Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features:Single game mode
Nostalgia may well be a thing of the past, but many of today's game designers have no qualms about doffing a cap to the classics of yesteryear. Lander is an example of the fruits of such labours, and the name itself is enough to conjure up memories of feeding chunky ten-pence pieces into a nicotine-stained cabinet before scurrying back to school on an empty stomach.
If the developers are to be believed, Lander has an inspired pedigree, recalling old favourites such as Gravitar, Thrust, Lunar Lander, Virus and Elite. Clearly, you can't get away with that sort of thing any more though, and the game embraces the most up-to-date technology to create a wholly modem experience, hopefully retaining the playability of its spiritual forebears at the same time.
Lofty pretensions indeed. But what exactly is it? Basically, you control a hovering craft - the titular Lander -which is equipped with numerous thrusters to counter the effects of gravity in the game's subterranean and surface environments. You fly through 40 missions, all of which are melded together with a strong storyline, the action encompassing many of the planets and moons of our own solar system. The treacherous planetary environments are based on authentic land forms, including ice, fire and lava, water, colonies, fortifications, caves, tunnels and deserts. You can amass cash to upgrade your craft, and even uncover some of the mysteries of the universe.
The development team behind Lander is largely the same as that responsible for the Psygnosis adventure Sentient. Oli Wright is the lead programmer, and he makes much of Lander's thruster-based control system: We spent a disproportionate amount of time getting the control system of the ship right. It's a dream to use; we can't think of any way of improving it. It's manoeuvrable, yet very different to any game-based craft you've probably flown in the past ten years. In only a short space of time you'll want to master the unusual craft handling. The physics model is also cool; just taking your Lander up high and letting it bounce down a cliff face is a joy to watch, if a little sad. Lander will be 3D accelerator only, as well as one of the first games to be released on DVD (Digital Versatile Disc),Interesting. Yes... very interesting indeed.