Thursday, November 27, 2014

"Incubation: Time Is Running Out", Windows, 1997.

Here we are again -- another full-spread magazine game ad I spliced together from two different pages, resulting in a file so big I had to upload it here for safekeeping. Secretly or not so secretly what I'd rather be blogging about at this point in time are ANSI art renditions of video game characters or the report from my last retro gaming party (summary: NES games finally playable -- Marble Madness and Bubble Bobble big hits -- courtesy of a Retron 3, plus Wii and Xbox 360 now on tap -- if not especially retro) but because those subjects cannot float the blog on its own, I stubbornly keep cranking out occasional magazine scans for an audience of who knows. Today's game: Incubation, by Blue Byte.

First 10,000 Copies
3 Extra Missions
& A Free Incubation
Watch Offer!

Lead a squad of up to 10 Space Marines in over 30 terrifying turn-based missions!
Slaughter the bloodthirsty Scay'Ger with just a point and click using the intuitive interface!
View the stunning real-time 3D graphics from almost any angle with a free-roaming camera!

"Think X-Com meets Quake and you might see the picture, and subsequently start salivating."
- GamePen

"Incubation looks to be one of the best tactical combat games of the year."
- PC Games

"... Blue Byte has created what has to be one of the best-looking strategy games ever."
- Computer Games Strategy Plus

PC Zone 94%
Score Magazine 10/10
PC Games (Germany) 92%
PC Action 92% - Gold Award
PC Power 91% - Platinum Award

Featuring the Revolutionary Extreme Assault graphics engine!

Also from Blue Byte...




Command a 21st century attack helicopter and battle tank with simple arcade style controls!
Fight over 50 intense missions in 6 enormous levels complete with secret caves and tunnels!

That's quite a logo, though it makes the ad illustration a bit painfully redundant -- though gamers always want to know what in-game graphics look like, so perhaps the logo is the redundant part. An attention-grabbing portrait -- looks like a half-alligator half-man, turned inside-out. I guess the 3 extra missions to the early buyers is a kind of early "deluxe edition DLC included" bonus ahead of its time? Does the free Incubation watch tell you how long it will take until you are finished incubating? Or is it just a watchstrap with a face reading "Time Is Running Out"?

Marketing divisions know darned well what the actual numerical limitations of the game are, so "up to 10" or "over 30" is just their cute way of saying "10" and "31". Who are these Scay'Ger and why are they so bloodthirsty? I don't mean to cast aspersions on you, but when the first thing you describe doing to them is "slaughter", it makes me wonder who is the real monster. I liked "point and click using the intuitive interface" right up until the review crowed "think X-Com meets Quake". I don't know what that gameplay would be like (because I haven't played this title), but it's hard to imagine anything about its point and click interface being intuitive.

Make up your minds, reviewers, is it tactics or strategy? I like how the scores are stacked -- like a 94% from PC Zone is harder to achieve than 100% from Score: we didn't only impress the easy-to-impress! I think it's pretty awesome that they named their graphics engine "Revolutionary Extreme Assault" -- you don't end up making backgammon simulators from a product like that! "id Tech" is less impressive on that basis.

Also, they couldn't quite figure out what to do with the second page in the spread, so decided to use part of it reminding you that they also have other, unrelated games for sale.

There, that wasn't so bad. I feel a bit dishonest blogging about games like this I haven't played or even researched, but considering that most of my competition in this field just posts the scans straight without any commentary, I'm still ahead of the pack as long as I produce transcripts and pull some ad blurb interpretation out of ... thin air.