Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 77 / OCTOBER 1986 / PAGE 64

ArcticFox For Amiga

Robert J. Stumpf

A bolt of lightning shatters the darkness, momentarily joining earth and sky on the distant horizon. The tops of nearby ridges are burned into your vision, lingering briefly, to be replaced by the uncertain sense of barely perceived shapes all around. Inside, the dimly lit control panel and the flashing static on the useless radar display combine with the ever-present clanking and grinding of your tracks to echo nature's efforts outside. It's small comfort to know that the storm will also hamper the aliens in their efforts to locate and destroy your battle tank, the ArcticFox. As you grind on through the dark, you peer through the viewport at the world outside and try to find order in your occasional glances at the erratic radar screen, the ArcticFox moves slowly inward, from the entry point through the perimeter force field toward what you hope is the alien command center, which is even now directing all of the forces gathered against you.

Slowly, the storm outside begins to subside, and you head toward dimly seen mountains on the horizon. As the radar begins to function effectively once more, you pick up two alien units on the scope, bearing down from the north at a speed which could only be that of aircraft.

Quickly, you reverse to the left to help the gun move as rapidly as possible. This time, you make it with seconds to spare and spot the pair of aircraft just as your warning system indicates that your presence has been reported to the alien's command center. The aircraft are still out of your gun's range, but there is no time to wait—your primary mission is to destroy the command center, not to play tag with alien birds. You check your missile stores, then execute a quick launch. The radar display is replaced by a view from the camera in the nose of the missile. Except for changing direction, the ArcticFox's controls and your fate are now locked into the missile's flight guidance system.

As you guide the missile in toward the target, the aircraft roll sideways and begin to separate. A quick flip to the right, and you see your target looming large on the missile's screen. With a flash and a sound like thunder, one of them is gone. Now it's up to the gun, as the survivor swoops down on you. A little quick maneuvering with ArcticFox's restored controls, and you tense as the shells come toward you. A near miss, thanks to your maneuvers, and now your gun swivels to track your attacker. You press the fire button, and the voice of ArcticFox speaks with a loud roar. A direct hit, and now there are none. But much remains to be completed.

The foregoing action is an excerpt from ArcticFox, a strategy/action game for the Amiga from Electronic Arts. With 3-D full-color graphics and incredibly realistic sound (even to the track noises changing when you drive up a hill or over a destroyed enemy vehicle), ArticFox provides a very sophisticated Arctic environment of snowfields, glaciers, hills, ridges, mountains, and impassable crevices in the icy terrain. Over these barriers you must drive your ArcticFox supertank to fight against a legion of alien tanks, aircraft, rocket launchers, and reconnaissance sleds. Each threatens your mission, which is to destroy the enemy's command center. Time is crucial, since inside the alien's force field, oxygen converters are busily replacing the earth's air with an alien atmosphere. Your overall strategy for penetrating the alien defenses, and your tactical skill in maneuvering and fighting with the ArcticFox, will make all the difference.

ArcticFox contains a preliminary training scenario in addition to both Beginner and Tournament levels of play. You'll appreciate this. Practice is necessary, as both levels of play offer a challenge to your ability to outmaneuver the computer-directed alien forces and outfight them, if you must. This game combines lengthy periods of strategic maneuvers with fast and furious tactical action, and should appeal not only to those with lightning-quick reflexes and uncanny eyesight, but also to those with a taste for both strategy and action.

Electronic Arts
1820 Gateway Dr.
San Mateo, CA 94404