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  Review by
Phil King
(Norman Nutz)


Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!

Battletech --
The Crescent Hawk's Inception
1989 Infocom/Westwood Associates
By ?

Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the fifty first issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: June 15th, 1989).


Infocom, C64 19.99/Amiga 24.99


n the 31st century five stales are continually fighting for supremacy. As 18-year-old Jason Youngblood, you're still at school but instead of learning quadratic equation you're being trained how to be a Mech warrior, defending the Lyran Commonwealth. Mechs are massive military robots, armed to the teeth with lasers and machine guns, and piloted by humans.

Jason is currently based in The Citadel and as well as receiving various types of training he can stroll around the town (shown from overhead) and buy armour and weaponry from the shops. Mech training missions are completely free of charge, but combat and mechanical classes cost hard cash. His only income, however, is a small allowance so it's necessary to invest this in one of three companies (of varying risk) to make enough money for lessons to improve his basic skills.

Two mechs fight to the death

The first few training missions involve getting used to controlling a Mech -- there are three types with different abilities, but all are controlled in the same way. Either cursor keys or mouse can be used to control general movement, but once an enemy is spotted control changes to a menu-driven combat mode. Commands include WALK, RUN, JUMP and KICK (for booting a nearby enemy). Each of your Mech's weapons may be targeted on any enemy in range. When the command BEGIN FIGHT is given, the Mech moves where you told it to go and fires at the targeted enemies.

If Jason's training is successful, he can leave The Citadel and wander around the countryside between cities, killing enemies and recruiting friends to join him. In combat, these are controlled in exactly the same way as Jason.

That little blob on the road is Jason!

The simple overhead graphics are ill-defined and badly animated on both 64 and Amiga. Jason is a tiny blob which jitters around the jerkily scrolling play area. Sadly, gameplay is also extremely dull. Jason must wait between missions, just ambling aimlessly around the city. This is made worse on the 64 by frequent disk-accessing (every time you enter or leave a building). Interaction with other characters is virtually non-existent -- they usually don't even want to talk to you. If he's got some cash at least he can buy a few weapons, but whether his investments do well is merely a matter of luck.

Hours of play need to be put in to get anywhere in Battletech, but the experience is so uneventful, only a dedicated reviewer or RPG fan (like me!) could be bothered to persevere. The only pleasure lies in building up Jason's skills and later recruiting friends. Instead of being explosive (as claimed in the packaging) combat is dull, merely consisting of two or more Mechs firing laser after laser at each other. The shots don't even appear on the main screen. Instead, a small window displays messages and sometimes shows an animated Mech firing a laser. This is both confusing and distinctly unexciting.

Battletech is based on the RPG of the same name. If you're a dedicated fan of this you'll probably get some enjoyment out of the computer version, but I would prefer to play the real RPG with a few friends instead of watching a few splodgy sprites fire 'messages' at each other!

Atmosphere 45%   Atmosphere 48%
Interaction 30%   Interaction 30%
Lastability 50%   Lastability 58%


42%   Overall 45%



If you want a walkthrough, visit
Jacob Gunness
' Classic Adventures Solution Archive or
Martin Brunner's C64 Adventure Game Solutions Site

Battletech assorted screenshots

Some help with your examinations!

Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (20 Oct 2007)

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