Full Metal Planete logo

INFOGRAMES £24.99 * Mouse and Keyboard

Apparently the board game of which this is the computer version, was in existence long before Stanley Kubrick made the film with the 'Full Metal' prefix.

It's one to four player strategy set in the future, where up to four spaceships have landed on a planet containing a plentiful supply of a precious metal ore. Every player wants the ore, so it's time to fight. The overall objective in the game is to blast off at the end of 25 turns with as much ore on board as possible.

The game is played in turns, and the first couple of turns are dedicated to deciding first where to land your spaceship and then where to deploy your forces, which include five tanks, two ships and two curious pieces of hardware. The first of these curios is called The Crab and this is the machine that collects the lumps of ore that are found on the surface of that planet and returns them to the mother ship.

The second piece is known as The Hen and this can not only collect and transport ore, but it can also build new pieces of equipment, so it can wander about picking up ore and turning it into pieces of hardware.

Movement of pieces during the game is restricted by two factors, the first and most important being the number of action points available at the start of the turn. Initially, each player only has five points so little can be done.

From turn five until 21 (at which point the player can opt to blast off if he wishes) the points increase up to 25, so a lot more things can be accomplished - like blasting your adversaries or capturing their pieces of hardware - especially if you have some of your points and have a bumper lot for the next turn.

Attacking your enemies is a curious matter: for starters, you must get at least two of your pieces in range - two hexes - and each piece can only fire twice per turn.

The second major movement factor is the tide. Each turn portions of the planet become either submerged or exposed as the tide rises and falls which can leave your pieces stranded and unable to move for at least a turn.

The winner of the game is the person (or computer player, of which there are six with varying levels of aggressiveness) who manages to survive to the end and also has the most ore collected and pieces remaining.


The planet is viewed from above and the graphics are fine: they could not be called outstanding, but they are functional for this sort of game. Forget about the sound: there simply isn't any.


With four players (any combination of human and computer), this game can get to be very enjoyable. Even in solo mode it's fun but after a few games the seasoned strategist will find it too limited to hold the attention. The single-planet scenario does tend to limit the lasting interest too: it's simply not big enough to provide variety.


A jolly nice, simple, tactical game that can be great fun to play- especially if you are lucky enough to persuade two or three chums to join in the fun. It's easy to get into in the first place, but the only thing letting it down is the rigidity of the set-up (the fixed number of turns, having only the one planet and so on).

Full Metal Planete logo

Infogrames' neues Strategie-Spektakel ist eine genaue Umsetzung des gleichnamigen französischen Brettspiels: Erzschürfen unter verschärften Weltraumbedingungen ist angesagt...

Doch bevor es mit der Buddelei nach den wertvollen Rohstoffen so richtig losgehen kann, sind erst mal ein paar Vorarbeiten zu erledigen. Nach gründlichem Studium der (ausführlichen) Anleitung wählt man Normal- oder Schnellstart (ohne Vorspann und Musik); dann erfolgt die Festlegung der Spieler mit Namen und Flagge. Bei den maximal vier Teilnehmern sind alle Kombinationen von Menschen und Robotern erlaubt, also auch ein reiner Demomodus.

Die Flagge, unter der man seine Schürfrechte geltend machen will, kann man sich aus einem vorgegebenen Menü aussuchen oder mit dem vorhandenen kleinen Grafikprogramm selbst entwerfen. Alsdann wird die Bedenkzeit für jede Spielrunde bestimmt und - der Countdown läuft!

Der Screen zeigt einen Geländeausschnitt des Full Metal Planete aus der Vogelperspektive und die per Maus zu bedienende Steuereinheit. Nachdem man an strategisch günstiger Stelle sein "Atomium" gelandet hat, geht es daran, die eigene Position auszubauen und so viel Erz wie möglich zusammenzuraffen. Dabei kommt einem nicht nur die böse Konkurrenz in die Quere, auch der Wechselei der Gezeiten hat auf diesem wasserreichen Planeten schon so mancher Mission ein feuchtes Ende bereitet.

Zu Beginn jeder Runde erhalten die Spieler einen Basiskredit von 15 Aktionspunkten: durch Aktionen wie Laden/Entladen, Beschießen eines gegnerischen Fahrzeugs oder Reparieren des eigenen Fuhrparks werden sie verbraucht; durch das erobern fremder Raumschiffe können zusätzliche Punkte erworben werden. Gewonnen hat derjenige, der am Ende der 21. Bzw. 25. Runde den Planeten mit den meisten erzblöcken und Fahrzeugen an Bord verläßt.

Das Game ist zwar kein ausgesprochenes Grafikwunder - die blau/beige Farbwahl ist nicht besonders glücklich - aber gemessen an vergleichbaren Spielen dieser Art kann es gut mithalten. So ziemlich dasselbe könnte man auch über den Sound sagen, wobei das Wasserrauschen, nebenbei bemerkt, stark an das Plätschern bei "Kult" erinnert (aber vermutlich klingt eben Wasser wie Wasser - besonders in Frankreich!).

Die vielfältigen möglichen Vorgehensweisen (aggressiv, defensiv, oder diplomatisch, wobei man ach mit Robotern Nichtangriffspakte schließen kann) sorgen dafür, daß keine Partie wie die andere ausfällt. Außerdem läßt sich der Schwierigkeitsgrad in weitem Umfang variieren, so daß es auch dem Experten nicht allzuschnell langweilig wird.

Strategie-Fans und leidenschaftliche Erzschürfer sollten also mal einen Blick auf den Metall-Planeten riskieren. (wh)

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Blimey! It's another one of those weird French games again. This time it's a conversion of a board game that people in Paris sit around playing all day in 'les puleek 'owses'. Sean Kelly put on his beret to check it out.

Full Metal Planete is a strange game. The main objective is to land on a planet which is full of metal ore, grab as much as possible and then leg it pronto. With up to three other greedy teams trying to grab the ore, it's not exactly a stroll round the terra firma grabbing chunks of tin.

Each of the players, which can be any mix of computers or humans up to a maximum of four players, takes it in turn to make a move.

Your first move is to choose a landing sight for your freighter, the second to deploy your forces and the third is when the fun starts. Your forces consist of a number of tanks, a tanker, two ships, a crab and a weather hen. The tanks and boats are purely offensive or defensive, whilst the tanker, crab and weather hen can all carry ore. The weather hen is capable of transforming ore into a tank, crab or pontoon.

The game consists of a maximum of 25 turns for each of the players. There is a time limit of three minutes to make your move, consisting of 15 'operation points'. The game is played on one of those hexagonal board designs and movement of anything across one square will cost one operational point, as will loading ore or unloading other crafts. Your points can be spent in several ways: putting your tanks in a better position, loading or converting ore or even attacking other teams of miners.

So, is Full Metal Planete a load of ore'ld tat or as good as gold?

Amiga reviewSean: It's really hard to pinpoint the attraction of Full Metal Planete. The first game I played was against just one other computer-controlled opponent and was, quite frankly, pretty dull. For the second, however, I made sure I had three computer-controlled opponents and it was here that the game really started to hot up.

The graphics are an accurate translation of the board game with that little bit extra thrown in, for example when you blow someone up or move around the board. All the menus are well presented and there are tons of options to choose from. Sound is essentially a collection of metallic clanky noises, with a chunk of music at the beginning. Nothing spectacular but perfectly suitable for the occasion.

In the initial stages you spend most of the time just placing your forces to the best possible advantage and possibly using your weather hen to create a few more tanks and crabs to expand your empire. From then on it's a case of fending off the attacks of the other miners as they attempt to muscle in on the ore near you, setting out to steal their ore or bashing them.

Attacking or even capturing the vessels of other miners involves a considerable amount of thought and organisation and adds to the fun. But strangely enough, it's a lot more satisfying when you have to plan just exactly how you're going to blow someone up, than simply hacking them down with a machine gun. It's also much more frustrating when someone else attacks you in a really obvious way that you hadn't noticed. Bit like chess in that respect, I suppose.

As I've already mentioned, I wasn't too impressed with Full Metal Planete at first. A few hours play, however and I was well and truly hooked. It's basically a strategy game, but it's so well presented that even the hardest of arcade nuts should find the game appealing.

The limit of 25 turns per game stops it getting boring and does give some urgency to the proceedings. Just as soon as I have finished writing this review, I shall probably go back to the computer and have another quick go (And another go. Ed.) - with a view to taking the screenshots, you understand - and I can think of no better accolade for a game. Stop

Full Metal Planete logo

Infogrames, Amiga £24.99

The Full Metal Planete of the title has got mining companies drooling throughout the galaxy. Cobra Steel has sent its very best pilot to grab as much ore as possible in the 25 days left before the Big Flood swamps everything...

2-4 players can take part in the scramble for valuable minerals, with the computer playing as many players as you want. Each player is assigned a flag, which you can design yourself with a built-in graphic utility. Following flag selection the strategy screen appears, showing a map of the entire world, 37 by 23 hexes. You must choose where to land your freighter, which cannot then take off until either turn 21 or 25. While landed you can control your units through the close-up screen - where all the attractive graphics are.

Inside your freighter are Destroyers (attack boats, tanks, super-tanks, and fixed turrets - your freighter has three of these). For these to destroy an enemy vehicle two of them must be within range of it. Normal range is two hexes, but super-tanks can reach three hexes - as can normal tanks on mountains. In addition if two destroyers get directly beside an enemy vehicle it can be captured, coming under your control. Moreover, destroyers can capture enemy freighters. If this happens that player is out of the game and you take over all his units.

There are also Transporters such as barges (which can carry four items across water) and crabs (two items across land). Transporters can also pick up the vital blocks of ore which are scattered across the world. But probably the most important vehicle is the weather hen (!). This can turn ore into tanks, crabs, or pontoons (to bridge rivers). It can also predict the next tide - crucial as high tides can immobilize your land vehicles, while low tides do similarly for ships.

The aim of the game is simply to have the most units of ore and vehicles stored inside your freighter (and any captured freighters) when you blast off. Actual gameplay is divided into 25 days, or turns. During every turn each player has his (or her) go (taking a maximum of three minutes). You have 15 energy points per go. Every action, from moving a boat one hex to turning ore into a super-tank, costs points. You can also save either 5 or 10 units of energy to be used with your next go.

Phil King I like a good boardgame, but I must confess I'd never heard of this (apparently very popular) French strategy game. Thankfully lacking the fiddly lead pieces and stones (honest!) of the boardgame, the computer version benefits from detailed graphics, plenty of options, and the fact that you can't cheat - so there are none of the usual arguments over the rules! Unlike most strategy games, FMP is surprisingly easy to pick up. However, mastering it proves infinitely more difficult. The computer players all have different strategies, although playing against friends is more difficult and fun.
Stuart Wynne Full Metal Planete is yet another boardgame conversion, and a strategic one at that. But easy-to-grasp rules, a rigid three minute time limit, and attractive presentation got even me interested. Pop-up, icon-driven menus make all aspects of the game easily accessible, and are much more fun than messing around with the lead pieces in the £30 boardgame! While simple to understand, the rules make for some very challenging games, the computer players providing tough and varied opposition. I'd say it was a first-class introduction to strategy, if that wouldn't put too many strategy-haters off. Instead I'll say 'it's fun for everyone' and leave it at that.