Realtime Software‘s classic Carrier Command is an early real-time strategy game that first came out for the Amiga and Atari ST in 1988 through Rainbird Software. In it you control a futuristic aircraft carrier battling for domination of a group of islands with an AI-controlled enemy carrier.
Strike Fleet is a naval combat simulation developed by Lucasfilm Games and first published by Electronic Arts in 1988. It is the unofficial sequel to the game P.H.M. Pegasus* and it received rave reviews at the time of its original release. * = You can even take control of a Pegasus class craft if you want, which is a classy nod to the game’s predecessor.
P.H.M. Pegasus was developed by Lucasfilm Games and first published by Electronic Arts in 1987. It is a naval combat simulation where the player uses helicopters, convoy ships and hydrofoils to patrol and survey the sea, to clear areas of enemy forces, and escort friendly ships through risky waters.
The ZX Spectrum conversion of Realtime Software‘s classic Carrier Command is arguably even better than the 16-bit originals. Mostly because it’s been tweaked a little to accommodate it on the humble Speccy, and as a result it plays really well as a strategy game, with extra action elements. Carrier Command on the Spectrum is for 128K machines only and was first published by Rainbird Software in 1989.
Written by Pete Cooke and published by Firebird (as a £1.99 budget game) in 1987, Brainstorm is a clever puzzle/strategy game where the aim is to draw lines using a pointer in order to make a bouncing ball travel over coloured sections of the screen, to accumulate points.
ActRaiser is an interesting Japanese fantasy action game that was developed by Quintet and published by Enix on the Super Nintendo in 1990. It has side-scrolling, platform-based hack-and-slash sections, with an interesting overhead ‘God game’ component.
Monkey Puncher is a bizarre animal-based strategy game developed by Atelier Double/Taito and published by Event Horizon Software in the year 2000. In it you must train a monkey to become a successful boxer by showing him how to train, by feeding him food, and by praising him when he does good. You don’t actually control the monkey itself, but instead you devise a plan to increase its statistics in the hope that it’ll win matches.
Initially released for PC MS-DOS in 1991, Sim Ant (aka SimAnt) is a video game that simulates the life of an ant colony. It’s a game that has fascinated me since I first played it, in the same way that watching a real ant nest – or documentaries about ants – fascinates me.