Released as part of SSI's "RapidFire" line of sci-fi games, Tom Reamy's Galactic Gladiators is a four-on-four tactical combat jam set in the 30th century. Armed with laser weapons and special powers, teams consist of more than a dozen species with different abilities. There are humans, Denebian Slime Devils, Wodanites with their Viking horns, mysterious Zorcons, and mutants with a killing touch. You can play on large or small maps on a variety of planets. After giving your team its orders, you wait for the slow Apple II AI to similarly brief its troops, and then watch as both sides go into action.
This system isn't without its quirks, since you might order your hero to charge the enemy with his vibro-knife, only to wear himself out attacking empty space if your foe had walked somewhere else. The choppy graphics and sounds are of the early Apple II school, comparable to Ultima II. They get the job done, as it's horrifying to watch your time-tested gunman blink and buzz as he's blasted out of existence. Its sequel, Galactic Adventures, features the same combat engine but offers more role-playing elements.
Early tactical combat game about humans and aliens duking it out with laser guns, melee weapons and special powers. Campy alien races included Viking warriors with horns, Denebian slime devils and space mutants with a killer touch. Much of the game would be spent watching the blinking words, "PLAYER TWO IS PLANNING HOW TO DEFEAT YOU."
Galactic Gladiators is a fun galactic sports game from SSI that unfortunately didn't do well in stores. More akin to a wargame than a sports game, Galactic Gladiators has a simple goal: survive in battle. You first pick a group of aliens, then lead them into battle with other computer-generated and controlled teams. If you survive, you gain valuable experience that will increase your chances in the next battle. The AI is competent, and you can also draw your own battlefields and make up little stories about the fights. Overall, a great game in every respect that is unfortunately starting to show its age... but hey, it was programmed years ago in BASICA :)
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