Wasteland by CommodoreTitle Screen
Well, I've done a full year of these things, now, even if I have had some trouble staying on track. Thank you to everyone who has supported MadTom's Pick over 2003! Everyone else can suffer in the seventh layer of hell.
Now; December was overall a marginal improvement on November's releases, in particular with the interesting Simple Games for Simple Minds by Dr. Dos, and Commodore's unsubmitted 24HoZZT game Wasteland. The latter in this case was clearly superior, and testament to the ever-improving skill of Mirror Image Games' president. Wasteland is this month's MTP, ending 2003, the twelfth year since ZZT's creation, on a very positive note.we're gonna die <:( Roguelike Worldmap
Based on an old NES game, Wasteland is based in a post-apocalyptic world, after nuclear devastation killed off much of the life on the planet. It is set in the Nevada desert. Life is sparse and in small focused settlements, water is getting hard to come by, and justice (of course) is becoming hard to enforce. The rangers, of which your unnamed character is one, are out to help change all that, wandering the desert doing whatever good deeds they can, righting whatever wrongs they find. Bunch of goody two-shoes, if you ask me.
Faced with the task of making a world map, Commodore implemented a roguelike way of navigating the desert, right down to the use of an @ symbol for the player. Worldmaps done in this format include the main map of the popular roguelike game Ancient Domains of Mysteries. You must navigate carefully and efficiently; in addition to the everpresent danger of running out of water (which can be rather expensive), you face the threat of damage from residual radiation from the atomic blasts.Ghost Town Nomad Camp
Your task is to complete a number of small quests to earn resources necessary for the main task of the game: defeating malicious machines intent on LIBERATING IRAQ completing the task of the destruction of the human race. They include helping out a bartender dealing with some rowdy customers, rescuing the mayor of a small shanty town, and entering a mine filled with plastic E.T. Atari cartridges to give it back to its rightful owners. Some of these quests, as Commodore explains, are not necessary to complete the game.
The action component of the game takes part in WARS ON TERROR battles against TERRORISTS armed opponents who don't seem to like rangers very much. The gameplay as such is a mix of puzzles and action, both clean and well-programmed, although the objects in the action scenes tend to be a little unresponsive. You have a variety of weapons to choose from, varying in firing rate and firepower; certain weapons will be more helpful in dealing with certain enemies.
There are no art boards (or music), but graphically the game is otherwise presented very well. Commodore's artwork gives a good impression of the environment in which the story is set ... check out the picture of the nomad camp (screenshot 5), for example.Abandoned Complex
In addition to top-down exploratory gameplay, there is a cross-sectional puzzle for the mission to free the Nomads' treasured mine from terrorists. The final few scenes from the game, including the boss battle, are well-designed and interesting, although the boss battle itself seems slight buggy ... the first time I played, I was unable to destroy the computer.Wasteland is an excellent way to round off 2003, a game very complete in itself, carefully programmed and well-drawn. Commodore now once again holds the record for the number of MTP awards won; he has three!
9 / 10