Magma and Universities Don’t Mix Review

Outpost 2 Info

genre

  • N/A

players

  • 1 - 6

Publisher

  • Dynamix/Sierra

Developer

  • N/A

Release Date

  • 12/31/1969
  • Out Now

Platform

  • PC

rating

Magma and Universities Don’t Mix

If you remember the incredibly awful first Outpost game, you

should know that Outpost 2 is much improved from its predecessor.

For those who don’t know the plot of Outpost 1, a huge meteor has

been detected heading for Earth and it is impossible to stop it.

There is only one solution available, to leave Earth. A colony

ship is built and boarded by a few hundred colonists who set out

to colonize a new planet after Earth is destroyed.

Outpost 2 picks up

where Outpost 1 left off. A new colony named Eden has been established

on a distant and barely habitable planet. Everything is happy… at first. After

a while, the colony splits into two groups, one that wishes to terraform the

planet (Eden), and another that wants to adapt to its environment (Plymouth).

Things eventually get ugly between the two colonies and they break off communication.

Outpost 2 follows the struggle between Eden and Plymouth colonies.

Outpost 2 is a real-time strategy game. The player can build a

colony, build units, conduct research, and go to war. What makes

Outpost 2 different from most real-time strategy games is that

most emphasis is placed on building your colony instead of

fighting. Rather than building more and better factories for

your units, most construction in Outpost 2 involves residences,

hospitals and universities. I enjoyed the opportunity to spend

more time trying to improve my colony rather than ordering an

army around. That is not to say that combat is absent from

Outpost 2, but just that it has a less prominent role than usual.

The somewhat reduced emphasis

on combat is reflected in the units available. Each side has a few unit types,

which loosely represent light, medium, and heavy tanks. Although there is a

limited number of unit types, it is made up for by the fact that each unit can

be equipped with one of a half dozen types of weapons. Defensive towers are

also available for the more defensively minded player.

Game play reminded me very strongly of the computer game Dune 2.

Both the base layout and mechanics of combat were very similar.

Base layout is very freeform, with the only requirement being

that most structures must be connected to the command center by

tubes. The freedom of base layout also gives the player the

interesting strategic choice of whether or not to build in a

strategically valuable position that happens to be in an area of

lava flow. The game tracks the morale of your colony, which must

be kept high in order to prolong the life spans of your

colonists, and to ensure that enough children are born.

The game also includes a moderately interesting novella on the CD

of the game’s plot line. While it is not necessary to read it in

order to play the game, it you are a science fiction fan, it

might be an interesting read.

Outpost 2 can be very engaging at

times, and has the potential to keep you up burning the midnight

oil. Its “last humans alive” premise in intriguing, but at times

it can become a little dull to deal with all the little things

necessary to keep your colony running. It is fairly complex, and

so I would not recommend it to the beginning strategy player. It

is also not as combat oriented as some other real-time strategy

games out there. So for the bombs and missiles crowd, I would

suggest you look elsewhere. But for the real-time strategy

player who is more interested in building than bombing, Outpost 2

could feel just like your home planet.

REVOLUTION REPORT CARD

Rating7
Entertaining real-time strategy
Focuses heavily on colony building
Very reminiscent of Dune 2
Interesting novella included
Colonies are not automated enough