In Fallen Haven, the humans of New Haven, a burgeoning human-based outpost, have inadvertently become a single force in the upcoming war against the alien invading fleet of Taurans. Fourteen neighboring provinces have already been subjugated and all contact with the hated Matsusony-Laanson Corporation (MLC) has been vengefully denied by corporate leaders. Unfortunately, MLC is the only human-based entity that could possibly provide assistance. However, it's late in the mid-23rd century and New Haven is now paying the price for the cutthroat MLC's deadly excursion into the Tauran system a quarter-century before -- an abortive probe that ended with an impersonal exploration device's self-destruction. The explosion utterly destroyed a Tauran moonbase, along with untold numbers of Tauran scientists and moonbase personnel who had gathered to study the probe.
As the sole provider of space-aged war weaponry to the various Earth outposts located throughout the frontiers of space, the MLC now has a chance to repay the people of New Haven by spitefully withholding all assistance, thus leaving them to fend off the alien invasion alone. Why? Because it was the people of New Haven who stood as the only human outpost with enough strength and integrity to oppose the far-reaching, greedy, and monopolistic business practices of the Corporation. Now the defense of New Haven can only be accomplished through use of its own developed technology and manufactured weapons of war. Will it be enough?
Fallen Haven is played in both strategic and tactical modes, and offers a mix of turn-based and real-time action. The game features resource management (energy, credits and research) and technology encompassing six specific fields. You can choose either the alien or human forces to play, each with ten specific units of varying strengths and purposes. Gameplay is mouse-driven, with a variety of on-screen menu options to advance the action. Fallen Haven contains two campaigns, three difficulty settings, and more than 15 territories in each scenario.
Fallen Haven is a strategic and tactical game along the lines of Warcraft or Command and Conquer, where the goal is to gain control of the capital province of the enemy. The game is played in two modes: Strategic and Tactical mode.
In Strategic Mode you build your cities, increase your forces and advance your technology. Tactical Mode is where combat takes place. You can play the game either as a Human (fast units, average firepower, good weapon ranges, low armor for units and buildings) or a Tauran (slower units, high firepower, shorter weapon ranges, good armor for units and buildings). As Human or Tauran you must manage three resources: energy, credits and research. Energy is required to maintain the structures in your cities. Credits can buy structures and units. Research increases the technological level in different technologies.
From the Starting menu you begin a new campaign, choose the race you will play and the difficulty level of the game. Name your colony, click start and the game begins.
Each game starts in strategic mode with the two enemy capitals separated by neutral territory. You may also play the Last Hope Campaign where all the territory other than your home province belongs to the enemy. This campaign is, however, recommended only for the experienced Fallen Haven player.
Game play, Graphics and Sound
As the games begins you are in your capital city. There is a quick start tutorial in the manual to help you on your way. In fact, as much as I hate to say it, and as much as no one will do it, it is a good idea to read the manual thoroughly before playing the game. This will help to avoid defeat after defeat in the tactical section. Reading the manual is how I found out that if I don't use up all my fire power during my part of the tactical turn, my units will be able to defend themselves when the counter attack begins. What the manual didn't tell me, but the tutorial suggested I do, is how to build units. I figured it out fairly quickly, but was annoyed to be left on my own.
The graphics in the game are fairly pleasing. Everything is very "modern", maybe futuristic would be a better word. I found some of the buttons for the various modes were not intuitive. At one point I was to click on the "map" button. I clicked on the button that looked like a map but then found myself in the wrong view I was supposed to click on the button that looked like a magnifying glass (which in most games and applications means Zoom). Maybe I was a little unclear on what I was to do.
Movement can be a little annoying. Almost everything in the game can be done with the mouse except moving around the map. Here you have to use the keyboard arrows.
The first thing I did was to turn off the music. I think the zooming sound effect you hear every time you click on a structure would, in time, be grating.
Although long term strategic games are not high on my list of favorite computer games, in one way, Fallen Haven, with its limited scope, makes the idea of a strategic game more appealing for me. I can see getting interested in developing technologies designed to defeat my enemy before he defeats me. But here the very simplicity of the game reverses that idea. There is no depth to the technologies. If I did absolutely nothing the technologies advanced at a pre-determined rate. I could emphasize one technology over another, but why bother?
In general I found the game play to be fairly static. I always seemed to be very removed from the game and what was happening. I really didn't feel any stake in what was going on, or personally involved. The one thing that might of spurred more interest in the game for me would be to play against another player. Whenever I play against a computer I feel at a disadvantage. I am starting the game at one end of the learning curve while the computer is at the other. But in this game the two player option doesn't exist. Interestingly enough there is a screen capture of the Starting Menu in the manual that does show a two player option but somewhere along the line it was dropped.
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