On the distant planet Chromos, the Drullian people fight the forces of Skynet-Titan, an AI out of control. The player has to lead the Drull armies to victory in several battles.
A turn-based strategy game. The screen is split in two, one half for each player. While the first player can move his units, the other can attack and vice versa.
There are 16 levels to play against the computer and another 16 for 2 player competitive play.
The planet Chromos has been taken over by the insane supercomputer Skynet Titan. In a desperate fight, the last Drullish survivors - the inhabitants of that planet are called the Drulls - stand against their overwhelming nemesis. Your task, as one of the last surviving generals, is to break through the enemy lines in order to destroy Skynet Titan once and for all.
The first thing you will notice when starting the game is that the screen is split into two parts. The left half belongs to you and your troops, while the right half belongs to your opponent, which can be the computer or (some might have guessed it) a human being. The combat system is simple but unique. While you can move your troops, the computer may assign its units to open fire against units in range. After the turn ends, you will able to attack with your units and the computer can move.
The first few levels may seem simple but this will change very quickly. Your army consists of ground, air and sea units, and you will have to use them wisely since you will be outnumbered in most of your battles. The AI is far from dumb, so you will have to use your mightiest weapon, the terrain. Every unit is restricted in the terrain it can move on. A hovercraft may cross oceans and swamps, but it will have to move around every hill. Your infantry will get blown away in open terrain, but they can hide in a forest or on a mountain.
On many maps you will find buildings like depots or factories which can be conquered with your infantry. These buildings can turn the tide in a heavy battle, especially because you may repair your veteran units. Every unit will gain experience with every fight it survives, so don't sacrifice them. It is wiser to retreat and repair them.
If you are searching for a challenging strategy title, Battle Isle is exactly what you are looking for. Unlike today's real-time strategy games, you will have to think carefully about every move, especially on later levels.
Unfortunately, Battle Isle has some problems. Its sound and graphics haven't survived through time as well as those of Dune 2, for example. But the biggest problem is the interface. You WILL have to take a look at the manual before you play this game or you will be lost. Once you are comfortable with the strange interface, you will hopefully enjoy Battle Isle as much as I did. Although it has some flaws, the challenging level design and fun multiplayer is really worth a try.
This download includes the first add-on for Battle Isle, which is a stand-alone game. When you start the game, the first multiplayer map is enabled by default.
You will find a detailed explanation on how to start the game in start.txt, which is included in the archive.
Part of the Battle Isle series
Battle Isle is a futuristic tactical wargame, the start of the series and a predecessor to History Line (a.k.a. The Great War). In fact, players of History Lines will be able to pick this game up in five minutes, because not much was updated for the WWI game. A lot of the information contained in the review of The Great War also applies here.
The age of the game shows when you start it. First, it will run in Windows in a DOS shell, but if your PC has a screen saver or power off feature, and you come back to your computer, the graphics get all messed up. Either don't leave your computer or play the game in pure DOS. :) There is no sound, and there is no mouse support. The manual suggests a joystick, so if you have one that works in DOS, great! Otherwise, you'll just have to use the keyboard.
On the main menu, you can start a campaign (only one is available) or enter a map code to 'jump' ahead to where you were. You can play aganist the AI, which is average for its day and age, or another human. Basically, player 1 plays on the left side of the screen and player 2 on the right. Each turn has two phases, Move and Attack. You give orders by moving the icon over your unit, holding down the 'fire' button, and pressing the arrow key or moving the joystick in the direction that you want -- each one has a different command. This interface is hard enough with a mouse -- with a keyboard, its slow and hard to get used to. Graphics are simple VGA shapes, although there is clear detail on what is what.
The game has longer replay value if you play against another human, but against the AI, once you beat the game, there is little incentive to go back to. One difference between this game and later ones from Blue Byte is that you gain energy in the form of crystals on the map, which you can to build new units or repair your current ones. This makes the game a little easier as opposed to later Battle Isle games.
Blue Byte deserves credit for making one of the first accessible, realistic tactical wargames. However, between the average game play, awful controls, and fair AI, this is a game that has not aged well. New players interested in checking out Blue Byte games should start with Battle Isle II or History Line, which are much better games. Only true wargame fans or people interested in seeing how the series started will probably want to play Battle Isle.
People who downloaded Battle Isle have also downloaded:
Battle Isle 2, Battle Isle 93: The Moon of Chromos, History Line: 1914-1918 (a.k.a. Great War: 1914-1918, The), Battle Commander, Civilization 2, Battle Bugs, Allied General, Civil War Generals 2
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