RISC World

Games World

Paul Brett returns with the latest gaming news.

As you can see the Games World column is still running again after it's six month break over the spring and summer. As long as there is good news for RISC OS gamers this column will be here. If it vanishes from a future issue then you know that the RISC OS gaming world is short of new games to play.

So let is start with an old favourite of mine.

Spheres of Chaos - Iain Mcleod

Spheres of Chaos is a cracking shoot-em-up arcade game is is available across a number of platforms, although the RISC OS version was the first. It's been shareware for a number of years. You needed to register to get the unlock code to turn the limited shareware version into the full version. Now Iain has made the code freely available and I've included it in the games directory of this issue next to the shareware copy of Spheres of Chaos. Just go to the registration menu on the title page and type the code in and away you go.

The game is very easy to play, but hard to put down. Simply control your ship with the mouse and fire using the Select button. If it moves shoot it. If it doesn't move then shoot it until it does. You can also hyperspace from one location to another and use thrusters to avoid collisions. Unlike most RISC OS games this runs in proper high (640 x 480) resolution and can output nearly 100,000 pixels per frame for an amazing experience.

Spheres of Chaos really shows what a "humble" RISC OS machine can do and is a stunning graphical showcase for RISC OS gaming. This version is compatible with 26bit versions of RISC OS, but can also be run on 32bit versions using either Aemulor or Aemulor Pro, although you might need to do a little bit of configuration to get it up to full StrongARM speed.

Battle for Wesnoth -ported by Alan Buckley

Battle for Wesnoth is a turn based strategy game that's been ported to RISC OS computers. A version of this has been available for a couple of years (it was originally ported by Peter Naulls) but this is a new release and brings the version number up to 1.2.5.

Alan warns that the game can be slow to start and to load the data it requires (for example to run the tutorial), so if the game seems to stop just go away and wait a few minutes. Alan also suggest that for best results the game should be run in full screen mode at 800 x 600. Ideally the sound should also be disabled as it's a bit choppy in places. Battle for Wesnoth is very CPU intensive and as such is only really suitable for modern RISC OS machines, such as the Iyonix and VirtualRPC. it hasn't been tested on the A9, but as it is 32bit safe it should run.

It's worth running through the tutorial before trying to play the gammer proper as without the knowledge of how things work you really aren't going to get very far. For anyone interested in developing the game further and improving the speed the sources have now been checked into the GCC auto builder. If that sentence doesn't make sense then don't worry about it.

If you would like some more information on the game then I suggest visiting the Battle for Wesnoth home page.

I am afraid that due to pressing deadlines (and me ringing up asking where the hell the article was - ED) that's all that I am going to be to write about for this issue. I'll be back next issue with some very nice surprises...

Paul Brett