Capture the Flag is a strategy game, where two teams try to capture the other's flag before the other team captures theirs. The game takes place on a large field, with various types of terrain. You control one of the teams; the other team can be either controlled by the computer, or by another human player.
The game is turn-based. During each turn, you can move each of your characters. Each of them has a limited number of movement points, so you can only move them up to a limited distance. Note that you move slower or faster (use more or less movement points) depending on the terrain you're moving through.
The playfield is divided into two sides, one for each team. Initially, you know what's on your side of the field, but the opponent's side of the field is shrouded in darkness. By exploring the opponent's terrain, you can uncover the terrain there (and hopefully find out where his flag is).
If you spot the opponent's flag, capture it by moving one of your characters onto it. However, if the opponent's character notices you snooping on his side of the field and catches up with you, your character will be sent to "prison" (which means that he's out of the game). Of course, you can do the same to his men that you find on your side of the field. Note, however, that if your opponent finds your "prison", he can free all his captured men.
Trying to avoid notice by your opponents is a quite important factor. You can choose various modes of movement: when you run, you are fast, but more visible; if you're crawling, you're hard to see, but very slow (moving costs you more movement points). And vice versa - you don't always know where your opponent's men are, although you know where did you see them last.
CGW's Chuck Miller said it all in his review of this tremendously popular shareware game: "Based on the traditional outdoor diversion by the same name, [Capture The Flag] pits the player against an opponent (human or computer) in an effort to capture the other's flag. The goal is simple enough -- capture the enemy's flag before one's own flag is taken. Unlike most wargames, Capture the Flag is primarily a non-violent offering with a brief learning curve. There is no death or destruction; no one is ever killed. Like its namesake, enemy players are captured (in a cute animated, cartoon-style scuffle) and sent to "prison," a waiting zone, where they remain for the duration of the game (or a set number of turns).
[The game] is very easy to play. Two small teams are deployed over an extensive battleground. Play is turn-based, each player moving his or her characters and assigning them individual commands until available movement points have been expended. The playing field itself is comprised of several well designed and varied terrain types, ranging from flat grasslands to forests, and even rocky badlands. In addition, a terrain editor is provided for constructing one's own battlegrounds. Graphics are of very good quality and provide an enjoyable gaming environment (the appearance is similar to that of a Windows-based product). Character animation during movement is smooth. Sound effects enhance the playing experience. The icon-driven interface is simple and very intuitive, so much so that what little instruction is needed for play is available through a built-in help feature. Overall, it is evident that care was taken in the development of this product, its presentation being of commercial quality." Overall, this is one of the very best shareware games ever made.
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