53 - Carrier Command (Atari ST)

Carrier Command is a realtime strategy / simulation hybrid. Set over an archipelago of 64 islands, two remotely-controlled unmanned carriers are competing to capture as many islands as they can, using them as resource and supply centres to further their ultimate goal of destroying the enemy. The player carrier is equipped with a roster of amphibious landing craft (Walrus) and fighter jets (Manta), as well as a powerful turret laser. Islands can be captured by a variety of means, but essentially a command centre has to be built which will then produce resources and defences for the island, and create another link in a supply chain essential to keeping the carrier operational.

The game plays like a kind of macro version of a modern RTS, with the player directly controlling the various forces at their disposal, and personally overseeing the capture of each island. The Walrus and Manta craft can be programmed to perform certain tasks and set to autopilot, but it's always best to go hands-on for the vital business.
I love the satisfaction of building up the island network, organizing everything into a streamlined machine. The eventual confrontation with the superior enemy carrier is always a thrilling experience, whatever the outcome.

The control scheme for the game is very elegant, everything reduced to the essentials, and the visuals have a beautiful colourful simplicity. It's another grand 3D adventure from the glory days of 16-bit gaming.

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