Saturday, June 18, 2022

Cylon Attack

Name:Cylon Attack
Publisher:A&F Software
Developer:Doug Anderson
Genre:Space Sim
Difficulty: 3/5
Time:15 minutes
Won:Not possible

Cylon Attack is mostly unremarkable. Its title is a reference to the classic space opera series Battlestar Galactica. Unlicensed of course, and the game could lose that reference without losing anything. The developer is not terribly remarkable in terms of RPGs, shooters or adventure games, but was one half of the publisher. The only unusual thing about the game is that it is a space sim, in 1982, before Elite, released on British computers. The question is, will it be interesting, or will it be Space Vikings - British Edition?
No, its a fairly mundane early space shooter. Not so much actually flying around as aiming at anything headed your way. No real movement, just shoot things. Dodging is accomplished by simply not being on the same screen as the shot.

I don't remember the Cylons having a Tie Fighter...
Combat comes in the form of waves, and as a form of challenge, you have to deal with your shields and a limited fuel supply to start with, and when the shooting starts, your basic rechargable laser. Keep in mind where ships are going. Should you run low on fuel, you can return to your mothership to refuel, but this will result in your enemies going after it. Shields don't regenerate except when you return to the mothership between waves. Returning to the mothership is a bit Elite-ish in the sense that you shouldn't hit the walls, but otherwise its just sliding the vehicle in.

Once you figure out how to lead your shots, its smooth sailing. Which was suspicious to me. I'm used to these old games pulling the rug out from me, but there really didn't feel like much of a threat coming from these ships. I reject that I've gotten good at the game all of a sudden, rather, I suspected that the fuel would quickly become a great issue. On wave 2 while there were more enemies, they weren't really any more challenging than the last ones.

I wonder what this is a reference to?
Eventually I do manage to lose on the 3rd wave, but only due to sheer amount of enemies and enemy shots. Yes, this is one of those games where the amount of stuff on-screen outpaces the computer's ability to cope with it. Which sort of makes this game, already not the best early space shooter, feel completely pointless. Because there's an example of this style of game that I like, which is Space Battle, on the Intellivision, which strips out all these unnecessary elements and just delivers a solid experience if you like that sort of thing.

A laser that only recharges whenever you aren't doing anything. 1/10

I did detect some variations in the movement patterns of enemy ships, but nothing exciting. 1/10

The mothership doesn't really count. 0/10

Generic space. 0/10

Player Agency:
The game, while the keys aren't rebindable, offers three selections, and is pretty good. Not great or anything, but I have no complaints here. 4/10



It works, its not great or anything. 2/10


Strangely Intellivision-like. 1/10

That's 9. There's not really anything else interesting to say.

I skipped Total Eclipse 2, as it was only released on 8-bit platforms, and despite there being an optimized version, still played very slowly, too slow for me. Owing to time constraints brought on by a game jam, I will not be doing a Star Cruiser entry this week.

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