Space School Simulator: The Academy

Action 1986 Dos CRL Group PLC Science Fiction Strategic scope

Boldly go where no one has gone before

It might be distinctly lacking in terms of imagination as far as titles go, but this follow up to Pete Cooke's previous classic Tau Ceti is an engaging and detailed bit of space adventuring. This one places players in the sturdy boots of a would-be space adventurer, who has just landed at space school (hence the name) and who must complete a series of highly challenging missions in order to graduate and start exploring the stars for real (well, not quite, but that's the idea). There's a wide range of missions on offer here and which are both enjoyable and tricky. You get a range of space skimmers to choose from to, each of which have their own unique characteristics and it's all part of the fun to find out which one is your favourite. The actual game itself is played out via first person perspective and the missions generally involve heading out on to the surface of the planet, destroying a bunch of random robots, docking, refueling or even heading off for a new planet to continue your training. This really is quite the unexpected treat, offering as it does a slightly unusual take on the sci-fi genre. The range of customisation options is impressive and it's a lot of fun just tinkering with your skimmer in order to find how what you can do with it. The missions too are enjoyable and fairly varied and although it takes a little while to pick up the controls, you'll soon be whizzing around like an old pro. The visuals are pretty decent for their age, so on the whole this is definitely worth picking up if you're looking for a bit of depth and thought to go along with the action.

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