Virtual Worlds
By Domark
Spectrum 48K/128K

Published in Crash #91

It's not very often a game comes out that takes a computer into a whole new dimension, but that's exactly what happened when Incentive unleashed Driller into the world. Programmed using a new technique called "Freescape" it blew away every so-called 3D game that came before it. Nick Roberts makes the journey into 3D city.

Virtual Worlds

There have been four main Freescape games from Incentive: Driller, Dark Side, Total Eclipse and Castle Master. But what you might not know is there have been special editions of the last two created especially for of The Home Computer Club.

A Bit About Freescape

So what's so amazing about the Freescape graphics system anyway? Well, it enables the programmer to create new worlds using solid three dimensional graphics. These worlds can then be explored with immense freedom.

You can walk, run, crawl and fly around as if you were actually there (sort of). You can walk toward an object and look up at it from below. Put on a jetpack, rise up above and look down and all around. The possibilities are seemingly endless.

Once you've got a system like this to create games with it must be easy to fall into the trap of having amazing graphics but no gameplay at all. Luckily, Incentive managed to steer away from this path by changing the locations of the games and giving the player something different to do than just walk around collecting objects.

Crypt: Really Castle Master 2?

Driller, Total Eclipse and Castle Master we've covered plenty of times and they're all very good.

But what of this new(ish) game, The Crypt? Basically, it's Castle Master with redefined screens. This can't have been very difficult with the new Domark/Incentive release 3D Construction Kit around! If you've bought this games creation utility you'll know just how easy it is to make a game. However, I'm not moaning (not much, anyway) because all Freescape fans will love a new game to tackle and there are plenty of new puzzles and scenes to entertain.

If you haven't already got all the Freescape games in your software collection, this is an excellent opportunity to pick up most of them at once. I can't imagine what made them leave Dark Side out of the compilation, though, as it was one of the best games. Software houses, eh?

NICK … 88%

Mark ... 84%

'Oh dear, am I getting all old and crotchety? Or are there others becoming slightly bored with the whole Freescape phenomena? When Driller and Total Eclipse were first released I raved over them (as did the rest of the Crash team). But don't get me wrong, just because I'm not going over the top about Freescape these days doesn't mean they're anything less than technically superb. As always, the 3D shaded graphics are a treat to watch and the puzzles are as brain-bending as ever, it's just the game content that's bordering on the tedious 'cos it's been done so many times before. Castle Master 2: The Crypt is the only new game on the compilation though that's only Castle Master with a couple of new screens. Freescape fans are urged to purchase this compilation, though, provided they don't own the games separately.'

Mark CaswellNick Roberts

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