Carrier Command caused a sensation by combining arcade action with a strategy game when it was released for the ST a couple of months ago, and now Amiga owners can get a slice of the action.
You command the ACC Epsilon, a 200 knot aircraft carrier equipped with 8 Manta fighters, 8 Walrus amphibious tanks (AAVs), aerial reconnaissance drones, a laser turret and a whole host of tactical assault weaponry.
Your task is to secure an archipelago of volcanic islands from the rebel ACC Omega carrier in a id to tap precious seismic energy. You achieve this aim by deploying your military resources in a war of attrition - systematically establishing bases on each island by despatching an Automatic Control Centre Builder pod. You have three types of ACCB at your disposal: Defence - for protecting the island network already under your control; Resource - for mining and refining raw materials and Factory - for manufacturing equipment from raw materials.
If the island is already under enemy control, a different strategy is called for. First you take out ground and aerial enemy defences - your AAV's are able to perform on auto-pilot or can be manually operated using the mouse and/or joystick. A quick click on an icon enables instantaneous switching between vehicles.
Arcade action is smooth, fast and furious. Heavily defended islands require a prolonged coordinated assault. The coup de grace is storming of the island's control centre, necessitating the use of a Virus bomb which infiltrates the enemy's computer and miraculously puts it under your control.
Carrier Command involves a complex combination of strategy and arcade action. If the task seems too daunting you can opt for an action game on start-up which prepares a random but equally-
GRAPHICS AND SOUND
At the time of release on the ST, Carrier Command received acclaim for its filled 3D animated graphics almost on par with the Archimedes' Zarch. However, the sight of a Manta lifting off from Epsilon's deck, pausing in mid-air, and then accelerating away with the shot panning to maintain the Manta's position mid-screen leaves even Zarch/Virus 3D routines far behind. Accompanied by stereo sound and an increased number of spot-
Although Carrier Command's most endearing feature is the real-time icon control of multi-view synchronised action, there are a range of other screens to view. The revolving wire frame damage status screen, the cargo hold supply screens, the intelligence report updates and network status displays are all part of an impressive icon driven command system designed with great care and attention to detail.
The gameplay of Amiga Carrier Command is a significant improvement over the ST version where the wait-states endured while the Epsilon travelled between islands were almost long enough for you to plot an entire Mandelbrot set in your head. The result is as conclusively brilliant in all departments as you're likely to encounter without 100 MHz chips and hi-def monitors.