Apparently the board game of which this is the computer version, was in existence long before Stanley Kubrick made the film with the 'Full Metal' prefix.
It's one to four player strategy set in the future, where up to four spaceships have landed on a planet containing a plentiful supply of a precious metal ore. Every player wants the ore, so it's time to fight. The overall objective in the game is to blast off at the end of 25 turns with as much ore on board as possible.
The game is played in turns, and the first couple of turns are dedicated to deciding first where to land your spaceship and then where to deploy your forces, which include five tanks, two ships and two curious pieces of hardware. The first of these curios is called The Crab and this is the machine that collects the lumps of ore that are found on the surface of that planet and returns them to the mother ship.
The second piece is known as The Hen and this can not only collect and transport ore, but it can also build new pieces of equipment, so it can wander about picking up ore and turning it into pieces of hardware.
Movement of pieces during the game is restricted by two factors, the first and most important being the number of action points available at the start of the turn. Initially, each player only has five points so little can be done.
From turn five until 21 (at which point the player can opt to blast off if he wishes) the points increase up to 25, so a lot more things can be accomplished - like blasting your adversaries or capturing their pieces of hardware - especially if you have some of your points and have a bumper lot for the next turn.
Attacking your enemies is a curious matter: for starters, you must get at least two of your pieces in range - two hexes - and each piece can only fire twice per turn.
The second major movement factor is the tide. Each turn portions of the planet become either submerged or exposed as the tide rises and falls which can leave your pieces stranded and unable to move for at least a turn.
The winner of the game is the person (or computer player, of which there are six with varying levels of aggressiveness) who manages to survive to the end and also has the most ore collected and pieces remaining.
GRAPHICS AND SOUND
The planet is viewed from above and the graphics are fine: they could not be called outstanding, but they are functional for this sort of game. Forget about the sound: there simply isn't any.
With four players (any combination of human and computer), this game can get to be very enjoyable. Even in solo mode it's fun but after a few games the seasoned strategist will find it too limited to hold the attention. The single-
A jolly nice, simple, tactical game that can be great fun to play- especially if you are lucky enough to persuade two or three chums to join in the fun. It's easy to get into in the first place, but the only thing letting it down is the rigidity of the set-up (the fixed number of turns, having only the one planet and so on).