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Today I bought a car! A cool, blue 1940 Chevrolet 2-dr coupe. And not only that, but I also got me some sweet new parts: a new auto transmission, a 4 brl carb, and some racing slicks. Luckily I was informed that I needed a GM transmission for this car. Otherwise who knows what I’d have bought?
I fit the tyres and boy, is the car is already looking sweet! But when I pop the hood and try to attach the carb, my engine mocks me. Tijn tells me I need a manifold. Sigh. That’s a few hundred dollars wasted already. The same thing happens with the transmission. >__> I guess I’ll just have to pwn my opponents to earn some more money so I can get them parts.
OK, so now I hit the street! I forgot to save, and apparently saving before you leave the house in this game is like remembering to take a coat in the middle of winter.
I find some bloke down the diner with a similar car to mine, and click on his head. I don’t have any money but fortunately there’s an option called “pink slips”! So the race starts and I realise I don’t actually know the controls – or how to drive in general.
Tijn informs me that I need to press up to accelerate, and then press space to put it in drive. I’m not sure if that’s all there is or what, and somehow I still am not moving anywhere. My opponent disappears over the horizon.
Eventually the race ends and I discover I managed to complete three per cent of the track, which I think is pretty good for a first attempt! Then I return to my garage and realise what pink slips means. Not sure I can do much with my remaining $10, but I guess that’s why they invented saves and new games. \_o_/
I hit “Time to quit”. Save game? Forget it.
Aha! I had the same difficulty and had to do some investigation to figure this out.
First, you can change the heat setting by going to the hospital map menu (the green icon in the menu bar). There you can view radiator coverage (click “Toggle radiators”) and also adjust the heating.
Second, I noticed that even empty buildings affect this, so I got in the habit of placing radiators as soon as I’ve bought a new block. Then when creating rooms you can either place new radiators or move the existing ones (but make sure to move them before trying to place the room!).
Finally, I cheated a little and did some reading. Apparently the radiator coverage map matters, but also the temperature of each room is just the mean, i.e. the number of radiators divided by the room’s size: so essentially you want to put more radiators in large rooms. I’m not sure how they knew this, or exactly what ratio to use, but I started putting a second radiator in every room which was larger than about 25 cells, and this seemed to work.
I played a lot of this game as a kid, though a different version: I had Lode Runner: The Legend Returns, IIRC, which apparently had very similar gameplay (leading to a 2/5 star review!), but much better graphics and music. So I’m looking forward to checking out its origins in this (rather basic-looking) version.
I remember being captivated by the graphics and SFX (cue sounds of bomb fuses burning, and monks gobbling flesh!), but also loving the game style. I think Tijn makes a good point about the puzzle game masquerading as an action game; the blend of genres makes it a lot of fun 🙂
Wow, this is a strange camera/control setup; I’m intrigued! Hmm, she walks very slowly. The 2D art is very pretty. I quite like the odd juxtaposition of pixellated 3D models on this background. Oh no! A… thing! I must use the action menu and fight it. That… doesn’t seem to achieve anything. Oh dear, I’m feeling weak. And now I’m dead. Goodbye, cruel world.
I think I’ll need a walkthrough 😀
Welcome void! 🙂
LotR looks quite fascinating. I particularly like the look of this screen – reminds me a little of Colonization. I like how older games allowed tweaking of all sorts of things and this looks similar.
Would it support multiplayer over a network? 😮
The reviews on GOG are very good too. I’m definitely keen to play this 😀
This art work is very beautiful, and quite reminiscent of the time. It seems to have an interesting mix of sci-fi and fantasy too—here’s the story intro:
“In the year 2227, the gigantic, interstellar factory ship “Toronto” reaches a distant solar system. The ship’s owners, the enormous DDT company, believe that there are rich deposits of raw materials on this third planet of the system; but the data which describes the planet as a desert, turns out to be forged. Albion is in fact a world full of life, secrets, surprises and magic. When Tom Driscoll, the pilot of the reconnaissance team discovers this, he swears to save Albion from “Toronto’s” tentacles.”
Count me in! 😀
Ooh ooh ooh I love this idea. I actually just created a Theme Park thread here not realising it was already mentioned.
I’ve never played Theme Hospital (despite wanting to several times) or even heard of Populous, but would love to give them a go.
I’d never played this game before, but after seeing @rnlf’s stream and then joining the multiplayer stream I had to give it a go.
First impressions were really positive. I think the music and graphics are great, and this game has a lot in common with GTA stylistically, which I also love. The racing starts off quite hard but after purchasing new tyres I settled in quite easily.
I ended up doing exactly what @pix did and smashing through most of it in a marathon session that ended in the wee hours of the morning. I think this actually says quite a lot about the game, though: the rewards are perfectly spaced apart, and there’s always something to aim for. Also the idea of reaching the top of the rankings is quite obvious from the very start. This simplicity and the raw competitiveness makes it pretty addictive. (I ended up having an intense rivalry with Clint West after he rammed me into the side of a track and blew up my car. Oh boy was I angry…)
The only major detractor for me is the physics: in particular how hitting rough terrain completely kills your speed, and how sometimes your car ends up flipping direction. Other than that, though, the game is brilliant!
I also found lagging behind until all the bullets are spent to be a useful strategy. After that, depending on how well equipped I was, I’d either try to accelerate past the group (the speed boost comes in handy here, as do the mines) and win, or just clean them up.
My favourite move was to turbo into the back or side of a car, sandwiching it between my spikes and a wall. Muahaha… Also I quite enjoyed turboing in front of a car and laying a mine right on their nose. Good times ^^
The prize money from destroying other vehicles is pretty good ($4000 towards the end), but you can get even better money for winning without damage ($6000). Once I realised this I started relying more on the turbo (and mines).
@DavidN wow, I had no idea you could still compete in the harder races with the first few cars. That could have been super useful.
I’m a bit late to the party but heck I love this game! There have been plenty of highlights so far but the most striking at first was the combat system: part chess, part RTS and part some other magical ingredient, it obviously allows some really deep strategy and I can’t wait for more.
The art and music haven’t bothered me at all: I actually think both are very nice. On reflection I think both are reminiscent of Colonization; in particular the style of town UI will be familiar to anyone who has played that game, even down to the troop arrangement at the bottom.
Overall I’m happily impressed (and slightly addicted). Great choice! 🙂
Update: here are the sources; thanks kdrnic!
Seems post-apocalyptic supertrain travel plays a lot on French minds. Also there was a large variation in opinion on the film so let’s see what we think of this game!
Wow, great progress, Pix, and a very fair review. From what I remember the highlights were mostly in the first episode, and the latter two were more gruelling. Still, I look forward to tackling them! I vaguely remember everything being on fire in Episode 3 like you said; I can’t wait 😀
# Don’t give up!
There are several very hard parts in this game, but there are also lots of delicious secret goodies! For example, check out this great big bonanza I found on one of the earlier levels 😀
In later levels it’s quite common to find a pentagram (or several) behind a panel too. So when faced with an impossible horde of skeletons/witches/doctors/whatever and low on health, take a relaxing walk around parts of the level you’ve already conquered, and keep an eye on… your eye, for panels!
Thanks for… enduring the game with us! I actually played it as a child, so my impression is a bit more favourable.
At the time it was released, I loved N3D. It’s perhaps the most memorable game of my childhood, in fact. Being quite young, I found it genuinely terrifying in parts, especially the later garden-based levels.
@DavidN I suspect you’re playing one of the earlier versions, with just sprites. Some later versions (still shareware) have 3D models for *some* of the enemies (most noticeably the frankenstein and mummy), which makes things… more bearable. I recommend digging this out if you can!
As for being difficult, I think I always used to play on Be Gentle (easiest). So naturally now I’m playing it on Let’s Party (hardest), and boy is it hard! That said, it has forced me to learn a bit more about how the game works. As @Pix said, the distance from an enemy has a huge impact on how much damage they can deal you (perhaps this is only true on harder difficulties, as I never noticed it before?). The difference between the weapons also becomes very apparent—for example on Let’s Party a white witch will kill you in one stroke, and the plasma pistol is close to useless against them. Hence you really start to appreciate the wand. I know from past experience that similar things happen with other weapons/enemies.
I never realised that right shift enabled you to run! What a terrible place to put that key… And how useful that would have been on level 2…
I think @Pix is right about the puzzles mostly being finding panels. (Did you notice that the centre of the eyeball lights up when you’re next to a panel, by the way?) There are a couple of other puzzles, like finding the key for safes, but I have to agree that describing it as having puzzles is a bit of a stretch.
Overall I think the game was still pretty good in its time, but it has not aged well. Some tweaking of the controls and basic gameplay elements would have helped, along with better puzzles for unlocking all the secret bits. I’ll always be fond of it though, and it hasn’t lost its charm for me.
EDIT: having played a bit more I’ve been reminded that there are one or two extra, sokoban-style puzzles later in the game. Still, probably not enough to make this a puzzle game ^^.
Hey Pix, welcome!
Great post – I can see you have a lot of QfG experience! 🙂 I think the intention was to at least play QfG1, but the option was there to explore the rest. I don’t think the other episodes are planned, though personally I’d be happy to give them a play at some point.
I agree that the combat is one of the less perfect parts of the game (also in the VGA version). I’ve been playing as a (slightly magical) thief and have actually found the dodging/parrying/running away to be essential for my survival (mostly the running away actually). Apparently I’ll get better as time goes on though ^^.
A little while later I stumbled into a stag and a woman with a rather wooden expression:
There’s a lot going on in these woods, so I’ve decided I’ll need a map if I’m to explore this place properly! Therefore in the evening I returned to the town for a good night’s rest and a casual bit of thieving.
I also chose to be a thief with some magical abilities. I feel terrible every time I steal something though. I can see the attraction of the warrior, though: I keep getting roughed up every time I step out of the town gates :-/
In order to save Dossington from the many challenges of the 1970s, Toasty III, of the Toasty mayoral dynasty, stepped in. Promising to bring the city out of the minor recession, and to crack down on “rampant, dangerous time travel”, he was sworn in to rapturous applause.
# 1971 – 1973
– Tax rates are lowered in preparation for a drastic city expansion.
– Mayor Toasty undertakes a huge development in the Grand Valley.
# 1974 – 1976
– Mayor Toasty binges on education, building a new school, college, museum and several libraries.
– Dossington becomes state capital. A giant statue of Toasty III is erected at Dizzying Heights, along with a beautiful residential district.
– With demand secure, tax rates are increased again.
# 1977 – 1979
– To relieve traffic in the Tijny Tunnel and around the Windy Tops, the Windy Relief Road is built. Developments soon spring up in this area too, leading to a bustling new district.
Mayor Toasty attempts to hold onto power through a string of scandals, but is forced from office when it emerges he too indulges in frequent time travel.
Approval rating: 63%
Estimated annual income: $3018
As you can see, Hardville is not a grand city. We’ve had our ups and downs over the last century or so, weathering the economic storm of SimNation and occasional disasters. The Great Fire of ’52 burned down the Great Northern Industrial Estate, crippling us financially for nearly 20 years; the earthquake of ’73 and the Twin Floods of ’83 didn’t help much either. When it came to the Medium-Sized Fire of 2003, nobody was paying much attention.
Still, we persevered, and oh boy, did we succeed! In ’86 the town saw its first school. Soon after we had a road heading out of town, and in ’97 the gracious mayor even built us a hospital. Imagine! Just last year, he even spoiled us with college.
Today Hardville has a population of 20790. The people are unhealthy and kind of stupid, but the future looks bright for the city. Estimates suggest that by 2100 we’ll even be able to pay off our debts. Just imagine what we could do with that extra money!
Mayor Toasty’s report:
– In response to high demand, residential and industrial taxes are raised. Approval ratings drop, but Mayor Toasty resolves to lower them in the final year of his term, claiming, “None of these morons will even remember by then.”
– Several small parks are placed around the old city to increase land value.
– Not much else happens. Mayor Toasty blames the previous administration’s overspending on health and education, denying any links to the global economic crisis.
– Increased tax revenues are directed towards redeveloping the Windy Tops. Despite the weather, the neighbourhood prospers.
– Mayor Toasty, anticipating trouble with the antiquated power grid, adds a new section to the main hydroelectric dam.
– Flush with money but not much land, Mayor Toasty drains the swamp below the Windy Tops. The Windy Bottom development is born.
– Mayor Toasty attends the opening ceremony for the Windy Bottom park.
– Another section is added to the hydroelectric dam.
– FIRE! A factory in the centre of Stinky Place Industrial park burns to the ground. Mayor Toasty responds swiftly, and the city is saved.
– Mayor Toasty declines to comment on allegations he started the fire in order to improve his reputation.
Mayor Toasty forgets to lower taxes because demand is still high, and gets booted out of office.
Yearly income: $1084
Presenting Toastopolis: a sunny town of ~60k inhabitants.
I tried to embrace building on some of the hills, and to get a reasonably high population density, so there’s quite a lot of flat land left for further development. It has highways, which I think have helped increase the density, but also a traffic problem. It probably needs more bus depots, and for me to finish the subway system (which has barely started).
I was quite lucky regarding disasters: only a plane crash in 1963, in which 111 people were killed and a “stubborn llama” escaped. As of May 2017 the llama is still at large.
I wanted to upload the file but it seems I corrupted it by quitting too soon after taking screenshots. The city is now a completely flat desert. Goodbye, Toastopolis ; _ ;
Ooh, count me in, this sounds interesting.
I’ve found highways in particular help with the traffic, though I’d prefer to have an effective rail system…
As for the water problem, once the city size increases you might need some desalinization and water treatment plants too. I think the point of water towers is to store water over Winter in preparation for Summer – check out the current month next time you have a shortage.
OK, I stepped in to steer Dossington into the 1910s. The city treasury has a bit less money (sorry!) but the population has nearly doubled!
I ended up re-funding all departments and lowering taxes a bit, especially for commerce and cleaner industries to reduce pollution. I also built a college to improve the sims’ education (and hopefully, in a few years, the kinds of industry we get). The educational quotient rose by a single point to 84. :/
Here are the changes I made:
– lowered commercial taxes to stimulate demand;
– instituted parking fines and a pro-reading campaign;
– built a college overlooking Hillview;
– added some commercial zoning;
– increased education & transit authority funding.
– Created more residential zones, and a big park;
– increased funding for all sectors to 100%.
– Lowered R & I taxes to 9% (C still at 8%).
– Adjusted taxes to encourage cleaner industries;
– added some industrial zoning.
# Jan 1910
Estimated monthly income: $442
I figure it’s about time I posted something about the game 🙂
I’ve enjoyed it a *lot* more than I expected. I found the race mode a bit weak and clunky (as mentioned, judging distances between cars is incredibly hard, and the damage incurred isn’t very realistic), but the multiplayer aspect has been really entertaining (thanks for the scoreboard, Tijn)!
The simulation may not be completely realistic but had enough subtleties that I was frequently realizing new tricks and strategies for various tracks. I even learned a lot about real racing! The cars also offer sufficient variation to suit several different racing styles, and on some tracks (say, Brazil, Monaco, Japan, Detroit) I think any of them could come out on top.
The graphics are quite basic (which is fine in general, IMO), but can be slightly disorientating at lower speeds. The rendering seems to change once you hit higher speeds, which has less of a nauseating effect and is good motivation to keep the speed up 😀
My favourites, in order: McLaren, Williams, Ferrari.
I think this is just down to how fun it is to drive the car: the first two accelerate very quickly and allow you to get in all kinds of a mess if you’re not taking care 😀
I’ve found that my best Ferrari time is never much better than my best McLaren time (e.g. about a second on Monaco). In contrast on tracks like Germany I can come several seconds ahead in the McLaren.
I’ve found with the Williams and the McLaren that swift gear changing is really important to avoid this, but once you get into the habit it allows you to pick up speed very quickly. I haven’t used the Williams enough yet though, which is a shame as it seems nicely balanced between the other two cars 🙂April 6, 2017 at 4:09 pm in reply to: [DONE!] Commander Keen in Invasion of the Vorticons #233
Oh, I’d never even heard of this before now. Count me in for sure 🙂
I’ve played Doom 2, but never the original, so this is quite exciting for me. It took a little while to get set up because there are so many different versions to choose from (I played freedoom for a while, which is a great project but just didn’t satisfy in the same way). Eventually I started using the shareware version via chocolate-doom (I’d recommend this if anyone is desperate to just get started on Linux: it’s available through most package managers and has the real assets for the first episode).
My first thoughts (may be brief, as I’m keen to get back to it!):
– The levels are actually incredibly short, which is different to how I remember Doom 2 at least. I wonder if that’s due to the machine I was using back then being slow, or just a fault of memory.
– The strafe functionality is difficult to get used to. On my version (which I assume is close to the original game), you can only strafe by pressing Alt + Left/Right; I’ve been spoiled by modern games (and, IIRC, the version of Doom 2 I used to play) which allow you to strafe and turn at the same time, but this method makes the corner dancing a bit trickier.
– Doom 2 used to scare me, but now I’m able to enjoy the game a lot more. Case in point: I noticed the first time you pick up the chaingun (except perhaps in a secret area), the designers bring out a crowd of monsters for you to play with. As a child I’d have been cowering in a corner, but this morning I just mowed them down with great satisfaction.
– I’m becoming addicted quite quickly. Can’t wait to explode some cacodemons 😀