Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Hrmn. I wonder how many incomplete games I'll be running across over the course of this seemingly never-ending quest? This is either the first or the second, depending on how you reckon it. The last game I looked at, Adonthell, was technically incomplete, but offered a complete storyline, and even a credit-sequence, so you could consider it a finished product of sorts. Airstrike doesn't go that far.

It's really pretty, though.

I expect that when it's done, it will be something like that game Combat for the Atari, with a little more depth. As it stands, there are two players: left (red) and right (blue), named for which side of the screen they start on. They're biplanes. The object of the game is get five kills before your opponent does. First one to do that wins the round.

Since the game is unfinished as all-get-out, there's just the one level, replayed over and over again. There's no sound, and there's very little point, as it doesn't even keep a score (it doesn't even keep key-mappings, actually; there's nothing saved from session to session), but it's endearing nonetheless. Mostly because the graphics are relatively high-res for a Linux game, and really well done. It vaguely reminds me of Orisinal, though a bit less cutesy.

Besides the two bi-planes, there's a ground-based cannon that can kill either of the players, and a seemingly random number of balloons, hot-air balloons, and zeppelins. Occasionally the zeppelins would blow up, but I could't tell if that was because I was shooting them, because I was running into them, or because they're on a timer. It seemed pretty random. There doesn't seem to be any documentation either.

I'm tempted to say they shouldn't even really include this on their list of installable apps (hide it in Synaptic's full-featured version; don't showcase it in the easier-to-reach menu that's theoretically for plebs and offers fully featured software) but it really is the prettiest game so far, and if my roommate weren't passed out, it probably would have been fun to relive the old Atari days and shoot at each other while hovered around the same keyboard for a while. If and when they finish the game, and add network-play support, this could actually be a fun multiplayer game.

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