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Wednesday, October 10, 2001
Mac Alien Nations Demo Released
10:53 AM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Releases from Titan Computer have been so few and far between, many might never have heard of this overseas company. They may be quiet, but they have not been idle, and today we bring you the fruits of their labor. The game Alien Nations has been ported to the Mac OS, and went Final Candidate in late August; today we have a demo of the game available for downloading,

This unique RTS has an interesting mix of features, some borrowed, some new, and crisp (and it must be said -- cute) graphics. The story of strife between three extremely different races dwelling in the same land is not a new one, but the elements of warfare, economics and even culture are unique to Alien Nations. Halfway between "god game" and RTS, this should be a delight for fans of Majesty and those anticipating Stronghold and Knights and Merchants.

While the graphics are cutesy, this is no kid's game; deep tech trees and elements of diplomacy and trade lift it above a mere "build and rush" RTS. Here is a sample from the description of the game:

ALIEN NATIONS is an exciting mixture of "God game" and real-time strategy game. The player selects one nation and begins with a small main building. Around this building, he constructs houses and specialist buildings. Gradually, a booming microcosm will develop, growing into a town. Raw materials have to be found. Newly-arrived inhabitants are trained in the schools as masons, wood-cutters, researchers, etc. They are then able to play their part in the growth and expansion of their nation.

Research is undertaken so that new knowledge and capabilities make life easier and more secure.

One decisive phase in the life of a new nation is its first contact to the other nations. Can they live in peace, allowing profitable trade to develop? Or will it come to war and have the right preparations been made? Diplomacy plays a decisive role in this.

Research plays an important role in ALIEN NATIONS. The inhabitants start only with very basic knowledge. Only by committing sufficient resources can decisive matters like combat units, ore mines, etc. be used. Research is expensive and time-consuming, but can provide a life-saving new technology at a decisive moment.

With an increasing rate of urban and military growth, it gets more and more difficult to finance this by taxes alone. The one certain way of filling the state's coffers again is to trade with other nations. However, this causes certain problems. For instance, the traders and the trading routes must be protected. Declaring war on one's best trading partner should only be done when the coffers are bursting full.
Diplomats make sure that the traders get a good deal. Above all, they help keep the peace with one's neighbors, should that be what is wanted.

The system requirements for the game are quite modest:

  • 266 MHz or higher CPU
  • 96 MB RAM
  • 6 MB of Video RAM for optional hardware acceleration (Glide not supported)
  • 200 MB VM
  • Quicktime 4.1

Follow the link to MacGameFiles to grab this demo, and make sure to visit Titan's web site as well. The game itself should be ready for purchase in Europe within a few weeks, and copies will most likely show up in the States (or at Mac-O-Rama) soon afterwards.

The demo will also be on the MacGames CD Volume 3, which just went to duplication today and will be shipping sometime next week. If you haven't subscribed, now's the perfect time.

Alien Nations Demo 1.0 (30 MB)
Titan Computer
Alien Nations Web Site at Titan Computer
Alien Nations

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