SIMULCRA is one of those games who's plote reads like a drunken gamesters hallucinations. You see, up there in the future, if there is one,w ars are no longer fought out on the battlefield, with people getting dirty, cold, and then blown into fleshy components.
Instead the interested parties boot up their copies of Populous X and wage war via computer. Well, not quite. They do wage war, but using simulated forces. Simulcraft, as they are known, are the basic instrument of destruction.
So what's all this got to do with me I can hear you asking (I have very large ears). Well, who would believe it but the computer running these war games has decided to get in on the act for real, by sending out simulcraft into the real world. It can do this because of the enormous energies contained within the system.
Er, yes. Alright, so it's a load of tosh. Don't blame me. I don't write these scenarios you know.
Anyway, what you have to do is this: Guide your very own simulcraft around the 30 odd levels of simulator land, destroying energy generators. These generators produce force
If you destroy all the generators everywhere then the computer packs up shop and turns into a vegetable rack. It does beg the question: Why doesn't the computer just create some more generators then, since it created the ones you are bent on destroying in the first place? I've no idea so you'll have to ask MicroProse for the answer to that one.
Once you actually get going the first thing you notice are the 3-D, /
Most of the time you are trucking along narrow, winding pathways, with a sharp drop into Nowhereville beckoning. Thankfully you can't fall off the edge. You just rebound from it. If you could fall off the game would be a nightmare.
It isn't though, and you can race along a tremendous speed blasting away at everything that flashes by. Of course you may end up at a section where there is no land area. At which point you leap into the nearest simulkiosk and whip out your wings.
If you also have jet propellant then you can take off and fly over to the next platform, or you can just zip around, strafing all the enemy positions up and down the matrix. What you must watch out for are the red energy barriers. Even while flying you can't get past them, and at flying speed your front shield will suffer a large fright if you run into one.
The other airborne hazard to beware of are the computers own simulcraft and planes which circle around like vultures waiting for an opening. Blast one as soon as it appears or it'll be perpetually sniping at you from above. Extra weapons and equipment to combat the simulforces appear phoenix like from the ashes of defeated installations.
There's ECM, homing missiles, energy boosts, shield replacements, radar and other stuff besides. In fact there really isn't any shortage of power ups as long as you keep on blasting everything.
On the earlug front Simulcra doesn't offend, but never rises very far above average. All the expected bangs and rattles accompany the action, and the obligatory tune does its thing to reasonable effect.
Although Simulcra isn't as puzzle orientated as Rotox, it is considerably faster, has impressive rotating 3-D graphics, is easy to play, and yet offers a 30 level challenge that will take some beating.
So I like it (which is surprising considering how notoriously tardy I am) and if you shell out the necessary dosh I believe you will too.