It Came From The Desert, Amiga

One of my favourite Cinemaware games, It Came From The Desert is a satirical detective story based on 1950s sci-fi B-movies about giant ants and was first released in 1989.

In it you play Dr. Greg Bradley, a geologist arriving in the desert town of Lizard Breath in order to study the site of a recent meteor crash. Unfortunately radiation from the meteor has caused the local ant population to mutate and grow in size – to gigantic proportions. Which you (as Dr. Greg) discover early on in the game.

Initially none of the local residents or law enforcement take you seriously and your job is to convince them and organise a fightback. The game is played in real-time and you have a limited time (15 days) in which to defeat the giant ants before they start breeding and become unstoppable. You explore the local town and its many locations via an overhead map, plus you can use the telephone to speak to people in a hurry. Conversations with locals often reveal clues, some of which will lead to an encounter with a giant ant.

One-on-one you have a chance to defeat an ant by shooting its antenna, which you must do with the first one you encounter, but in large groups there’s not much you can do but run, which happens via an overhead scrolling section with you represented as a titchy character in the middle of the screen. If you get stranded in the desert you will pass out, but are always rescued and wake up in hospital.

It Came From The Desert is a fun and imaginative game. Many of the characters are distinctive and humorous. The game mechanics are easy to understand. There are also driving sections and flying sections. It’s a game that has aged well, is still fun to play, and is fairly beatable.

See also: Cinemaware Special

More: It Came From The Desert on Wikipedia

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