IT ALL MAKES FOR A PRETTY ENGROSSING STORYLINE

I can't claim to have got that far myself, but it seems to me that (considering the unforgiving nature of the baddies and the near impossibility of going anywhere without coming under heavy attack) that you're going to have to be pretty bloody good to complete this game - You're going to either have to totally decimate the enemy forces so your final bombing mission goes unopposed, or you're going to have to do something very sneaky (I haven't quite worked out what yet) to get through their lines, or (at the very least) you're going to have to be really skilful at flying four of five planes at once, so you can provide a nice fighter escort for your bomber, perhaps set up some diversions and so on. In fact, thinking about it, you're probably going to have to do all three.

4) Just to re-emphasis the point again, there are an awful lot of baddies about - It'll be a lucky break if you manage to get any of your craft out of their underground Thunderbirds-like hangars and away from your base without getting attacked by at least one of them, and (in the early days at least) that'll mean the runways will be littered with prettily burning wreckage.

THE PLOT DOESN'T THICKEN
Hmm. Anything strike you as being a bit peculiar about the plot I just went through? Yes, that's right - it's utter nonsense. For example: if you've got the technology to build teleports (I haven't mentioned these yet, but they do appear in the game) what are you doing bombing about in fairly primitive contraptions like tanks and helicopters in the first place? And why on earth do the baddies have to use this super beam weapon - since they seem to more or less control the skies above you, why haven't they collected parts of the Neutron bomb and used it on your base instead? And what on earth is a Neutron bomb doing spread out in five places across the landscape anyway? It all seems rather dubious to me.

Having said that though, suspend your feelings of disbelief and you'll find that it all makes for a pretty engrossing storyline. It'll take a while to engross you through, it has to be said - all I've really done so far is muck about with the various vehicle simulators and go on a few sorties.

Actually taking a serious stab at the real mission is a bit beyond me, and is likely to remain that way for some time. This is a complicated, time consuming old thing alright, and (please correct me if I'm wrong) but I'm sure many purchasers will get nowhere near completing the thing just like they didn't with Carrier Command

So what exactly is it we've got here? Well, we've got a low degree of management stuff to start with (organising the time of your scientists and so on, as well as making sure you're liberating enough essential supplies from enemy bases to keep them going). Then we've got a level of war game-like generalship, where you've got to work out how best to use your resources, where to send your forces (as well as controlling each vehicle, you can let the individual commanders do most of the work, guiding their craft towards their directives while you keep swapping screens to keep an eye on things and take over from them when the going gets tough) and so on.

And then, to top of it all, sits the grab-factor and most enjoyable bit - all this zooming around in lots of different buggies and blowing things up. This tends to be fast, doesn't behave massively realistically, and proves to a humungous bundle of fun - as a high-tech shoot-'em-up this game is one of the best. In other words we've got a bit of a winner on our hands here I think, and (the phenomenal Lemmings aside) a strong contender for the Best Game Psygnosis Ever Did. If you've only got the money to buy one game this month, this has to be a serious contender.


HOW NOT TO GET STARTED ON ARMOUR-GEDDON
Okay, I've just booted up the game, I've sent my little scientists off to build some more planes, I've been outside once for a quick shftie, and now I'm about to start the mish proper. Hmm, but which vehicle should I take?
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A. Here's the selection screen. If I pick a tank or whatever from over on the right there and plonk it in the box on the left I can then start to arm it with weapons from a selection. We'll go into all the choice in a minute, but you can carry three at once.
So which vehicle shall we have?

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B. Well, we could take a tank I s'pose. The light ones are fairly fast, and can take a surprising number of hits. You can't arm them with much in the way of weapons though, and it's particularly annoying that it can't carry rockets. Lasers (which it can take) are fairly weak, and you might as well forget firing shells - you have to judge their trajectory, which takes a real expert. Nah, on second thoughts, let's not take the light tank.

The heavy tank's a better option in many ways. It has the same controls more or less (so this could be the view from inside either of them) but can be better armed, is very sturdy, and is one of the few vehicles capable of carrying parts of the Neutron bomb (should you find them). It's dead slow though, and since we're just starting out the game and doing a bit of exploring, it's not really what we need.

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C. The hovercraft is lots faster, has plenty of range (it's very light on fuel) and can travel over wahter if need be. It's pretty tricky to control properly though, and falls apart at the slightest hint of enemy attack (as we see here). Let's leave it behind this time.

How about a helicopter? These are excellent for ground attack work (you can just hover over something and blast at it) and fairly durable. A pretty good choice, though landing safely's a bit of a problem, and since I'm not a very good pilot...

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D. ...the Stealth Bomber might be a better idea. It's not too slow, can carry the Neutron bomb on the final mission (that's its main use really) but it's very tricky to fly. No, a far better idea would be...

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E. ...a Stealth Fighter! This is more like it - fast, easy to fly, and equipped with nice guided missiles! I've trashed quite a few already though and don't want to waste any more.

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F. So here I am about to take off (I opted for the Chopper in the end). As you can see we come up a big lift thingie Thunderbirds-style onto the surface before take off.

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G. And here I am actually in the air. This is one of a selection of external views by the way, and very nice it looks too...

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H. Time I took out a few baddies, I guess. (This is the missile's eye view as it locks onto a ground target somewhere over on the horizon there, by the way). Eat Sidewinder, Jonny Hun! Heee hee hee. (And so on. The only problem with all this running around shooting things stuff is that I'm liable to get shot at myself any time now. And since I'm not really a very good pilot that could cause problems. (Let's just hope my little scientsists have built me a few more planes and things, eh?))

SOME THINGS TO DO BEFORE YOU PROPERLY SET OFF
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Watch the stunning intro sequence, which has to be one of Psygnosis' very best.
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Check out the lie of the land with this neat revolving map jobbie.
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Flick to a satellite view for an idea about enemy base location and the like.
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Assign your little men the task of building lots of new planes (and so on).

Armour-Geddon 1: Weapon Armour-Geddon 1: Weapon Armour-Geddon 1: Weapon Armour-Geddon 1: Weapon Armour-Geddon 1: Weapon Armour-Geddon 1: Weapon Armour-Geddon 1: Weapon Armour-Geddon 1: Weapon Armour-Geddon 1: Weapon
So which weapons should I take? Well, here's part of the selection. For this trip I think maybe a night sight (the game run on a time scale where a minute of real time equals an hour of game time, so darkness - a nice effect - tends to come around fairly often) and a good supply of homing missiles would be best.
FROM THE PILOT'S SEAT
Armour-Geddon 1: Pilot's seat
Here's what the game looks like from inside the cockpit. Despite the oodles of controls (all far too involved to get into now, though really flying isn't all that complicated once you're in the know) this isn't really a flight simulator - it's more of a flight simulation. It's not setting out to be technically accurate - though your plane can stall and so on, it can also be abused in flight a lot more readily than in most sims - and so picking up a rudimentary knowledge of how to keep airborne isn't too tricky. Landing's a bit of a bugger however, but - hey! - don't worry too much about that, you're bound to be shot down or crash a long time before any fancy ideas of returning to base occur to you.
CLOAKING DEVICES, TELEPORTS (AND OTHER STUFF THAT CAN BE VERY USEFUL INDEED).
Armour-Geddon 1: Weapons selection
You see this thing here? It's a cloaking device. Instead of loading a weapon you can take this instead for a trouble-free(ish) ride. Teleports can be even more useful - take one out into the countryside somewhere, drop it, and then scuttle back home. Now you've got a handy gateway to that region of the Armour-Geddon map - simply park your vehicles under your floating base teleport (trickier than it sounds - subtle control at speeds under 30mph takes some learning) and you'll be able to instantly teleport yourself to the device you dropped earlier. Bingo! Saves lots of time, and can prove very useful.

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Out in the dark cold regions of space,a savage laser satellite floats in Earth-orbit ready to try anyone who gets in the way of the 'Sheltered Ones'. Only one thing can stop it. Five sections of an ancient Neutron Bomb lay scattered around the surrounding landscape. No prizes for guessing who has to find them, re-assemble the bomb and destroy the power-lines that feed the deadly satellite.

In Armour-Geddon you get the chance to drive or fly six different types of vehicle in a fusion of flight simulation and arcade shoot 'em up - with a slight hint of strategy. As you would expect, each craft has its own particular strengths and weaknesses which make them perfect for certain tasks and totally unsuitable for others.

The Light and Heavy Tanks, for example, cannot handle any form of air attack. All six vehicles have three storage bays which can take a variety of weapons and other useful equipment. They also share a similar cockpit display with standard instrumentation panels for fuel, radar, shields, and so on. The view of the landscape is depicted using the familiar style of three-dimensional (filled polygon) graphics. The overall campaign is controlled and monitored via a selection of menu screens.

So your assignment begins. Choose a hovercraft. Equip it with night-sight, fin-stabilised rockets and a drop tank to increase your range. You're now ready to go on your first recon mission. Check out what the enemy is up to and where the first hidden piece of Neutron Bomb resides. The Hovercraft kicks-in and wanders off into the horizon at a respectable speed.

Flick back to HQ. Power-up a Stealth Bomber and load it up with a few free fall bombs, leave it on the launch pad in case your hovercraft finds something interesting. Get some of your scientists and engineers working on a new gizmo - a cloaking device could prove essential.

Trouble begins. Your Stealth Bomber is attacked and destroyed by a squadron of enemy fighter planes during a rid on your base. While your attention switches to air defence, with a hasty activation of a Stealth Fighter and subsequent aerial dogfight, the hovercraft runs out of juice and is stranded in the middle of enemy-controlled territory like a dead duck. A quick scan of the intelligence screen and it's straight into a simultaneous rescue mission and ground strike using one of your previous helicopters. Phew, you've managed to survive your first minute of Armour-Geddon!

Full marks to Psygnosis for its first foray into the cut-throat world of simulation software. There's plenty here for a mechanismo addict to play around with, it's like a polygon-generated toy-box.

Comparisons will be made to Carrier Command. With its hi-tech hardware, arcade aura and head-tohead two-player option Armour-Geddon scores over the cult classic from Realtime Games. Sadly, a few things blunt the sharpness of the game. For a start, there are just too many keyboard contorls. More importantly, the 3D graphics barely cut it. Psygnosis' three-dee generator certainly doesn't compete with the likes of Digital Image Design (F-29 Retaliator) or Realtime Gams (Battle Command).
Now, if the graphics inside the game were on par with the gorgeous ray-traced images seen in the intro, Armour-Geddon would be five years ahead of the rest. Over to you Psygnosis...


Armour-Geddon 1 logo Zzap! Sizzler

Psygnosis, Amiga £24.99

During superpower arms reduction talks a small, previously ignored nation launches an insane nuclear attack which uncontrollably escalates into World War III. Only a handful of humans survive the resulting devastation; the governing elite who hid in their underground shelters (hence their name, the Sheltered Ones) and others who survived above.

Feeling terribly embittered, the latter form a resistance movement to stop the Sheltered Ones re-establishing control. In secret they begin the development of a powerful laser cannon which can use a geostationary satellite to bounce its beam down to vaporize the Sheltered Ones. This elite soon learn of the laser weapon and plan to reassemble an old neutron bomb to destroy it. The bomb is in five pieces stored separately for security reasons. As the resistance hurry to complete the cannon the Sheltered Ones launch a desperate bid to recover the pieces of the bomb in the teeth of continuous resistance attacks.

Armour-Geddon has a huge play area of 80 km by 80km, including mountains, lakes and buildings, You play the leader of the Sheltered Ones and live in an underground headquarters equipped with a few basic vehicles and weapons to arm them with. However you also have teams of scientists and engineers to make new systems. There are six vehicles in all which can be developed: a fast attack fighter, stealth bomber, gunship helicopter, hovercraft, light tank and heavy tank.

You can simultaneously have six vehicles active of any type (all bombers if you like!). All the vehicles have their own performance capabilities and can carry their own appropriate weapons - such as laser cannons, free-fall bombs, rockets and missiles. Other devices include night-sights, drop tanks, cloaking devices, fuelpods (which can be dropped on out-of-fuel vehicles) and telepods. The last is critical, you can have up to six in operation to instaneously teleport vehicles between them. Telepods can only be carried and dropped by the Stealth Bomber.

You can choose either to go for the complete game or single missions (where you go after just one bomb part). In either case you'll face an enemy armed with fighters, tanks, helicopters and a whole lot more. These craft are generated by buildings which can be knocked out.

The overall game essentially consists of five principal tasks:
1) Assigning scientists to research vehicles, weapons and special weapons. Then once you have the blueprints, dividing up your engineers to produce the most important. Choosing priorities can be critical.
2) Finding and bringing back various mineral deposits vital for constructing machines.
3) Completing missions, which essentially means going to set locations to pick up and bring back elements of the Neutron Bomb!
4) Extending the power build-up time of the beam weapon by finding and destroying its powerlines.
5) Fire support. Chiefly using the various aircraft to take out enemy generators close to your base, or the routes taken by your ground vehicles.


Phil King I'm not normally very keen on complex simulations, but Armour-Geddon is very user-friendly and easy to pick up. What first attracted e to the game was the ability to try out all the vehicles which all have a totally different feel. But I soon realized that this was much more than a glorified flight sim. As well as standard missions, there's a lot of long-term strategy in searching for all-important minerals to produce weapons, giving air support to your own ground vehicles and knocking out enemy installations and powerlines. And unlike most complex strategy games you get to do everything yourself - in fact, with so many pressing matters it's hard to decide what to do first. But don;t be put off by the enormity of the challenge: Armour-Geddon is great fun to play and well worth a look even if, like me, you wouldn't usually touch military sims with a long-range missile.
Robin Hogg Psygnosis's first foray is remarkable on three points. Firstly, it has the speed and graphic detail to match the likes of Falcon together with six vehicles essential for completing the game rather than just fancy extras. Secondly, there's the depth of play which really does involve some serious strategic thinking. Researching weapons, exploring the land, using the right vehicles in the right situations (often two or more at once!) and coping with an increasing enemy onslaught are all very strong parts of the game and prove as demanding as learning to fly the helicopter (no mean feat when under fire). In some places the landscape isn't particularly overflowing with graphics to look at but there's a lot more to Armour-Geddon than shifting masses of polygons at speed. Geddon can and does do this anyway but for once there's a game behind the simulation and that means top marks from me.
'And the third point?' you cry, well let's just say Phil loved Armour-Geddon so much, prying the joystick from him took real courage. A truly remarkable combat sim!
Stuart Wynne Armour-Geddon offers the sort of huge, open-ended challenge that should keep most ardent warmongerers happy for weeks, probably months. It's up to you to organize your resources to produce the important hardware, then work out what objectives you'll go for, planning tactical strikes to make success possible. Unlike Carrier Command, which sneakily divided its vast map into tiny islands and soon got repetitive, Armour's giant warzone is all pretty much accessible. The multifaceted challenge takes some thinking about: do you go for a neutron bomb piece first or instead concentrate on gathering minerals? It's a big challenge and compulsive.
For the first few days, though, everyone is simply going to be messing around with the vehicles which look great and come with their own unique handling characteristics. Then there's the weapons: missiles are easy, but getting the timing right for bombs takes practice. And of course days can be spent using the vehicles together: it's great how you can flick instantaneously from one to the other, and the 3-D is superb. Objects are a little blobby at long range, and there's no light-sourcing shadows, but the variety and speed is excellent. Atmosphere is further enhanced by a great range of sound FX, all rising and fading in perfect relation to the closeness of various vehicles.