Moonbase (Mindscape) Review | Amiga Power - Everygamegoing

Amiga Power

By Mindscape International Inc
Amiga 500/600

Published in Amiga Power #4

When even a whole city isn't big enough, the sky's the limit...


When even a whole city isn't big enough, the sky's the limit...

You've built your own city in Sim City. You've gone on to run the world in Sim Earth (well, you have if you've got a PC) and countless other games. There's only one place left unoppressed. It's time to glance warily skywards, screw on your helmet and head for... the moon.

It's cold, quiet and covered in craters, but in no time at all you'll have discovered the necessary combination of menus and icons you'll need to continue, started smoothing things out and shoved up buildings all over the place. These can be picked from a wide range of structures, from habitation modules and laboratories to recreation facilities and greenhouses (for growing food). What you put where is up to you, but there ought to be a method to your madness - everything'll grind to a halt unless it's plumbed into a decent smattering of power generators and heat extractors. Manpower is important too. There needs to be enough people to run everything, and they've all got to be accommodated and fed. The other headache is finance. To start off with you receive an annual grant from NASA, but this soon dries up so you'll need to become self-sufficient as fast as poss. Cash has to be generated by building mining and manufacturing facilities, and these in turn need to be staffed and powered and... it's a complete nightmare, it really is.

Sounds a bit boring, doesn't it? But it's not! As with all these 'build a world' games, Moonbase is deceptively addictive. Once you've worked out what's going on (the manual's not terribly helpful here, mainly consisting of a dire novella interspersed with tips and a short summary at the back) it's almost impossible to put it down.

There's an enormous amount of depth to it, and everything's been finely balanced so you're constantly teetering on the brink of disaster. I've only got two major criticisms: a) as your creation gets bigger, the monthly update slows down horrendously, and b) having built a fully self-sufficient moonbase, and filled in the whole playing area with bits and pieces (which doesn't actually take very long), all the fun suddenly evaporates and you're left with a very basic trading game.

Moonbase is unfortunate in that it slips so neatly into the Sim City category of games, and therefore has such high standards set for it before it even begins. Not that it's in with bad company or anything, it just isn't anything new. I'd like to say "It's out of this world", but that would be a slight overstatement (and a crap joke to finish on).

The Bottom Line

A fairly run-of-the-mill sim game with a fruity lunar streak. Hardly even 'one small step' for computer games (more like running on the spot), but it's maddeningly addictive all the same (at least in the short term).

Jonathan Davies

Other Amiga 500/600 Game Reviews By Jonathan Davies

  • Birds Of Prey Front Cover
    Birds Of Prey
  • Monopoly Front Cover
  • Golden Eagle Front Cover
    Golden Eagle
  • Brigade Commander Front Cover
    Brigade Commander
  • Shadoworlds Front Cover
  • Kid Chaos Front Cover
    Kid Chaos
  • Fascination Front Cover
  • Eco Phantoms Front Cover
    Eco Phantoms
  • International 3D Tennis Front Cover
    International 3D Tennis
  • The Neverending Story II: The Arcade Game Front Cover
    The Neverending Story II: The Arcade Game