Review by Dr. Kynes
"A Solar Flare in the Universe of Games"
You are the bounty hunter Jake Stone. You will fight for whatever makes you the fastest dollar. Travel the universe, upgrade your space ship, smother your enemies and betray your allies! Solar Winds was published and released by Epic Megagames in 1993.
This game has a story that gently unfolds as you play. You, as the freelance bounty hunter, can choose to help a group of rebels or the “local evil government” close to the beginning of the game. As you continue to do missions you will see cutscenes of events that are happening in the rest of the solar system. You eventually get a hyperdrive upgrade for your engine and a mission to travel to another solar system on an alien genocide detail. There are a few enjoyable plot twists that you more than likely will be able to predict. The story ends somewhat smoothly... nothing that playing Solar Winds 2 won’t fix... but unfortunately this is Solar Winds 1.
The gameplay view is a top-down perspective on your space ship. You can receive many neat devices for your ship as payment from clans and rebels and various elite groups in the solar system looking for some dirty work to be done. Combat is easily understood but difficult to master. Luckily you get a neat cloaking device about one quarter of the way into the game. Solar Winds is very easy to use and will take you a week or two to beat... more than likely you’ll be wishing you had more however.
The graphics are wonderful for this game and with consideration of other games out at that time… they are spectacular. Nothing is sweeter than when a game with a good story and good gameplay has even better graphics. Each person you talk to will have a character portrait with a face. These faces are meticulously drawn with movement...reminds me of those King Quest’s games. There are many alien and human type spaceships that are unique and do not bore you. There is always something new to see and explore in Solar Winds.
If you find someone who has played this game, one thing that will stand out is its music. The music will fit the mood whether you are heading to a planet for payment or whether you are fighting for your life against enemy robot ships. I put a considerable amount of time conserving engine energy by not using the hyperdrive and simply getting to the nearby solar system by use of the good ol’ fashion thruster engines. I heard a lot of the music and I never seemed to have been bored with it.
If you want to learn what a solid action/adventure game was back in the day, your search ends here. Solar Winds is a unique game that is not easily forgotten once you play it. Luckily there is a sequel, Solar Winds 2, to quench your inevitable thirst for more.
>>Find this game if you even remotely enjoy action/adventure games.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/07/03
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