Greetings, ladies and gentlemen.
I'm considering covering artillery games in the next installment of Matt Chat and am requesting your ideas on this topic. What are your favorite entries in the genre? I wrote an article on this subject some years back for Armchair Arcade, but obviously I won't be able to go into that much depth in a 10 minute program. I'm trying to decide whether to focus on Scorched Earth or Worms, both important games in the genre for obvious reasons. William probably has some requests as well. I seem to recall he was a big fan of Smithereens!
Worms Armageddon is a quite brilliant game - in my view damn close to toppling Bomberman for best multi-player single screen game on any platform. Its hard to call which is better.
While looking at that type of game, a quick look at Death Tank Zwei on Saturn? Its a real-time version of an artillery game - up to 7 players go at it - not turn-based.
I'm trying to decide whether to focus on Scorched Earth or Worms, both important games in the genre for obvious reasons.
If I were you, I'd probably focus on "Worms," since it is the higher-profile game, and would result in probably higher ratings. Scorched Earth was a decent game, but probably is unknown outside of a select hardcore of gaming geeks.
The first "artillery" game I ever played was called "Pillboxes" for the TRS-80, circa 1981-82 (or whenever). The basics were there: you type in the arc and power of your shot, and your shot was plotted, graphically, on screen. You could then adjust your arc and power to aim your next shot. Not so much different than modern artillery games, and we had a blast blowing each other up.
I dare say that "Scorched Earth" wasn't that much of an advance. Yes, it had nuclear missiles and so forth, but it was basically the same game as "Pillboxes."
Worms added humor and approachability. It was a great game, and made an obscure physics puzzle into a family affair. Scorched Earth was more of the same, but "Worms" changed the genre. "Artillery" was a niche genre, but "Worms" made it a far more mainstream affair that anyone could enjoy.
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Why don't you consider doing two artillery games? Perhaps an artillery game on the Bally Astrocade/ColecoVision/Odyssey2/whateverearly and then one of the more sophisticated later takes, like a Worms (even the first Amiga version). It would neat to compare and contrast just a bit. Obviously the early style of games were simply lobbing projectiles back and forth, but a game like Worms added multiple mobile "launchers" and whimsical weapons and abilities. Both are fun, both are the same type of game, but both are very, very different.