Wasteland adventure in post-nuclear American 1987 (Apple II, C64),1988 (PC)
Wasteland is one of those games that pull you in from the start and don't let go. The quirky texts and battle images provide you with plenty to think about. It's perhaps one of the only games of the time that provides you with something to imagine almost to the point of a text-based adventure. But still provides great imagery to really get that good old imagination crank going
You start wasteland out as a group of 4 Desert rangers, wide eyed and ready to traverse the desert wasteland in search of civilization and high adventure. Much of the land is mutated and wild with pockets of civilization sprinkling the radiated desert sand.
|What a nice lawn they have.|
You begin with 4 premade characters which is fine, they are well made but if you are like me and want to make your own rabble of mutant hunters then head on into the desert ranger facility and start creating. Character builds are based on Seven stats including Strength(ST), Intelligence(IQ), Luck(LK),Speed(SP),Agility(AGL), Dexterity(DEX), Charisma(CHR), and finally SKP stands for skill points which you gain from leveling and can place into the great variety of skills such as brawling or climbing. Every skill has a purpose and can be used at certain points throughout the game but aren't necessary to beat the game you don't have to be good at gambling to defeat the final boss. Also there is MaxCon which is your hit points so make sure you keep track of that or you will be destroyed. The rest of character creation is easy, pick some skills you want like Brawling, Pistols, Climbing, Forgery, Pick locks, etc. Then name your character and go out Into the wastes in search of long lost treasures such as hover rounds and sham wows.
|Apparently when you die you instantly become a skeleton|
|Scuba suits are common in the wastes|
|Think Monty Python Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog|
Combat is turn based and often funny with comments about blood sausages, or spinning into a dance of death which i'm sure you can imagine looks quite messed up if seen in reality so better to be left in the video game world. Most of the enemies in the game use the same portraits which can be off putting but for it's time it is certainly full of cool looking monsters and wasteland denizens to waste. Also the plethora of weapons is awe inspiring for a game of this age. Not your usual riff raff of swords and wands from the standard portrait rpgs of the day you get pistols,crowbars,fists,proton axes,assault rifles,rocket launchers, just to name a few. Here are some of the beasts and people you encounter through combat or as non player characters that you can recruit to fight a long.
|Doom for the Naked Molerat|
As you can see the characters are interesting and defiantly make you imagine a wasteland full of lunatics, mutants, and those looking to survive by any means necessary. Also one of the main componants is a lot that happens you need to have the manual to know whats going on when not in combat which can be annoying but i'll provide a link to where you can find the manual. as many classic portrait rpgs it says see "paragraph 32" when you enter a room to get a better description of the situation which may be a drawback in some peoples eyes but for me it takes me back to listening to the Dungeon Master in a dungeons and dragons game describing the surroundings which makes the game more exciting for me because not only do I get a basic visual but I also get a chance to imagine how it looks.
|The Last Lumber Jack but really hes a bunny handler|
|Beware the unwieldy Visa Staff of Credit|
The Review: Sometimes it can get really frustrating figuring out what to do and where to go but once you get the hang of the interface it becomes second nature. Paying attention to what people say and asking questions can be difficult to master but given the right tools such as a pencil and paper for instance makes it much more involving and rewarding. having to reference the manual often can get annoying quick but that's how most rpgs of the time were so I can't fault it too much for that. The amount of detail gone into character creation and the depth of skills really allow you to get attached to your characters. Also the promotion system really makes you feel like your characters are getting rewarded for their hard work more so then just getting skill points like traditional rpgs also the higher the rank sometimes allows you to enter places you couldn't before as the denizens of the wastes are impressed by your achievements. However the skills can be confusing as to which ones are more important then others but this also adds to the replay value and multiple character builds in my opinion. The story itself is a really good one that is inspiration for many post-apocalyptic games of today it's tough to get there but in the end it's really interesting for a post apocolyptic game.
|Too bad Kylie is unconscious she could have gone up a rank too|
The combat is difficult at times and battles happen far too often which can be tough when you hardly have a chance to heal up after your last battle and believe me the doctors in wasteland are a scary bunch. But all in all Wasteland is a classic game that still stands the test of time even against some of the more recent titles this game still has many ideas to offer the world of rpgs and hopefully in the future we will see a remake or sequel but for now if you get a chance pick it up replay it do whatever feels right, But honestly if you haven't played Wasteland it's something you just have to do. I give Wasteland a 9.5 out of 10