This game requires a fair amount of imagination to play. You are the controller of a giant spaceship - the Starlight (or the Starflight, as it is called in the manual), which contains the last remnants of mankind - three million frozen colonists, 46 pilots who can be popped in the microwave for instant readiness, a few raw materials and a huge, great engine to power the whole lot.
Your mission is to find a new home for mankind to start again. With this motley collection, you have to build fighters and weapons to protect the Starlight, select who flies which fighter, and maintain the spaceship in good working order.
It's a much better idea to fight the bad guys at a distance rather than at close quarters and risk them damaging the mothership, because repairs consume lots of raw material and energy. If you run too low on either of these, the game automatically self-
Collecting raw materials is a good idea, but it can be a better plan to create them in the Starlight laboratory, where you can discover new compounds. Mixing these is simple in theory, but beware that you can blow up your lab if you create a particularly explosive cocktail of components - uranium and plutonium should be left in the test tubes.
Producing new machines creates less obvious problems. You start off with three designs of fighter, blue, black and red. But actually getting them involves more than clicking on the relevant icon because you must have all the correct components first, which means you have to make the components before you can even think about working on your fighters.
At the start of the game, you can only build one unarmed fighter, and it takes time before you can upgrade to one that's armed. You can send the unarmed fighter asteroid mining, and when it comes back, you can build more. There's a fine line between getting what you need and trying to achieve the impossible - crossing that line means you've lost.
But what makes the game more than a management simulation are the encounters. Every so often, you come across an alien ship, planet or depot. You don't have to attack on sight - talking first is a good idea, but combat is inevitable with some of them.
The 3D space combat is truly terrible. The fighters go left and right easily enough, but pitching up and down is particularly slow and jerky. This element of the game doesn't work too well, but even if it did it wouldn't add a great deal to the gameplay.
Well, that's it as far as the game goes, now on to the real gripes. The game comes on two disks, and insists of swapping between the flying sections and the main control menus. OK, you get used to it eventually, but that's no consolation if you have splashed out on a second drive. If you have 1.5Mb of extra memory, then disk swapping should be eliminated, but it wasn't on the A500 or A2000 that I tried it on. That's the trouble with Demonware games - they don't always work consistently on different Amigas.
The very worst thing about this game is the manual. For this sort of point and click game, you do need a decent manual. Supremacy, which was a similar game, had a brilliant manual, full of useful tutorials. What you get with Exodus is an incredibly thin, wibbly volume, which gives you a rough idea of what you have to do, but leaves incredible gaps as to how you actually do it. A couple of illustrations would be helpful.
I wouldn't pay £29.99 for such a poorly packaged (four sheets of A4, and a naff colour poster) and badly put together game, when there are better point-and-