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Review by: David Laprad
Published: August 23, 1997
Do you like to blow things up? Of course you do. With this in mind, it’s time you tried a new game that allows you to blow things up real good! No, it’s not a first-person action game using cutting-edge technology, or another clone in the endless parade of Command & Conquer look-alikes. It’s a turn-based strategy game called WarHeads. Before you hit the back button on your browser in search of a real-time fix, know this: WarHeads is great fun. If you pass on this game, you will be missing out on a highly entertaining and action packed experience.
The concept of WarHeads is simple. The game is loosely based on classic artillery games like Artillery Duel, Tank Battle, Scorched Earth, Dome Wars and, more recently, Ocean’s Worms. The action takes place in space, with each round consisting of several planets and various ships, controlled by either human players or computer opponents. Each ship is equipped with a massive array of weapons and defenses to aid in battle, and players take turns trying to blow each other up. The longer a ship survives, the more points and money that player accumulates — simple as that.
Players can purchase one of five defenses: repel, bounce, shield, absorb and evade. These can be exchanged during gameplay to reflect new strategic situations. For example, if a nearby enemy has his or her sights on you, selecting a bounce defense can return the package to sender. Every player is allowed to select a defense before the first offensive move is made.
Bigger and more powerful weapons can be purchased with the money you collect from the playfield, and earn from destroying other ships. The weapons, including napalm bombs, heat seeking, planet piercing, planet walking and orbital death, are highly inventive and also intended for strategic use. For example, assume an enemy is situated on the other side of a large planet. Maneuvering a projectile weapon around the planet can be a tricky proposition. No problem. Launch a surface fire through the center of the planet and it will emerge on the other side and set up housekeeping with your opponent! Many of the advanced weapons are variations or combinations of the basic weapons, but all make for insanely destructive gameplay and can vaporize ships and planets with a single strike. If the game’s 50 weapons don’t satisfy your appetite for destruction, WarHeads includes an editor that allows you to create new weapons and share them with your friends.
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