[Acorn Gaming]



Darklands is a new God-type game currently under development for RISC OS. The game is aiming to be something like an Acorn version of Civilisation, putting you in charge of humanity from its earliest conception right through until medieval times, featuring

  • Civilisation building
  • Technological advances
  • Resource gathering / using
  • Army building
  • Large battles

I've just got hold of a development demo version of the game. Unfortunately there isn't actually any game present yet - it's just a scrollable, unanimated landscape without any final graphics in place. It scrolls smoothly at a resolution of your choice, but that's about all there is to say so far!

[Darklands demo]

The full current gameworld map looks like the following picture, strange smiley lake included!

[Darklands demo]

The game runs on anything from an ARM3 upwards, although it's hoped that the final version will be playable on any 32-bit Acorn machine. It's not quite clear just how advanced the actual core game engine is yet, however! I'd guess that if much was written that it would be visible in the demo, so I wouldn't hold your breath for a release.

The game's due to retail at £20 on CD (or multiple floppies), and will come complete with a level editor and random map generation, as well as network and internet multiplayer support.

Older text:

[Darklands logo]

[Barn][Farm]Among the promised game features there will be the option to play set-piece battles from throughout time, and as time passes the range of items available for construction increases. From the late stone age onwards you can construct the farm building shown here, for example.


The author is aiming to make the game run playably fast on all RISC OS machines whilst supporting the better capabilities of later machines. Although the 'standard' resolution of the game is 640 by 480, it will run in 400 by 300 on ARM2 machines at a good speed - and it can run at much higher resolutions if you want, too.

The above screenshot shows an early development screenshot, but apparently the current version now has greatly improved graphics. Darklands features real-time gameplay with both civilisation building and resource harvesting - plus large battles! Music is provided via an integrated software MIDI player.

The game is due to retail at somewhere around the £15 to £20 mark.

...this page last updated: 9/4/01...
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Dark Future
Eat My Dust
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Toybox Dreams

Abandoned games
Darklands, Fantasia's ToyParty and VOTI's EMD have all reported signs of life in the recent past, whilst Skirmish is apparently still ongoing but is way behind schedule and it looks like it might well never make it out. TEK and Iron Dignity are still on the way, although again both are pretty heavily delayed. And as for R-Comp's port of F16 Fighting Falcon, it looks like it will never be released, having been killed by frame-rates that were just too low.

Full Tek review now online - finally!
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