Are You Ready To Be The Remnant?
By Gregory D. GeorgeJuly 1, 2000
The title screen has a catchy tune, but there is no music during the game.
Show those pesky aliens who's boss! And I do mean pesky.
Don't chase the asteroids. Wait for them to you instead.
Skittles ad, or warp effect? You decide.
do you get when you cross the Atari Lynx, 3D space action, and Songbird
Productions? You get Remnant: Planar Wars 3D!
The original Planar Wars was a 2D
overhead shooting game that Carl Forhan of Songbird was working on. Many
Lynx fans were eagerly awaiting the release of this title. Alas, Carl didn't
think it was up to snuff, and decided to work on a "3D" version of
the game instead.
Remnant is a 3D game in much the same
sense that Turbo Sub is. The enemies are predrawn sprites, not 3D
models. Remnant is not BattleSphere on the Lynx, but it still
has some frantic shooting action and techniques that must be mastered.
You're not going to find a lot of super detailed
graphics in Remnant. This is not Zarlor Mercenary or Gates
of Zendocon! Those games had to rely on graphics to get by. Remnant's
graphics are often good, even though there aren't very many of them. The
cockpit graphics are good and unobtrusive. The enemies are nicely drawn even
if the animation is a little lacking. The explosion animations are very
nice, but the missiles and plazma shots you must avoid can get extremely
blocky up close.
But my favorite
"enemy" if you will, has to be the asteroids. They have a nice
rotating animation and are fun to blast!
I was really wowed by the intro music! I even
find myself singing it now and then. Other than that, you're not going to
hear much else in the way of music during the game.
The sound effects are good, but could have been
better. The "thrust" effect of your ship is nice, but the
"laser" effect can become annoying after a while. Perhaps any sound
would get bothersome if you heard it a hundred times in succession? Also,
the UFO's missile shot sounds are simple "thump" effects and not
all that exciting. In it's defense, the explosion sound effect is very nice.
So the graphics and sound are ok, but what about
the gameplay? Well, this is Remnant's greatest strength. There is
enough technique and strategy to master that make this game fun. There are
only a few enemies, but they have several different movement patterns which
need to be learned for a player to be successful.
The game is fast enough for even the die-hard BattleSphere
fan. It's definitely a tough game, and you don't get
frustrated because you KNOW there are ways to beat any
ship by learning the patterns.
Unfortunately, Remnant does not have tons of graphics,
sound/music. What Remnant does have is a very polished
interface, nice speed, increasingly difficult enemies, and fun to watch
explosions. Think of Remnant as a 3D
version of Galaxian.
Carl Forhan's wanted to create an addictive game
where the goal was to get the highest score. Many games nowadays lack the
replayability that Remnant has. With Remnant, you always feel
that you can get past, "Just one more level this time."
Is it worth buying? I would have to answer that
with a firm "Yes." Remnant is a fun game with decent
graphics/ sounds that is played from a unique perspective. If you like
blasting alien scum, Remnant is for you.