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Simple but enjoyable sci-fi sim
This is the fairly obscure sequel to the equally unknown Solar Winds and while it is not without its flaws, it is actually a highly engaging sci-fi adventure game, which might appeal to followers of Elite, Wing Commander or Freelancer. The game does follow on from the original, so it is worth checking that out first if you are interested, just to make sure the story all makes sense. The story is set in the distant future, where an oppressive government rules with an army of robots, but who are involved with a race of aliens and who treat all other species as their playthings. This sequel picks up things where the first game left off, and sees adventurer Jake Stone making his way through the galaxy in his attempts to destroy the portals through which the aliens travel, while also infiltrating the government so that he might free those races affected by the aliens' actions. Gameplay is viewed from a top-down perspective, with Stone's ship exploring the universe and engaging in combat with the various alien craft that he encounters, and with occasional opportunities for diplomacy, although this ultimately makes little difference to the outcome. Solar Winds 2 is certainly quite ambitious, and is enjoyable enough as a straightforward slice of space-faring fun. Don't expect anything too complex though, as while the story is compelling, it is highly linear, with no real opportunities for true exploration and with everything playing out in a fixed fashion, with your decisions having little overall impact. It is quite enjoyable however, with a strong narrative that keeps you engaged and with some surprisingly slick action, so it is worth checking out.
Simple yet rewarding arcade shooter
If you were fond of simple shooter games such as the arcade and later Atari 2600 Asteroids, then Solar Winds and Solar Winds 2 will prove worthy companions on your IBM compatible or DOSBox. The game is a bit more complex than famed Asteroids because instead of a single screen, no boundaries game world you get a relatively larger game world. However, it is still space and it is still pitch black, but the enemies are more diverse and more vicious. You will encounter lots and lots of missiles which will follow your every move and will require you to do evasive maneuvers; you will encounter enemy ships with different flight patterns as well as bosses when you finish a level. The game also allows you to customize your ship to add both offensive and defensive new features to it. Though a short game, Solar Winds 2 is a very satisfying arcade shooter and due to the way most enemies respawn randomly, there is replay value in the title. Without a question a simple and yet satisfying game for many types of players.