Saturday, February 12, 2022


Publisher:SuperSet Software
Developer:SuperSet Software
Time:1 hour 50 minutes

Something that occurred to me, while researching this game. Despite 1982 being the time of those simple, stupid arcade games, I have seen more games with independant aiming than I have without. Perhaps its confirmation bias, since I have been cutting games I don't think will reach 10 points. I wonder how things are going to go once arcades experience their first death.

Give them credit, if they went with CGA mode this would be uglier
As to Snipes, it is roughly in line with that arcade-style of moving and shooting, despite being on DOS. Early, primitive DOS, since its 1982 baby! The bottom of the barrel. And yet, also, the most complex title from that year. In addition to being pretty fun to play it might have the claim of being the first LAN home computer game. SuperSet Software seems to just be the name the developers of this game took, as the company behind the technology is Novell, a big company in networking hardware and software, at least during the '80s and '90s. I'm not entirely clear on the how and what this would entail though.
Stalking a snipe
Starting it up and its simple. Numpad moves, while WAXD shoots. Diagonal is done by pressing two directions and moving diagonally is seemingly faster. You can also speed yourself up with space. You wander around a maze, shooting at a few enemies who have spawned in, who sometimes shoot back. Then you destroy door things which turn out to be portals and you win. That's when things get interesting, because from here you select a letter and a number and this corresponds to the level of difficulty of the next level. You can also select this via typing in the letter and number with the game's command file.
Missing a snipe, my snipe hunt is going badly
Higher numbers increase how fast they spawn in, how many portals, and decrease your number of lives. By increasing the number the difficulty increases in the simplest way. Meanwhile, the letters bring in things that are less tangible, possibly because there are 26 settings. (I am not sure what B does, for instance) These do things like causing enemies to somethings turn into the spearless enemies after dying, allowing one to destroy the walls and electrifying them. In addition to increasing attack speed and how quickly they notice you. I should point out now that while destroying the walls doesn't sound like much of an issue with how its a maze, bullets loop and you can shoot yourself.
I'm dead, and but I still had one live left
Each level is the same concept. Wandering around, at the start and at the end, trying to find the portals. This is the least interesting aspect of the game, because, look at it, and the levels loop. Need I say more? Its really nasty if its just one enemy, because there is no way to spot them. Like I said, there's little sound. Fortunately in the early game there are no enemies yet, they take a little while to start spawning in. If you're lucky, you can take a few out, more on the higher numbers.

Blocking off the snipes movement with bullets works better if snipes aren't already past them
Then after a few portals are destroyed, disaster strikes, a portal surrounded by a horde of enemies. You can kill more of them than they can you, but its a long way to the portal. The game does have a limit on the number of enemies that can spawn in, but its the kind of number you aren't going to like. Especially at higher levels, where for every enemy you kill, another pops out to replace him. Especially bad at the last portal, where you can get into an endless loop of just killing dudes over and over again.
My bullets have warped around the level, as bullets do

The regular enemies in this game are deceptively hard to kill. It looks like they take up two spaces, but they really only take up one, while you take up 2*2, meaning you're a big target. At the levels when the walls are deadly, this can result in some tricky situations. They're really good at dodging too, though perhaps this is just a matter of an endless number of enemies eventually succeeding in doing something that looks impressive from a player's perspective.

As you can see, I'm in a great situation, and since I'm on A, I can't just shoot through the wall

The spearless enemies are quite a bit of a pain. They rush at you at a fair pace, and they dodge bullets. Thankfully they don't appear until the higher letters, but when they do, they're very tricky. They don't hurt you unless you walk into them. Unless you can get them into a situation where all paths for them lead to a bullet, they're going to dodge. Or you can just hit them diagonally, because they're not prepared for that.

Once you get the portals destroyed its a long haul getting rid of the snipes
Difficulty is a bit mixed, because the earlier settings are a joke, while the latter ones are quite intensive. I came across a pretty good strategy for winning, though even this doesn't work too well, so I must be missing something.
At the start, if you're not next to at least one portal, start over. If you die once before all the portals are gone, start over. Individual enemies are not so important, go for the portals. Always put yourself in a situation where you can't be hit. Shoot through walls, but make sure you're about to hit the right area beforehand, getting hit because of that is annoying. Don't worry about the spearless enemies if you can help it. The last portal is going to be surrounded by enemies, so you will have to do the respawn song and dance. Finally, just because there are no more portals doesn't mean the rest of the game is going to be a cakewalk.

It all sounds silly, but I enjoyed it. It has no obvious redeeming qualities and yet, its a lot of fun. I can't dodge squat in this game but that didn't mean I didn't try. Simple, but fun. It does have a degree of annoyances in it that prevents it from being as fun as say, solitaire or Tetris.

A simple but effective blaster. 1/10

Two enemies with very different approaches. 2/10


The amount of ways you can have the game play are pretty cool, but ultimately its a featureless looping maze. 3/10

Player Agency:
Very simple, very smooth. Dodging is not very easy though. 5/10



As simple as possible, B&W text. You can spot the difference between things, at least, but my eyes hurt after playing. 1/10

I don't think there's any.

A few PC speaker effects for destroying portals. I understand why they didn't go more in depth, but I feel like there could have been just a little more. 1/10

That's 13, about average for 1982 so far.

Speaking of 1982, I have 34 games left for the year, and very few are interesting at a glance. We are seeing improvement over 1981's stuff, but its still just high quality arcade titles. Nothing with much meat on it. Foreshadowing for a major event in gaming? Hmm...

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