Scorched Earth (computer game)

From Academic Kids

Scorched Earth is a popular shareware computer game from the PC-DOS era, originally written by Wendell Hicken, in which tanks do turn-based battle in two-dimensional terrain, adjusting the angle and power of their tank turrets before each shot. Despite the simple premise (and very simple graphics, by modern standards) the game is still playable, and some find it quite addictive. Scorched Earth is considered the archetype of its format, on which the popular Worms and GunBound games are based.

The game was released in 1991, with the last version (1.50) in 1995. Its size is about ~1,2mb.

The game has a wide variety of customization options from gravity and wind to money and meteorite showers, and a similarly large pool of different payloads, allowing for a large amount of entirely different situations.

In addition to the possible in-game changes, the text messages the AI players can display before firing (e.g. "I shall smash your ugly tank!") and before dying (e.g. "Join the army, see the world they said") are read in two plain text files, TALK1.CFG and TALK2.CFG, respectively, free for creative users to change or translate.

The weapons range from tracer rounds to MIRV warheads, and several are often seen in similar on-line games as almost identical versions. In addition to conventional warheads, there also are such things as napalm, wildly bouncing bombs and earth weapons, allowing the player to dump dirt on other tanks or to remove ground from beneath them. A tank which is covered with dirt has to shoot itself free and may get damaged in the process, one which falls from too high a level may get destroyed. A variety of utilities, such as shields and tank parachutes, add a tactical side.

The effects of many weapons are highly unpredictable, given that the missiles bounce off the walls, can be manipulated in their flight-path by wind, shields and guidance systems, and often have partially random effects. As the player advances in the game, he can afford more and more weapons, but so can his opponents.

The game can be played against up to nine other human players and/or computer-controlled ones. A broad range of differently skilled player types is offered by the program. If the player-controlled tanks are destroyed before the others, the AI-controlled players continue to battle each other, effectively turning Scorched Earth into a zero-player game.

Scorched Earth 3D

Missing image
Scorched3d.jpg
Screenshot of Scorched Earth 3d

Scorched Earth 3D is a direct off-shoot from the classic DOS version. Aside from adding a third dimension, it also features networking; multiple players may connect via the Internet to a system running in server mode. Weapons and tanks may be customized via XML files, and custom maps may be used.

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