Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri – beautiful retro gaming at its tyrannical finest.
Sorry for the lack of posts after what turned out to be a chock-full week last week here at Alpha Signal Five.
See, I’ve started playing this game and it’s kicking my arse in the best way. Did you ever have that thing where you go to bed and stare at the ceiling, but all you can see is Angry Birds, or Tetris blocks, or spreadsheets for those particularly unlucky buggers who work in office jobs?
Well since I bought this game on Saturday, I’ve been seeing Formers, and Missile Penetrators, and yes – I’ve been seeing the unruly face of Colonel Santiago; mocking me with her cavalier attitude towards diplomacy.
I bought Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri for like, a pound, on gog.com, and ever since then it’s been tough going. Yesterday I went on a training course for work to help me with my time management skills, and while the nice lady talked about Time Robbers, and drawing a Prioritisation Chart, I had to really concentrate as hard as I could so that my mind wouldn’t wander off to the planet called Planet.
My word, is this an addictive game. Start off by choosing which of the seven (eventually) warring factions you wish to take charge of as they land on this new world, the last of Humankind wishing to accomplish their planetary goals – from the Despot to the Survivalist, the Academic to the Earth Mother. I went with Chairman Sheng-Ji Yang (Human Hive) – partly because his name was cool but partly so that I could get some sweet tech built faster.
Send out scout troops and land formers to create surroundings in which to build your first colonies. Then, as your forces develop and learn new skills, put them to use by pursuing your goals – be they academic, economical or…er, blowy-uppy.
As you begin to build (or destroy) relationships with the other factions, the whole thing turns into a big long game of chess which I can’t get enough of. Despite the fact that it’s rather an old game – released in 1999! – I’m surprised how much I love the gameplay and simple graphics.
I don’t know how I missed this game in the past, but now that it’s here, and for the good of my career, I think I need to control myself; show some self-restraint.
Sod it. I’m gonna play it right now. Obviously.