Thursday, July 23, 2020

Game 38: Space Vikings

Name:Space Vikings
Developer:Mitchell Robbins
Genre:Space Sim
Time:Under 1 hour

Elite is commonly credited with starting the open-world space simulation as we know it. Wander around, shoot things, trade cargo. Like so many things, it was not because it was the first to do this thing, but rather because it was the first to do it competently. Space Vikings is the first, as far as I can tell. And it quite effectively shows why Elite was such a marvelous work of engineering. This game is not Elite to say the least. Its not a completely fair comparison, as this is more of a war game than Elite's trading-styled game. You're supposed to go from planet to planet, destroying enemy spacecraft, sending ground troops down, and generally being the best general the Galactic Federation can be. That's least today.
See, the problem with old computers is that when the programmer screws up coding their game slow isn't measured in frames per second, like with most badly done modern games. No, its seconds per frame. Now, the game isn't exactly an intensive dogfight simulator or anything, but seconds per frame made the game nigh unplayable. Say what you will about other slow games I've played, but such problems were usually loading screens or still FPS. I got as far as shooting something at nothing, which caused the starting planet, my own, to attack me. They launched fighters, which my automatic defense system took care of.
Lasers and missiles, generic choices, generically fired. 1/10

I can't rightly say I saw any real ones. But a point for sympathy anyway. 1/10

They exist. 1/10

Simple patterns of enemies. 0/10

Player Agency:
Well...nothing much. 0/10

None. 0/10

None. 0/10

Very simple wireframe graphics. Uh, planets look weird. The ships look nice, but that's about it. 1/10

You are a part of the Galactic Federation, conquer other planets. 0/10

Obnoxious Apple 2 sounds. 0/10

That's 4 points. Not bad for an unplayable game. It has a nice concept, but reality hits like a brick, and the lead's desires were not to be met by an Apple 2. Or would they? Elite was on the Apple 2 as well. Looking at Youtube videos of Elite AII, reveals it had a much better framerate than this. Looking at Space Viking ones, well, the control issue is unknown, but the framerate is worse than mine.
SubLogic will return many times, at least until Sierra buys them. Robbins will not, as his only other game is a space simulation that takes place on a completely flat plane.

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