Dark Planet: Battle for Natrolis

Strategy 2002 Windows DTP Real time Science Fiction

Plenty of sci-fi strategy thrills

Dark Planet is a little known science game which plays out like a mix of Starcraft and Command and Conquer, so if you're a fan of such real time strategy action, then this makes for a decent, if unremarkable, addition to your collection. The story and background are familiar stuff and reveals how on a distant planet, a race of lizard-like creatures find themselves being colonised by human spacefarers who believe their hi-tech weapons will allow them to conquer the lizards with ease. However, the lizards have access to powerful magical attacks, while the humans have also awoken vicious insect-like creatures which are about to make their lives even more complicated. Thus begins a terrifying three-way conflict for the planet which will only end with one victor. What follows is a fairly traditional RTS game with all the usual features such as intense battles and resource management, with all the usual options such as single- and multi-player as well as skirmish and campaign modes. Dark Planet is very much a standard piece of strategy gaming which doesn't really bring anything new to the table but which does everything pretty well. The controls are simple enough to pick and it's easy to keep track of your units and carry out whatever tasks you need to complete your mission. The visuals aren't spectacular but there are some nicely detailed environments and plenty of variety in the unit types. Missions are a bit samey but rarely less than entertaining and maintain a good sense of challenge, even for genre veterans, so if this sort of thing is your bag, you should have some fun here.

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