Posts Tagged ‘Tommo’

Redline Review

Redline Featured

Redline Boxart

Developer: Beyond Games
Publisher: Accolade, Tommo
Platform: PC – GOG*

Were you looking for a hyper violent, ridiculously bloody shooter in the 90s? The market was simply saturated with this stuff! As such, it took GOG’s recent release of Redline for me to even realize this game existed. It appears Redline slipped between the cracks for many players out there. It’s a bit of a shame because the game is actually pretty fun as far as FPSes are concerned.

You start off in the dystopian future of 2066. At this point the world is completely destroyed leaving various factions to fight for supremacy. Without much rhyme or reason, you seek to join one specific gang to help them achieve victory. Doing so involves a ton of firefights over the course of 12 levels.

Redline Featured

Stages are pretty large and often this is to grant access for car use. Aside from running around on your feet as per FPS conventions you can also hop into empty vehicles and drive around. Crushing enemies with your car or utilizing its various weapons add some much-needed uniqueness to Redline. Weapons themselves are not the most creative on the block but do burst enemies into bloody bits.

There’s a bit of story between stages but nothing very enthralling. Visuals are also par for the course of late 90s video games. Controls also fit in with that time period which means they are imperfect. You can rebind them, but that didn’t fix my issue with mouse control. It seemed to not offer complete freedom of aiming which I had to get used to. Perhaps that was just a personal setup issue, though.

Redline will last you at least 3 hours with FPS and vehicular combat fun. It is not the best of its class, but certainly better than some of its bargain bin peers.


Score: 2

2 out of 5 alpacas


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BloodNet Review

BloodNet Featured

BloodNet Boxart

Developer: MicroProse
Publisher: Tommo
Platform: PC – GOG*

Ransom Stark is a New York native with quite the unique problem. At the very start of the game he has a fateful run-in with a vampire which leaves him as one as well. The only thing that is now stopping Stark from feasting on citygoers is an implanted nanomachine in his body that can stop his vampiric transformation – but only for a few days. Will he be able to find a cure before then?

BloodNet is one strange title. It meshes a cyberpunk aesthetic with classic tales of vampires. The city is fueled by technology, drugs, and a giant corporation known as TransTechnicals. Of course, the company is shady as is always the case with corporations in these types of stories. As Stark, you must investigate both in the real world and online to save yourself as well as others you’ll come to meet along the way.

The game could be considered both a point and click adventure and RPG, but most would probably just learn toward the RPG definition. Most characters have a lot to say and offer you quests. Unlike some games, the quests make a lot of sense don’t just sound like elaborate fetch quests (even if they are). This is thanks to the excellent writing. Some may find it drags on and on but I enjoyed getting into the strange world.

BloodNet Screenshot 1

Fights break out sporadically but you might have a hard time figuring them out. You see, there are NPCs throughout the city you can recruit to your team to add muscle, but that’s not all there is to it. You’re also going to want to fashion weapons from existing parts you have (and be sure to equip some to teammates as well!). None of this is explained very well and the fighting system is unusual as well. The player positions their team before initiating a strike, but then it takes on a turn-based battle structure.

The thing about BloodNet is that it’s very set in its ways but is unwilling to explain much of it to players. This goes for the narrative as well as the gameplay functionality. Because of that it definitely is not something you can just pick up and play. It’s a shame because there is a very unique world to explore but it will take most some real effort to get into it.


Score: 2

2 out of 5 alpacas


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Sid Meier’s Covert Action Review

Covert Action Featured

Covert Action Boxart

Developer: MicroProse
Publisher: Tommo
Platform: PC – GOG*

Sid Meier is still a pretty well known name in the gaming world thanks to Civilization and Pirates! But that’s far from the extent of his development history. One that seems to have been forgotten by many is Sid Meier’s Covert Action from 1990. Considering how neat it was, I can’t figure out why it doesn’t receive praise today.

The player assumes the role of a CIA agent (Maxine or Maximillian) and are tasked with uncovering criminal activities on a global scale. To be a good agent, you must discover clues and track down people before they can orchestrate their plans or run away. Interestingly, Covert Action utilizes two very different types of gameplay to make this all work.

First there is the information-gathering which primarily takes the form of wire-tapping and decoding documents. Decoding itself is a fun little minigame. You can take information to have it analyzed or see what your pals at the CIA have to offer. Gathering info often requires your agent to get into dangerous circumstances. Basically, they’ll have to infiltrate enemy headquarters.

Covert Action Screenshot

Checking out enemy buildings is where the game transfers to a top-down perspective. You must explore the many rooms of buildings and hopefully hack into their machines or open their safes. Enemies will meander about and even set off alarms if they spot you. Thankfully, a minimap lets you know where enemies are so you can get the upper hand.

There is a lot about Covert Action that seems tremendously intriguing. It does show its age and isn’t going to light up many modern gamer enthusiasm, though. Shooting is fairly clunky and hideouts always seem too vast and maze-like. Also, the reward of going to the beach after catching a crook is ridiculously hokey. Oh, did anyone mention the appalling artwork? Despite all this, I can’t help being lured back in for more Covert Action cases.


Score: 3

3 out of 5 alpacas


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