By Al Giovetti, 03/14/97
Burst developed Toonstruck and took a leap into the big time. Burst and Virgin were criticized for spending the money on Toonstruck, many claiming they would never recover the expense through sales. SubSpace is not so ambitious a venture but may prove to be the biggest moneymaker of the two.
Company LineVisually, the game is a top-down view space shooter. The expansive high-resolution playing field is made up of various obstacles, power-ups and safe zones. Players maneuver through space collecting power-ups that will increase their ship's fire power, armament, maneuverability and special weapons. With hundreds of people vying for the same power-ups and flags, players must be prepared to defend themselves constantly. To help in battle, players can form teams or have themselves assigned to one through the computer. In true team fashion, each player benefits when they or another teammate absorbs a power-up, which can help arm a weak beginner's ship rapidly. Points are scored for collecting power-ups and destroying opponents.
To maximize the gaming experience, SubSpace is divided into many different game types called "zones." Each zone has unique team or player goals and levels of difficulty that accommodate everyone from beginners to expert pilots. All zones contain arenas, accommodating hundreds of people playing at the same time. Through a unique on-screen chat system, players can communicate in real-time with each other. Individuals can address everyone in the arena, everyone on their team or specific individuals. This chat system allows teammates to plot strategies, build attack plans and taunt other teams.
Cost of SubSpace: SubSpace is still in a Beta Test cycle and will remain free of charge until April. To get the latest information on current billing plans, please see our Billing Page. SubSpace's cost is mainly to support the current game and hopefully provided enough funds to improve SubSpace and develop future titles.
SubSpace is easy to get started with. The game plays a little like Asteroids and Space War and is really a space capure the flag game. You use the arrow keys to control your little space ship. You fire with the control button. At any time there are hundreds of other human players online in the same game blasting it out.
There are four types of ships including the easy to turn Warbird, the fast Javelin, the stealth Spider, and the over powering Leviathan. The radar screen in the lower right hand corner of the screen shows the others online as red, green, purple, and yellow dots. The yellow dots are friendly and purple are enemy ships. Green dots are variousa powerups which include weapons, bombs, increased thruster power, shields, warp (jump around screen) and others. The red dots are the flags.
You try to be the point leader of the SubSpace armada by winning points for scoring flags, killing enemies, and collecting powerups. Keep up the addiction and you can be the galaxy champion.
The graphics on the overhead, third person perspective tw dimensional shooter are much better than the original asteroids, which was invented 15 years ago. There is an illusion of a three dimensional environment. Some of the game fields are mazes which test your ability to control the tiny craft.
UtilitiesThere are no utilities to speak of.
Multi-player FeaturesThis is only an online internet play game. By downloading a 2 MB file which unzipps on your hard drive you get into the swing of the game once the installed game is configured. You will need a name and a password and then can play with hundreds of others in the same game.
Cheats, Hints, Walkthrough
ReferencesVirgin SubSpace Web Site
Donald St. John, PC Games, volume 4, number 3, March, 1997, pg. 73, 92%.