Starcraft 1 – Multiplayer

[intro] I am not much of a gamer, more of a gaming-analyst, marketing analyst and game designer. I have played some games, Starcraft 1 (number 2 also of course) is absolutely one of the bigger ones in my past. I never finished the solo campaign, but enjoyed most of the time to play with friends … Continue reading “Starcraft 1 – Multiplayer”

[intro]

I am not much of a gamer, more of a gaming-analyst, marketing analyst and game designer. I have played some games, Starcraft 1 (number 2 also of course) is absolutely one of the bigger ones in my past. I never finished the solo campaign, but enjoyed most of the time to play with friends on multiplayer.

[/intro]

We played Starcraft together with friends in LAN. My friends are all IT-nerds so we just went about every weekend to one of the friends houses and hooked up our PC’s to the network. We are talking here 10mbit or worse networking with the old IPX/SPX protocol or in weekdays we played together after school via Blizzard’s battle.net.

I don’t consider myself as a good player, for one because I usually was the first one to lose the games, for another because I didn’t quite understand English as well (I am Dutch!) as I do now and third Koreans play awesome. We cannot compare ourselves to them, nor to the latest Pro Starcraft 1 eSport winners.

No this is from a time before eSports came into existence. It’s from the same time as Warcraft 1, 2 and 3 or Diablo 1 and 2. Or to take some other genre’s into account: Alpha Centaur, Civilization, Prince of Persia 2D and Lemmings.

All those titles I hear.. did you play those? Yes I did, but not to the extent that The Game Mistress would play them. She plays every game until they are finished. And if a game is really nice, she will try to complete any possible challenge in it as well, find every secret, complete all the stars.

We just enjoyed playing this game with each other and either group up against the PC or play against some other people on the internet, or free-for-all against each other.

One of my best friend even spend some good amount of time on playing around with the Worleditor for Starcraft 1 (SCEdit). He made interesting maps with scripting for both the AI (advanced AI) and to help us out (neutral bases, converter fields and the like). These maps were build upon time after time and had version numbers.

The cool thing about the game is that when one had this map installed on their copy of the game, the others would automatically download it when the game was being chosen to be played with.

Next to free-for-all and team-based games, there were also options for King of the Hill and capture-the-flag.
We played standard with the Broodwar expansion included, so we had the necessary extra’s.

In Starcraft you need to understand the priorities, especially on multiplayer. The first thing to do is to get resources. Resources in Starcraft are the blue or yellow crystals which is a sort of power or money. Also there is a sort of gas that can be contained and gathered which is another resource for specialised units. And next to that you will need a buildable resource that allows for more expansion, more units on the screen. How this last one looks like or is being built, really depends on which race you play.

The Zerg is a bio race. They grow or infect or mutate into creatures, weapons or resource machines. The Zerg have Overlords to expand their building capacities, the Terran have (supply) depots and the Protoss use Pylons. They all work slightly different however, the Overlords are flying life forms that can scout and later on be upgraded to transport units. The supply depots from the Terran aren’t much functional, but they can be submerged so that units can move over them. The pylons from the Protoss serve as a power network, making sure you can build anywhere in their power field.

Really everything in this game has its uses, his own advantages and disadvantages. I think the detail put into and all the time that has been put in to balancing all of the elements in this game is what is so amazing about it. It gives total re-playability time after time again.

For this review of some sort I am not going into the detail or the background of every race as that kind of information is plentiful on Wikipedia and would suit more for a single player review.

The fun fact of this game is that it has been played by so many people and is still so popular among many. This is because of the strategic effect. All the strategic decisions one has to make in this game, it can get rather difficult and complicated from a designer or analyst perspective.

But what do you do after that? That really depends what strategy you will follow, which strategy you have taught yourself to fulfill. This depends entirely on the situation you are in aswell. Where is the enemy? Do you know their location? How fast can you bring out fighting units? Did they attack you before you could get out defense or offense? Are you between two big enemies, then you perhaps have to use some time on defending your base while building your artillery in the same time. Does it have water between you and your enemy? Perhaps you have to consider battling by airships.

On the internet you can find hundreds of websites that tell you strategies from a lot of people that play the game and think that their strategy is best.

And nowadays with the eSports in mind, you will also find hundreds, if not thousands of videos of key-people playing this game and showing their strategies and techniques that you could apply for your next game against your friends.

After we finished school, playing games time reduced and interests shifted to other games aswell (Asheron’s Call 2 and World of Warcraft are big ones among them). It wasn’t until Starcraft 2 was about to come out that we played a game of Starcraft 1 again, even we two here at home. And when Starcraft 2 came out we played that with all of our friends from overseas again.

It has fallen silent for the moment though. Perhaps because there came new games out in between, or because we lost interest for a moment. But rest assured, there will be a time that we play this game again, because it is a game that has a top replay value.

Strategy games are fun, because they make you think with your head. You learn to make strategic decissions. Decissions that can make you win or lose. When you lose, you learn from your mistakes (in our case we had discussions about it and we endlessly checked the replays and the statistics), and then you try again and again and again, until you win.

I believe there has been a point where I won.. or at least where wasn’t the first one to fail.

So if you are up for a game with me on either Starcraft 1 or 2, I’ll gladly accept the challenge!

Game on!

Steven

p.s. if I said anything wrong, please correct me

Super Mario Bros.

[intro] Super Mario Bros was one of the first games I ever laid my eyes on. It brings back a lot of joyful memories from the time I used to play together with my father and my older sister. Especially when I had to blow the cartridge to get the silly NES to work! Super … Continue reading “Super Mario Bros.”

[intro]

Super Mario Bros was one of the first games I ever laid my eyes on. It brings back a lot of joyful memories from the time I used to play together with my father and my older sister. Especially when I had to blow the cartridge to get the silly NES to work! Super Mario Bros is a pearl from its time.

[/intro]

Console: NES
Release: 1985
Developer: Nintendo
Genre: Platformer

Story
The story in this game is quite simple. You play as the heroic plumber Mario and his brother Luigi ( when second player is active). Bowser has kidnapped Princess Peach from the Mushroom Kingdom and it is your job to save her! Sounds easy doesn’t it? Well guess what, Bowser’s loyal servants will do their best to stop you. So get your mushrooms ready, you are in for an adventure, guarantied with pipes!

Gameplay
This game offers eight worlds. Each world has four stages. The last stage in each world has a castle where you are lucky to find the Princess… oh wait..you find a toad saying: “Thank you Mario, but the Princess is in another castle”. If I was Mario, I would have gone home and look elsewhere for a date, lol.

So you have to traverse from each world stomping Goomba’s and Koopa’s and what not. The game design is simply brilliant for its time. Mario starts out as a tiny little Italian plumber, so if he gets one hit, he is dead. His primary offense is to jump on the enemies’ head. So stomp the Goomba and jump on the Koopa and use their shell as a projectile! Sweet! Scattered across each level you will find boxes with question marks, they are either filled with coins or power ups. And this is where the beauty starts.

Power ups help you along the way. Grab a mushroom to grow bigger. Now you can survive two hits, but it doesn’t stop here. You will get another cool upgrade ! The fire flower. This will transform Mario into a pyromancer. His suit will change from red to white and he can shoot fireballs with his hands. His enemies will get a pleasant time burning to crisp! It doesn’t stop here; grab a power star to become invincible for a short time. Warning: This doesn’t protect you if you decide to jump into an endless pit..

As mentioned above, the Koopa shell can be used to kill other enemies, but be careful! If the shell bounces back at you, you will get hurt. The physics engine is rather amazing for its time!
If you manage to grab a green mushroom or get a total of 100 coins, you are awarded with a 1-UP giving you an extra live (which is much needed). To make things even more interesting: each level has lots of coloured pipes. Some of these pipes you can go into (as a real plumber!), by pressing the down button. This will take you to a hidden room in the level. Keep your eyes open for hidden secrets across each level, they are truly worth it!

No level is the same, it can all differ from open fields to dark caves and from deep oceans to scary castles. The variety is great. There are even day time and night time stages. The gameplay is simple but fun! If you reach the end of a level you will have to jump on a flag pole. Get the right combination of the end time to be awarded a cool firework display! Warning at the upper right side of the screen you probably have noticed a timer right? If you are to slow the time will run out and then you die.

Music
I love the music in Super Mario Bros. Especially the water level music. There is a lot of diversity and the music doesn’t get boring. It fits very well with the overall atmosphere. The sounds in this game has become nostalgic on themselves as there are lots of references today back to the Mario series. Everything from a “pling” to the noise of eating a mushroom, to obtaining a mushroom or a 1 UP.

Graphics
For its time, the graphics were very good, if not great. Each level has its own cool design and theme with different scenery and there are enough different enemy models, so the game won’t get boring. For its time it was true eye candy and for the nostalgic lover it is still fantastic.

The good and the bad

Good:
A simple game to pick up
Fantastic music
a lot of variety in each level
Simple gameplay keeps the game fun but challenging

The bad:
Sorry Mario, but your Princess is in another castle….

Conclusion
Super Mario Bros is a pearl for its time with fantastic gameplay and music and the ability to play with another player kept this game fun! I love how you can use the Koopa shell to brake blocks or to kill your enemies (if not yourself). The powerups sure come in handy and there are enough hidden goodies to keep you busy. I have nothing bad to say about this game, since it was one of the games I grew up with. Nintendo have crafted a masterpiece which has been ported to all their consoles and many have been trying to recreate it as well.

If you have never played Super Mario Bros, well than you are truly missing something in your life!

Game on.

The Game Mistress

Roller Coaster Tycoon 2

[intro] Tycoon games have always been fun; one of the games I enjoyed the most is Roller Coaster Tycoon 2. Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 was the first simulation game I ever played on the PC. [/intro] Title: Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 Publish year: 2002 Publisher: developed by Chris Sawyer and published by Infogrames Platform(s): PC … Continue reading “Roller Coaster Tycoon 2”

[intro]

Tycoon games have always been fun; one of the games I enjoyed the most is Roller Coaster Tycoon 2. Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 was the first simulation game I ever played on the PC.

[/intro]
Title: Roller Coaster Tycoon 2
Publish year: 2002
Publisher: developed by Chris Sawyer and published by Infogrames
Platform(s): PC

Story
There isn’t really a story line in Roller Coaster Tycoon 2. Every level you select gives you their own little story and a main goal to achieve before a certain limit has been reached (date, VIP, target income, success rate etc), or you could get the goal to not lose the current minimal park rating. But you don’t always need a story for a great game. Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 proves this.

Gameplay
The goal in this game is to build a successful amusement park. You can select to do the missions or go into sandbox mode where you can create your amusement park without limitations.

Every stage has a special goal with objectives to achieve. Either you have to get a certain amount of people in your park before a certain amount of years, keep your park rating above a special number, or earn a certain amount of money (you get the picture).

To successfully reach your goals you will have to build attractions in your amusement park. The game offers finished built attractions that you can build in your property, scenery, food and drink stalls. Anything to attract customers but that’s not it. The thing I love about this game is that you can create your own custom ride. Just make sure you don’t build a death trap. Sorry sadists, but it is actually possible to kill people and that will negatively impact your park rating.

It is very important to keep your park rating high. To do this, make sure your park stays clean, the rides are quickly repaired and the prices are right. People shouldn’t be trapped in a path. Keep your park fun for everyone. To do this you can hire handymen, mechanics, guards and entertainers, all that to help to maintain your park.

This game has a built-in finance system. You can lend money from the bank if you struggle. But keep in mind that if you do you borrow money; you will to pay a high interest rate over the loan, once the month is over. You can also do some marketing for your park to get extra customers, but this is rather expensive. Also you are able to do research to get better rides or focus the research with this on a certain type of rides to get more development in that specific type of ride(s).

Another cool function is the possibility to buy land. It is very pricey, but advisable if you for some reason ran out of land (or you placed your rides clumsy, like me).

Keep a lookout for what the people think of your park. This can be helpful information, for prices, ride information and hygiene; no one likes a park filled with garbage and puke.

The gameplay is very addictive. I haven’t seen any bugs so far. I have however found the pay entry parks with free rides far more challenging, than the free entry parks. The interface in this game is SPOT ON! IT features a clean design with great overview. It is easy to access all the tools you need to make the park of your dreams.

Sound and music
I love the music in this game. You can choose yourself what music should be played on the various rides, giving you more customisation options. Personally I choose the more rocky versions! The sound effects themselves are very realistic; from people screaming in rides, to people puking (YUCK).

Graphics
Surprisingly, I got the game to run on Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit. With tiny graphical glitches, the game can run on new machines with ease. This game is looking very good for its time. You have a lot of detail on the rides, the stores, the people and the scenery looks excellent. I have no complaints about the visuals what so ever.

Good points
– Customisation of own rides is a real blast
– Friendly UI
– Great sound and music
– Addictive gameplay
– This game does a great job in simulating real rides
– Runs fine on Windows 7

Bad points
– Hearing people throw up, can turn my stomach.
No seriously there are no bad points.

Conclusion
Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 is a fantastic simulation game. The game offers you a lot of challenges. If you get bored with the challenges, you can always design your own park at your own pace. It is wonderful to see such a bug free game. It even runs on the newest operating systems, without any difficulties. If you are a big fan of the Tycoon game series, than this is the game for you!

Game on!

The Game mistress

Asheron’s Call 1 and 2

[intro] Asheron’s Call 1 was my introduction to the world of MMO’s. A friend of mine had an account and played with a group of people a lot. Learned to know a lot of friends from over the whole world because of that game. [/intro] After Asheron’s Call got a bit older, Turbine and Microsoft … Continue reading “Asheron’s Call 1 and 2”

[intro]

Asheron’s Call 1 was my introduction to the world of MMO’s. A friend of mine had an account and played with a group of people a lot. Learned to know a lot of friends from over the whole world because of that game.

[/intro]

After Asheron’s Call got a bit older, Turbine and Microsoft produced a second game, Asheron’s Call 2. Microsoft sold the rights for both games back to Turbine, so now Turbine was the only party trying to earn the money. Asheron’s Call 2 gave me a great feeling of the MMO games genre and I really enjoyed the community, but then unfortunately it got shut down in December 2005, because of reduced player base.

Some groups of people tried to reverse engineer the client and server data and managed to get a somewhat basic version of the game to resurrect. That version I also played a bit with (single player basically without music and much functionality). Between Asheron’s call 1 and 2 I played older games (Ultima Online) and some of the at that time newer ones.

Return of Asheron’s Call 2?
Today it was announced on the forums of Turbine that Turbine had brought one server of Asheron’s Call 2 back online! That’s great news for fans like me. It’s also great news that I finally can show my girlfriend and perhaps others (via YouTube) that what made me love this game so much.

The server is Dawnsong and the game is in beta as lot of things have to be fixed or optimized (also think about that it was Windows xp back then and now we are having Win7 or Win8 and not all old games do run any longer because of that), so that players have to know that the server can crash or get downtime because of maintenance.

The only requirement for now is that you have to have an active Asheron’s Call 1 subscription. So I suppose I will re-subscribe again just for that! They also said that players who want to register for a new account, will also be able to join in on the fun. Unfortunately there won’t be any old characters, they have made a clean start with a new server.

The resurrection of the game is a good thing for the amount of players that have been wishing for this game to return. It’s also good for Turbine itself, the requirement will make sure they get some subscribers back to the old game as well. If Turbine in the future would make this game available for non-AC1 subscribers, but with an item shop, then perhaps they will get their income that way as well and more players towards the game.

If you want to try it out, please go to their forum announcement page for more information:
http://forums.ac.turbine.com/showthread.php?t=57257
or download the client straight away.

Otherwise, I’d like to talk a little about Asheron’s Call 2 here, as perhaps many of you have no clue about the very existence of this game and why it was a great game (at the time).

Well for one it was a great game because it managed to give us graphics on the screen with moving grass and beautiful colours and gradients and textures. After Asheron’s Call 2 shut down, there came several MMO’s that didn’t come close to the level of detail of Asheron’s Call 2. Not until now with Guild Wars 2 and the earlier Rift and Aion, that I felt that they had neared Asheron’s Call 2 on graphics level.

But Asheron’s Call 2 has something that other games still don’t have: Seasons. I am not quite sure about spring and autumn, but summer was sure colourful and winter was sure frozen and snowy! How would that play out? Well there are places in the world of Asheron’s Call 2, where there is water flooding roads, rivers, lakes etc. These water places became ice.
Perhaps this feature isn’t active yet in the current demo, but it will surely come back at some time.

I wasn’t really a hardcore player (and still aren’t), so I can’t tell you about all the inns and outs of this game, but I can tell you just those things that made this game fun for me.

I believe I did once max out a character, but never went up all the way with the Hero skills. Also the later expansion of the game I never played. Had bought it and planned to play it, but I never came round to it.

Story
As the world was rather doomed at some point after Asheron’s Call 1 (Cataclysm tic event), the great wizard “Asheron” made vaults in portal space to protect his people from it (shelters). Asheron’s Call 2 starts about 300 years later where (I suppose your children or children’s children etc) go out of their hiding places, listening to the “call” to return to the – now restored – world and reclaim it.

The three races were still present but next to them there were also other (and perhaps more powerful) races trying to reclaim the land.

Gameplay
You chose a race and entered the world. You can choose from Isparians (humans), Lugians (sort of tall and big blueish race) and Tumeroks (a race that was closer to nature and have a tail).

At the expansion, which I never got to play, two more races were added: The Empyreans (the mages of the same race as Asheron himself) and The Drudges (monster race).

Each race was limited to a certain amount of classes. These classes(professions) were chosen at level 15, so until then you just have your basic skill set and basic weapons. This game still had the holy trinity: damage dealers, tanks and healers.

In the game there are several information stones available that show you where to go next or how to do certain things in the game. Later on I managed to basicly ‘see’ similar stones in the real world and thought I was in the game.
Levels were gained by completing quests and other activities. Quests could come from scrolls that were dropped by monsters, given by NPC’s or in some cases were connected to objects or certain appearances. There are also temples in the game that tell you a little about the history to the world, which also gave a serious amount of experience. Otherwise simply ‘grinding’ kills yields xp.
Items you didn’t want to use any longer could be ‘sold’ to gold immediatly at picking them up from the ground or inside your inventory, eliminating the need for merchant NPC’s.

The game might feel a little empty as houses in towns are simply blocks of with textures on top of them and there are nearly no NPC’s in towns. This has made me feel a little empty at times and I always wished for that the developers would do something with that. But on the other hand you didn’t need those NPC’s either.

Crafting
Crafting was entirely done by the interface. Bonus buffs were given by crafting at the various crafting stations ( you had to fuel them though for the real bonus) and materials could be gathered in the world.

Gathering raw materials such as mining ore was first done with special places where you could mine ore, but was later removed to be replaced by the Crafting 2.0 system where materials were instead ‘found’ with a map system where you had to walk in certain directions. If you have played World of Warcraft’s archaeology profession, than you get a feeling of that type of play aswell.

I am now not even sure anymore about how other items were obtained or how crafting was done exactly, but I believe you could improve items or craftings by adding a special rare item that was found on monsters (droprate).
Each class chosen, had three different trees of skills, which could be upgraded over the levels.

Generally I can say that Turbine always tried to get the best of other MMO systems and leave alone the bad things.

This game has guilds in the form of Allegiances. This is what had me mostly occupied, I was first in a guild lead by a Dutch friend from Asheron’s Call 1, but later when he quit, I joined an US server where I found a friendly guild. Most of the time I spend chatting in game with the guild and I even became an officer. I wrote the website for that guild and we wrote a special quest system on the website for an in game contest we held with screenshots. The Allegiance had a special ranking system where you were ranked as in a Pyramid game by patrons and vassals that provided XP through the chains upwards.

Items in the game were droppable on the ground. You could that way trade give items to others. Loot was also gained that way.

Monsters could group up with each other which made crossing certain area’s really challenging. For guild meetings there were special private instances available. Quests could be redone after a certain time period, unless they were designed to be one-time only. The game had also a form of mounts available, which I enjoyed very much as well.

Every race had very unique classes to choose from. I enjoyed playing mage the most, as I have as well in other games, but I also enjoyed playing a Tumerok healing and supporting others with buffs, drumming away on a drum or as a Lugian placing turrets that shoot your enemies down.

There was some form of PvP in the game which was called Factions. There are three factions available in the game: -… Certain areas in the game were contested territory, which means so much that players of other factions could kill you there. The kingdom points earned by killing other players were used in a special Kingdom versus Kingdom skill system and by raising KvK buildings.

(Live) Events
One of the more added value features was the fact that Turbine always actively changed the world with new storyline and special events. Especially its previous game Asheron’s Call 1 was famous for that and that was being continued in the second game. New storyline added more things to do, more storyline to learn about the world and often new features added to the game. Sometimes live events were being held where game masters would join the server to steer with attacks of monsters on players and the like.

Music
And another big feature in this game was the music. The music was designed to be dynamic. Music patterns were most likely sent by the server and changed upon dynamically. Each monster type had a different set of songs. These songs were added to the game music to get an extra effect that you were nearing another monster. During battle, music got more and more exciting.

Music was also used for a RPG styled thing, playing instruments. Although the newer Lord of the Rings Online has a redesigned system of that with instruments that can literally played by the use of the keyboard, Asheron’s Call 2 used music sample sets that could be recalled by using special chat commands (music1, music2 etc). These sets could be played solo or together with others. It was designed in such way that any music sample could run with the others.

Graphics
The graphics did look simply amazing for that time, and they still do to be honest. Waving grass, some sort of coastal wave on the water, clouds forming and disappearing dynamically, sunsets, rain, dark nights. The style in the game is cartoonish with a nearly photographic detail to things such as the paths you walk over.

I have loved this game very much. I am very very happy it has gotten back in business. This simply means that I can play it soon again and figure out all the stuff that I couldn’t write about because I simply forgot the many elements of this game. So you could expect another article of me here about this game soon.

Game on!

Steven

Warcraft: Orcs and Humans

[intro] A long time before there was World of Warcraft, there was Warcraft. Warcraft 1, 2 and 3 are all preceding stories that have been used in creating the MMO World of Warcraft. My Blizzard or Warcraft experience started by playing Warcraft 1 and 2 back in 1997, three years after its launch. [/intro] Title: … Continue reading “Warcraft: Orcs and Humans”

[intro]

A long time before there was World of Warcraft, there was Warcraft. Warcraft 1, 2 and 3 are all preceding stories that have been used in creating the MMO World of Warcraft.
My Blizzard or Warcraft experience started by playing Warcraft 1 and 2 back in 1997, three years after its launch.

[/intro]

Title: Warcraft – Orcs and Humans
Publisher: Blizzard
Year: 1994

I got it from a friend who had the game and had played enough of it. I started playing the game on the pc of my parents at the time (1996). I loved strategic games in general (board games mostly and a bit of Dune) and this one just seemed to have been made properly.

I am not going to discuss whether the concept of this game might have been stolen from another or not, but I will just review how I experienced that game at the time that I got to start playing some PC games.

The producer
Blizzard at the time (1994) figured out there were way too little RTS games (only Dune at the time) and produced this little game without much story or music for the RTS genre.

Story
The Warlocks and Orcs from Draenor figured out how to open a portal between Draenor and the world of Azeroth in search for better food and goods. By going in small trips they recovered good food and figured out that the Humans were rather defenseless. At a later point they almost got defeated as the humans had developed strategics and strong units to fight the Orcs.
They reorganised their way of war with strategics and so decided to go back to Azeroth to raid and defeat the humans.

Gameplay
The main and obvious objective in this game is survival and battling with the Orcs that keep annoying you.
To be able to survive you will have to build forces and to be able to build forces you will have to gather resources. These resources can be found on the map around you, but since the maps are random generated in its specific style (forest, swamp, dungeon), the mine for gold and the forests for wood will be every time on a different place. It could be right outside your camp or a kilometer away from you. This ofcourse opens up for the risk of losing your peons while you are trying to gather resources on occassional passing orcs.

To build more units that can help you build or defeat Orcs, you need to build more houses to provide in a resting place and their food. Building houses and humans/orcs cost you resources. To be able to build houses, you need to have a path that your units can walk over. This path needs to be build aswell.

The workers/peons can do everything, so no teaching them in this luckily, but they are not able to attack. For attacking you have to have units from the Barracks that you will have to build still. The barracks can train warriors and knights.

As for upgrades you could upgrade total health, armour and offensive effectiveness through a special upgrades building.

Compared to modern RTS games, this game seems to have been one of the more difficult and challenging RTS games as the Orcs seemed to be coming for you nearly non-stop.

The missions usually had some sort of objectives such as gathering a certain amount of resources, building a certain amount of units.. but mostly it was about beating the Orcs off the map.

Next to barracks you can also build other buildings for creating casters, archers, mounted warriors aswell as catapults. Towers can also be built to defend your settlement and you could even build walls around your city, which is a unique feature for Warcraft 1, not seen in its followers.

Graphics
Although very simple, the interface was well done. It had buttons for every little thing, you saw small icons for tools, building, commanding and avatars for the different characters in the game. Also health of each unit was displayed in a simple way. The menus are clear, but simple.

Animations for the characters in 2D are tile based, but surprisingly do look so well in this game. This game uses more than just the basic 16 colour schemes from that time (was it 16 bit colours?). Much detail was put in all the objects in the game, whether that is houses with gardens, buildings for producing your peons or warriors or the visuals of the world around you.

All characters and objects in the game have some sort of static shadows, which looks very well for an old game.
The map you play is always covered in a mist-of-war, which reveals the map as soon as you explore it. Every map is randomly generated, so every time its a unique experience.

Sound & Music
I think that the music was one of the things I did enjoy much aswell. A real war action styled music using the synthesizer of the PC’s soundcard. That what amazed me more at the time was that every character was voiced with simple shout-outs. “Yes” “Yes, my lord” “My Lord?” “Work Work” and the even more funny one when you clicked too often “Stop poking me!”, which by the way have been used in all following Warcraft (including World of Warcraft) games.

Every press of a button in the interface, scrolling through the menu’s or the animations of the characters mining, battling with orcs and chopping wood had a different sound.

The good and the bad

Good
– fantastic graphics, half isometric
– however simple, good music tunes
– much humour in the sounds and emotes of the little warriors and peons

Bad
– a relatively weak story, if you compare it to its later versions

Conclusion
I can’t say that the story was very good, but at the time I wasn’t that good at reading and understanding English, so I simply didn’t care. I cared for the RTS gameplay which I loved so much. Warcraft 1 was the first PC based RTS for me I think and started me up for the genre to play more RTS games. Warcraft 2 and 3 followed and also Starcraft 1 and 2 with all expansions included ofcourse.

For its time, the graphics were great, the animations even better and I loved the different sounds every peon/human made when you clicked them (too much).

I really loved this game and I still do. Warcraft 1 set the beginning of a rather long journey for me as I also played Warcraft 2 and 3 with its’ expansions and ofcourse I have played World of Warcraft (upto and including Cataclysm).

Below a video of Warcraft 1 gameplay, which I didn’t make myself, but at least shows you the gameplay elements very well:

Otherwise I would suggest you to check HuskyStarcraft’s video: