[Acorn Gaming]



Additional news, January 2001 - work has been on hold for some time due to a combination of personal reasons, but the game might still be released sometime this year, perhaps summer time.

18th August 1998
Brand new Acorn games creation group Kindred Software are hard at work on various releases, including a port of a well-known 16-bit game. Their first release, however, is looking likely to be their superb new Worms-type game, Skirmish.

[Skirmish's title screen]
Skirmish's title screen, shown 3/4 actual size

Skirmish uses a large 640x480 resolution screenmode, meaning that all the graphics can include lots of detail - and they do. The game environments consist of lovingly drawn landscapes, which have beautiful parallax scrolling as you move your snake-like characters around them. Unlike other Acorn games of this genre, this one is based on a powerful graphics engine which can cope with large screens, the parallax scrolling and lots of flying, exploding projectiles! It also throws up massive animated 3D vector-graphics of weapons as you select them, which really adds to the excitement as you play the game, giving a sense of pace and power. Clearly a huge amount of effort has been put into the presentation of this game.

[Skirmish - desert level]
Desert level, shown 3/4 actual size

The characters and active objects on these landscapes are drawn in a happy cartoon style so as to distinguish them easily from the backdrop, and to ensure the throwing of missiles at characters is purely comedic, as can be seen in these screenshots.

The attention to detail even extends to the mouse pointer, which swings, stretches and flies about happily as you play the game, but it is perhaps the embellishment of weapon selection which is the most gratuitous decoration, albeit a very welcome one!

[Skirmish - weapon selection]
Weapon selection, shown 3/4 actual size

Like all games of this ilk, it really comes into its own when you play against other humans rather than computer-controlled players, and Skirmish offers the option to play with several people at once.

Skirmish is under continuous development, and no release date has yet been announced for it, but it is certainly intended for release sometime in 1998! Work is far enough in that it seems definite that it will be released at some point, and therefore not joining the ever-growing scrap-heap of half-written abandoned Acorn games! It's also nice to see a new Acorn games team producing some software.

[Skirmish - player choices]
Who's going to play? (Shown 3/4 actual size)

As yet Kindred Software haven't made any decisions about how they are going to publish their software, although it is possible that they will publish it directly themselves.

...this page last updated: 5/2/01...
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Dark Future
Eat My Dust
F16 Fighting Falcon
Iron Dignity
Super Snail 2
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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©Gareth Moore 1993-2003

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