Flames Of Freedom
Flames of Freedom is the sequel to Midwinter, a famous hallmark game, which was 1991's Most Amazing Game Ever (Or At Least Until The Next Amazing One Comes Out). It was basically a large scale strategy game but with large vector-graphicked arcade chunks thrown in. Flames followed on, both in plot and style, transplanting the snowy tundra landscape into a subtropical environment, expanding, inflating and deepening the original game (in the way that sequels do). The premise is that you, leader of a pack of fearless islanders, must protect their homeland archipelagos from a Saharan Empire invasion. As the evil Empire's influence gradually creeps across your island map like a virus, you mobilise the defence by convincing other islands to join your cause, plan attacks (strategy) and then actually carry out the raids (arcadey bits) with all manner of vehicles and weaponry.
The range of these vehicles and hardware is large: from biplanes to lorries, jets to balloons, speedboats to jetpacks, submarines to your trusty old feet - all can be flown, piloted and used offensively against the opposition. Not that you'll get a chance to straight away, as most of the more esoteric modes of transport (zeppelins, gliders etc.) have to be 'borrowed' from the islands you come across. The enemy, too, have a similar menagerie at their disposal, so the practice 'flying and fighting' option on the menu is absolutely essential for a successful campaign.
The route to ultimate victory, however, is compounded by two things. Firstly, the landscape is a dauntingly large combo of savannah and water. The autopilot option allows you to master the terrain somewhat but even this is compounded by the second thing - mouse control. Flames of Freedom uses a strange mouse control system whereby forward is the left button and the right button elevates you up and down. This is fine when you're trekking around on foot, but as soon as you get in a pilot's seat it's a different matter. It's a nightmare. Also, the game was originally designed for the 8mhz sts and Amigas, and so plays uncontrollably fast on anything 386 and up. Also, vector graphics (especially in ega) are a bi t 'aged* these days. Flames of Freedom is certainly dated. Not as dated as, say, a morris dancer at a rave, but its 16-colour graphics and overwhelming depth put it around the 'fluorescent green socks/Spandau Ballet' mark on the Crap-Youth-Culture-Metaphor-O-Meter. It might give modern 'stragetist' and 'arcades' a long, interesting week of fun, but when everything is down to mouse control and mhz speed, don't expect too many thrills and spills. David McCandless
Download Flames Of Freedom
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP