Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 61 / JUNE 1985 / PAGE 66

Sundog: Frozen Legacy

James V. Trunzo

Requirements: Apple II-series computer with at least 64K RAM, a disk drive, and a two-button joystick.

First, take equal portions of Star Wars and Star Trek, mix in a dash of mystery and the unknown a la Infocom's Planet-fall, and add just a hint of arcade action. Next, pour these ingredients onto a 5¼-inch floppy. Finally, boot the disk as often as you like, and enjoy for months one of the most entertaining and absorbing role-playing games on the market today.

Sundog: Frozen Legacy is a refreshingly different, graphics-oriented space game. It seems simple enough at first. You have inherited a serviceable but rundown one-man star freighter named the Sundog from a little-known uncle who has died (mysteriously). You have also inherited his obligation: to help build a colony for a religious group. You must establish the colony somewhere on the planet Jondd; find, buy, and deliver all goods needed for construction; and locate and deliver cryogenically preserved colonists who are being kept in warehouses in various cities somewhere within the Drahew Region.

But to complicate matters, you have no knowledge of trading, little knowledge of piloting the spacecraft, and the Drahew Region is huge. The designers of Sundog were ambitious, to say the least. The Drahew Region consists of 12 star systems with 18 inhabited planets—and those 18 planets are dotted with more than 900 populated cities.

Perhaps the most innovative aspect of Sundog is its liberal use of screen windows. The graphics range from excellent to adequate depending on which screen is in play (pilotage, tactical, on-land travel, etc.), but the windowing makes this program truly enjoyable to play.

Another nicety in Sundog is the variety of responses and interplay among the various people you meet. Bartenders can be very friendly when you are spending money, but curt when they feel you are wasting their time. Merchants (and even local toughs) can be bargained with, threatened, and so on, and each approach produces different results. This brings a feeling of individuality to your encounters and adds flesh to the body of the game.

Sundog allows you to save up to eight games on a disk and displays the status of each game (suspended, in play, or completed). You may, of course, delete entire games from the disk to begin new adventures. Written in Apple Pascal 1.1, the program handles its many sophisticated features quickly and reliably. Sundog is a game that can be played over and over again, even after the initial tasks have been solved.

Sundog: Frozen Legacy
FTL Games
7907 Ostrow, Suite F
San Diego, CA 92111