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Review by: Pete Hines
Published: April 22, 1997
KKnD (Krush Kill ‘n Destroy) is EA/Beam’s entry into the ever-expanding market for real-time strategy games. While this game looks and plays a lot like some of the others (many people say it’s just another C&C:Red Alert), KKnD has features that set it apart from the rest. The game’s scenario is a battle between two types of humans who inhabit what is left of poor Mother Earth after a devastating nuclear war. Basically, everyone who survived either went underground and stayed there for 60 years of so (Survivors), or lived above ground and suffered horrible mutations as a result (Evolved). The Survivors are ready for some sunshine and want to reclaim the Earth for their own. Meanwhile, the Evolved think that humans have done enough damage to the planet already, and will do whatever it takes to keep the Survivors from exploiting it and messing it up again. The result is a lot of crushing, killing, and destroying.
Players can assume either role in both scenario or campaign play. Campaign play consists of a series of linear scenarios that players must successfully complete in order to eradicate the other guy. Scenario play allows players to choose which scenario they want play, although you have to finish one scenario to be able to play another. Scenarios in KKnD vary in their purpose and goals. Most require you to eliminate any opposing forces you may encounter, but this isn’t always necessary. Examples of scenarios include: rescuing a wayward scout (who always seems to get lost or in trouble), escorting a caravan of oil tankers safely from point A to point B, and protecting some of your side’s buildings from an eminent attack. The game supports multiplayer play for two to six players over a network. In multiplayer games, each player gets a small corner of the world and a handful of units to start with. From there, it’s complete mayhem and destruction, and let the best man/woman win. There are several options that can be used to alter the multiplayer game, including the amount of resources each player starts with, maximum tech levels, and a choice of 10 maps to play on.
Each side has a variety of units to choose from, both infantry and vehicles/animals. Units have varying levels of weapon range and rate of fire, accuracy, speed, health points, and cost. Some units fire devastating weapons, but have slow reload rates while others can fire rapidly, but are not very accurate. There are eight infantry and warrior units for each side, most of which require higher tech levels (via research) in order to be created. The types of units that each side has is reflective of their nature and background. The Evolved have mutated because of so much radiation and their infantry use is more simplistic, but still deadly, weapons in combat like bow and arrows, shotguns, and molotov cocktails are used. On the other hand, the survivors are more organized and “proper” and have snipers, swat teams, and grenadiers. Both sides also feature units that can fix damaged buildings and saboteurs that can be sent into enemy buildings in an effort to raze the structure and gain extra resource points.
The difference in each side’s philosophy can also be seen in the vehicle and animal units. Nine of these units are available for each side. The Evolved vehicles feature mostly animal-based units that center around the mutation idea. While they do have some “normal” units like monster trucks,oil derricks and tankers, the rest of their vehicles are things like giant scorpions, war mastodons, and giant beetles. In contrast, the Survivor vehicles are standard army-type units like tanks, all terrain vehicles, and flame throwers. Advance your tech level far enough and you will be able to construct air units and rain down destruction from above. You can’t build anything, however, without first constructing some buildings.
Buildings and structures play a central role in KKnD and are the foundation for everything in the game. While some scenarios use only a given number of units, the rest will require constructing and managing buildings. Some buildings, like oil rigs and power stations, are necessary to gain additional resources by collecting oil. Others, like Evolved clan halls, require blacksmiths and beast enclosures, while Survivor outposts and machine shops are required to build infantry and vehicle or animal units. Build an alchemy hall or research lab to advance your technology and increase the ability of your structures. Advanced tech levels allow you to build more types of units, usually more powerful and deadly. Repair bays and shops will allow you to fix any damaged vehicles and return them to new. Defensive structures, like rotary cannons and missile batteries, can put a world of hurt on would-be attacking enemy units.
Your game screen shows your current view, which scrolls in any direction as you move the cursor. Using the right mouse button allows for fast scrolling. Down the right side of the screen is a menu bar with icons that represent infantry, vehicles, or buildings. Click on each to see a list of items that are available to be built. Click on a particular unit or vehicle multiple times to build more than one. A little number will appear to indicate how many units you are requesting. If you click a button more than nine times, the number will switch to an infinity symbol and you will keep building that unit until you tell it to stop. Moving the cursor over a unit or building icon in the menu screen will tell you how much it will cost in resources to build it. There is a resource button that can be toggled on/off to display the current amount of available resources. If enough research is performed on your clan hall or outpost, you will see a small globe icon, which can be clicked on to see an overview map of the entire area. A high enough tech level will allow you to see both your units and the enemy’s units on the overview map. Now let’s take a look at how KKnD rated.
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