Renegade Legion: Interceptor logo


Pretend it is the 67th century. Galactic federations have come and gone, Twin Peaks is still on telly. In this distant future, though, there are not any wars, but everyone is not at peace. Inter-galactic lawlessness if rife, providing the military with something to shoot at.

You command a squadron of up to six deep-space battlecraft, chosen from a list of a possible 30. The ships have different weapons, armour and manoeuvrability. You also select the pilots of your vessels (from a list of several races and sexes).

Right. You have got the pilots, the ships and hopefully the bottle. It is time for combat. Firstly, you will get a briefing on who you are fighting and why. Then you move to the map: a rectangle divided into a hexagonal pattern. The ships move around from hex to hex in any direction, but if they leave it, they are deemed to have scarpered without trace, and cannot take part in any further battle.

Put a hex on
At the start of combat, your ships face the enemy's at long range and you take turns to manoeuvre into a position where you can open fire (ideally from behind an unsuspecting target). Each ship flashes as you decide what orders to give. Then all the ships chug around the hexes, hopefully putting you in a position to blast the twisted space crustaceans in the enemy ships.

You then try to avoid getting blasted and hope your shields last longer. And that is it. It is all in two dimensions. It is all on the one hex grid and it is all like a sort of Battleships game. You simply control where your ships are heading, how fast they are going and which weapons they are using. Everything else is done for you.

When any ship is hit, a damage screen is called up. This lists in impressive detail the state of every system on-board (including which have been knackered by the attack). The screen appears for any ship which is hit. If it is yours, you have the option to jump to safety. What constitutes safety in deep space, surrounded by fighting craft, razor-sharp wreckage and lasers is not made clear, though. Kills result in Prestige points being awarded. These will buy you better craft and weapons for the next bout of conflict.

Bore wars
The game does not run in real time, there is not any sense of excitement or urgency about it. There is a two-player mode, which assumes you can convince somebody that Interceptor is interesting enough to play. It does not add significantly to the amount of fun you will have.

Interceptor was originally a board-game. The idea worked there because it was not too complex. This is its downfall on the screen. It is far too simple. The rigid, easily-anticipated game, so unless your mouse slips and cocks things up, you cannot really lose. Well, your pilots could all desert through sheer boredom...

The atmosphere is spot on. If you are a sci-fi fan you could easily get immersed in the different types of ship, aliens and history of the Federal Empire. There is a wealth of detail, so your imagination can get into warp speed. But it will crash back to Earth painfully when you start playing the game proper. It is not 16-bit stuff at all, and no amount of frills and scene setting can hide what is a boring game. Space cadets should steer clear of this hulk.


The battle rages on in the coldest regions of space. Targeting computers show who your men and women pilots have locked onto. There is a target acquisition arc of about 60 degrees of each craft, so keep the repulsive space beings firmly in that, and you are laughing. It is best to keep your formation tight so that each ship can watch the back of the one in front (like the circles of covered wagons in the Wild West). Also, if you can bring all your guns to bear on one enemy craft you will probably wipe him out in one turn. And in space no one can hear you blub.

The Commonwealth strikes back!

Renegade Legion: Interceptor logo

Neu ist dieser strategische Krieg der Sterne nur für den Amiga - die Copyright-Vermerke reichen immerhin bis in die graue Vorzeit von 1987 zurück! Trotzdem: Nur keine Vorurteile...

Weite Teile der Galaxis werden vom diktatorischen "Terran Overlord Government" beherrscht, was dem herzensguten Commonwealth natürlich gar nicht recht ist.

Es kommt daher, wie es kommen muß; Bis zu 2 Spieler dürfen sich aussuchen, für welche Seite sie in den Krieg ziehen...

Zunächst bastelt sich der Kommandant in Spe nach Rollenspielart seine eigene Schwadron zusammen, danach werden die sechs Kampfpiloten mit Flugis ausgestattet.

24 verschiedene Vögel stehen zur Wahl, die schweren Brocken sind allerdings für erfahrende Veteranen mit vielen Prestigepunkten reserviert.

Dann stürzt man sich in die 14 Missionen (z.B. Abfangen von Feindagenten), die in wechselnder Reihenfolge aus dem digitalen Hut gezaubert werden.

Die komplexen Weltraum-Gefechte entwickeln sich rundenmäßig auf einem Wabenmuster-Plan, wobei der Spieler anhand vieler abrufbarer Daten seine Entscheidungen fällt; für die Berechnung der Ergebnisse ist der Computer zuständig.

Erfolge bringen Erfahrung, Beförderung und die erwähnten Prestige-Points, die wiederum lassen sich in bessere Jets umsetzen, usw.

Bei alledem schaut die Grafik den strategischen Umständen entsprechend gar nicht sooo übel aus, Sound gibt es aber nur in Form von läppischen FX. Erfreulich bequem funktioniert die Maussteuerung, und Spielwitz ist auch vorhanden - alles in allem keine Fehlinvestition. (jn)

Renegade Legion: Interceptor logo

From the makers of the great Eye Of The Beholder comes this. Oh dear, it's useless...

For fans of space based military hardware of the 63rd Century this is a little gem. No detail of (made up, of course) weapons or ships is deemed too trivial for this cuddle with a muddle of intergalactic squadrons, weird aliens and pompous planetary alliances - it's ideal stuff for sci-fi train spotters and the sort of people who buy those manuals of blueprints to the Starship Enterprise.

For the rest of us, however, this is a bit of a dog. The main problem is a severe lack of action. What happens is this: you are presented with an 'empty' squadron of space fighters and given a mission. Your first task is obviously 'fill them up' by choosing pilots, picking ships (from a list of 30!) and loading them up with weapons. )It is possible to design your own ships, but it soon becomes clear that this is a waste of time).

Once all the fiddle faddling around with hardware and pilots is over, the game proper begins, much of which involves getting yourself embroiled in some epic space battle or other.

So how does this bit work then? Well, battle commences on a grid divided into loads of hexagonal shapes. Your guys are facing the other guys, and the first thing to do is move your ships into good firing positions. It's best described as the pencil and paper game Battleships on the move, and yes, it really is that simple. Just pick an enemy, aim, and fire. He'll doing the same to you of course, but hopefully not as well.

The trouble is that no amount careful picking among the vast selection of sophisticated kit is going to make any real difference at all - most of the time you're going to win anyway. The action sequences are ugly and easy, the bad guys are amazingly stupid, and it's all over very quickly.

If you manage to retain your interest, things develop a bit as the game goes on. Pilots gain experience, building up credits which allow you to buy bigger, better ships, and fit nastier weapons. All very well, but it's a bit vacant and pointless really when the dodgy kit you started off with is perfectly capable of doing exactly the same job in minutes?

So what should we make of it? Well, the programmers have clearly had a whale of a time designing battle cruisers, inventing alien races,and dreaming up heavy duty sci-fi scenarios, but in all their excitement they forgot to do very much with the actual game.

If you're the sort of person who enjoys leafing through technical manuals of starships that won't exist for another millennium or two, then this is, just possibly, what you've been looking for. Otherwise, it's a terrible waste of time. It's hard to believe that this is the same publisher that came up with Eye of the Beholder.