Leaving the simple, if not deadly, life of Hen-House Harry behind us with Chuckie Egg, we step into the world of futuristic warfare with our next instalment in the Your Sinclair Top 100. Sailing in at No.#12 is Carrier Command from Rainbird.
Carrier Command arrived on the ZX Spectrum back in 1989, programmed by Realtime Games Software Ltd who in this case where Andrew Onions, David Lowe, Derrick Austin and Richard Hewison. It was released across numerous machines in an impressive solid 3D format, all except the Commodore 64 which was given a 2D top down view.
Set within the near future, a highly advanced computer controlled aircraft carrier has fallen into the hands of terrorists and they’ve begun to colonize the archipelago islands for their own personal gain. It’s now down to you – in your not so advanced carrier – to not only claim these new islands for the greater good, but to seek out this terrorist held ship and send it straight to the bottom of the ocean. How you play the game is up to you – either straight out action where both sides already have a number of islands, beginning in the middle of the map so you have more chance for combat, or strategy where you start with a “Home” island at either end of the map.
Carrier Command is truly an achievement of a game on the ZX Spectrum. Still now looking at it you can’t help but be impressed looking at these solid 3D graphics, along with the gameplay (when you get into it), and all delivered on only 128K. Though the motion of the cursor is a drag, and most of us now are used to tooltips as we float over icons, still the UI too is impressive. The issue I have with Carrier Command is this type of game really isn’t my bag. Like Flight Simulators when the manual can also be described as novella I honestly tend to shy away from games like this. I like to learn games on the fly, or if there is “Lore” involved I will seek it out in-game, or these days I also like to search it out further online, even in a released novel if I’m that into it; but I don’t want the actual instructions to be the book!
If you like games of this ilk, then Carrier Command is clearly something that will keep you enthralled for hours, however I don’t.