When a game comes along boasting four billion sectors, more than a little scepticism creeps into my head (but that's nothing new!). There seems little point in dealing in such high numbers when there will obviously be little variety from the first to the four billionth. On the other hand, Mike Singleton, the man behind the game gained a large following with his giant Lords of Midnight adventures, so the return of the "giganti-game" may well repeat that success.
Your goal is to retrieve five "perfect solids" from around the four billion sectors or "eigenspaces" as they are refered to in the game. ('eiga' means 'eyes' in German. Is there some significance in that?) Luckily, these perfect solids are found in the same eigenspaces every game, and their eigenspace numbers are given in the instructions. So, finding where they are is not your problem, reaching them is.
Starting in eigenspace one, you are given a map of the sector which shows up the first stargate. You are now made to wait 30 seconds, perhaps for the computer to generate the sector, but whatever the reason, it would be a lot better off without it. Once the program is ready you can check out the baddies you will meet in the sector, spinning round in 3D before you. Perfect solid number one is not far way in eigenspace six. Travelling up to the higher eigenspaces is not as time consuming as you may think; timegates can take you millions of sectors ahead (or back) in one step.
Whirligig's graphics are strange. They are all drawn in solid 3D, but the game is played just as if it were 2D. If that sounds confusing, imagine a version of Asteroids in which the objects rotate in all directions, and you will have some idea of how it moves. Around the eigenspaces are a number of aliens that are pretty sedate, though can be very hard to avoid. They do not show up on the scanner at the bottom of the screen and give no warning before appearing right in your path. The control panel that houses the scanner can be toggled on or off to give better vision. The trouble with this is that without the control panel you find yourself getting hopelessly lost, and due to its excessive size it blocks out too much of the screen when turned on.
Some of the objects to be seen spinning around in space are impressively animated though a mite small. The sound effects and music do not come up to these standards; the effects being simplistic and the music annoying. More action or strategic elements are needed to give Whirligig real playability. Flying around looking at the aliens is pleasant for a while, but the uneventful gameplay and fiddly mouse control unfortunately spoil the great technical achievements that Whirligig certainly possesses.
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