Tegel's Mercenaries

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a game by Mindcraft Software, Inc.
Platform: PC (1992)
Editor Rating: 6/10, based on 1 review
User Rating: 8.0/10 - 2 votes
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See also: Strategy Games
Tegel's Mercenaries
Tegel's Mercenaries
Tegel's Mercenaries
Tegel's Mercenaries

What A fab idea for a game - your every venal, acquisitive action dictated neither by conscience nor morals, but solely by the prospect of personal gain. It's the world's first "Member-of-Parliament Sim". Well alright, it's slightly more honest - at least if there's any killing to be done as a result of your decisions, there's no buck passing, you do it yourself.

I suppose you want a few measly facts about the situation. You're someone who's failed in your chosen millinery career - (Military. Ed.) - damn. I was lining up my favourite beret joke. You've failed in your military career (you probably bombed the wrong hospital or something) and rather than follow the traditional path into the prison service, have decided to become a mercenary. I was lying about you doing the shooting yourself, too - you don't. You "command" a team of up to six mercenaries from a mysterious unspecified location - they die. you laugh. Wahoo.

There are several gun toting lunatics for you to choose between to make up your party, allegedly all with different characteristics and attitudes to blood letting. I say allegedly because we've all read this sort of nonsense from games companies before, listing characters' favourite foods and preferred sexual position when the only real variation is the colour of their tiny on-screen figure. Let's just say I didn't really see that great a difference in anybody's behavioural tendencies, and leave it at that.

Anyway, you're caught up in a plot involving your merry band of basts and some rebels who have to be quashed. (You know what rebels are like - all those weird haircuts and Beatles records arc enough to make anyone want to quash them). This plot gives you the chance to visit all those exciting planets and poorly decorated buildings you read about on the box. And when you've finished all the missions - why, simply make up some more with the built-in Scenario Kit and Working Interface Developer.

Missions are paid according to how well you carry out the objectives, with bonuses for collecting certain objects or information and for killing or not killing certain people. I shot an innocent bystander who looked suspiciously like a peroxided Lionel Blair (he really will appear in anything, won't he?) and got fined 500 credits. Still, it was worth it.

Love is all

Shall we move swiftly along, then, and say exactly what it is I hate about this game? (Yes. let's. Ed.) I hate having to sit for 45 minutes installing a game that only takes up 4Mb of hard-disk space. I hate the fact that after installing the said game. I'm presented with a multiple-page file to read, telling me lots of sruff that should be in the manual - I really think pc games should have progressed beyond that stage by now.

The control system also goes to pieces. The main control method for the game involve clicking on the mercenary of your choice and then choosing one of the verbs in the box. Ideally you can string these commands together. On a slow pc, you click on something and nothing happens immediately. s< you click again... and then again. Then a message tells you to do something you've just done three times. You take a deep breath, cancel all the orders and start again. Things disappear when you haven't pressed DONE and remain when you think you have. You finally get the string of orders done. Then you wait for them to be carried out. Your man wanders in little circles saying "I don't understand my orders," or even worse, just stands there doing nothing. Then you punch your monitor in the mouth.

The characters are also incredibly stupid. If two of their paths should cross, they'll bump into each other, walk in a circle, then bump into each other again. For ever. In addition, they positively love the prospect of suicide.

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System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

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