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Remnant - The Atari Times


Are You Ready To Be The Remnant?
by Gregory D. George

July 1, 2000
What 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, powerups, and 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.

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.
System: Lynx
Publisher: Songbird Productions
Genre: Shooter
Graphics Score: 70%
Sound & Music Score: 65%
Gameplay Score: 85%
Control Score: 90%

Final Score: 80%

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