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Battle Isle series
Battle Isle Platinum
Developer(s) Blue Byte Software
Publisher(s) Blue Byte Software
Platform(s) Amiga, MS-DOS (older), Microsoft Windows (newer)
Release date(s) 1991-2001
Genre(s) Turn-based tactics
Mode(s) Single player, single-system multiplayer
Media floppy disks (older), CD (newer)
Input methods Keyboard and mouse
Battle Isle 1
Battle Isle 2
Battle Isle 3
Battle Isle: The Andosian War

Battle Isle is a series of turn-based tactics computer games developed in the 1990s by Blue Byte Software. The settings are wars on a fictional planet, Chromos.

Contents

Storyline

The Battle Isle storyline is set on a fictional planet called Chromos, whose society is technologically more advanced than that of contemporary Earth, possessing the knowledge of advanced robotics (robots), computers (AIs) and limited spaceflight (enough to set up space colonies on the moon of Chromos). The individual games represent various wars that took place on Chromos.

Gameplay

The first three games are played on a hexagonal grid for a map. Players not only control the combat units (ranging from infantry and tanks to helicopters, fighters and bombers, armored trains, surface warships and submarines, stationary gun turrets), but (especially in the later games) also many support logistics units (ammo and fuel transports, scout and radar units, road and trench construction vehicles, and others). Units have various weapons and experience. Players also control military factories, where new units can be produced. From Battle Isle 2, weather conditions change, affecting unit movements (for example, a sea or river can freeze, immobilizing ships but allowing light units to move through it). Fog of war is prevalent and players have to use scouting units to gain information about the battlefield. Some of those options were not available in first games and were added in expansions or sequels.

Players have various tasks, ranging from destroying all opponent forces to capturing special objectives or escaping from the map. Some missions give a limited number of turns to achieve the objective, while in others events from outside the battlefield can suddenly change the situation, giving players new objectives, reinforcements or enemies. In some battles there are more than two sides, each with their own objectives, not all of them directly involved in hostilities.

Battle Isle one had the screen divided into two parts, one for each player. The turns were also divided into move and attack phases. While one player moved his units, the other commanded his own troops to carry out his actions. Battle Isle 2 gave the player the entire screen, and merged move and attack phases, and introduced the 3-D display of combat. Battle Isle 3 was very similar to Battle Isle 2, with improved graphics, more units and a new storyline. Battle Isle: The Andosian War was entirely set in the 3-D environment and combined elements of real-time and turn-based strategies.

History

Battle Isle was Blue Byte's first big success in Germany and Europe. It was completed in 1991. Inspired by the Japanese game Nectaris for the PC Engine, Battle Isle spawned numerous add-ons, sequels (most notable are Battle Isle 2 from 1993 and Battle Isle 3 from 1995) and imitations. Of those among the most notable is BlueByte's own History Line: 1914-1918 from 1993, which moves the science fictionish climate of Battle Island into the times of First World War. Others include the open source projects of Crimson Fields and Advanced Strategic Command.

Battle Isle achieved cult status similar to another Blue Byte product, The Settlers. There were two data disks released for Battle Isle 1, and one for Battle Isle 2. Battle Isle 3 represented the most developed variant of Battle Isle 2. However, in the late 1990s Blue Byte decided that the old model was no longer sufficient and decided to change the model of the series.

In 1997 a new Battle Isle game was released as a 3-D tactical squad game: Incubation, similar to UFO: Enemy Unknown; later in 2001 Battle Isle: The Andosia War which tried to bridge the gap between turn-based strategies and real-time strategies, but both titles, while mildly successful, alienated many older players who had come to expect that the Battle Isle brand would represent traditional, board game style games.

Blue Byte attempted to use the Battle Isle brand name on yet another game (and genre), this time a MMORPG DarkSpace, which for a time was known as Battle Isle V: DarkSpace, but after Blue Byte was bought by Ubisoft the DarkSpace became an independent project.

The first games were available for Amiga and MS DOS, later Microsoft Windows became the target operating system for the games.

As of late 2008, there is no official Battle Series game in development. There is however an open source community project Advanced Strategic Command to recreate the classic Battle Isle game, aiming for playability of Battle Isle 3.

Games in the series

  • Battle Isle
    1991
    Strategy
  • Battle Isle Data Disk I
    1992
    Strategy
  • Battle Isle Data Disk II
    1993
    Strategy (also known as Battle Isle '93 or Battle Isle: The Moon of Chromos)
  • Battle Isle 2200 (Battle Isle 2 in Europe)[1]
    1994
    Strategy
  • Battle Isle II Data Disk I
    1994
    Strategy (also known as Battle Isle II: Titan's Legacy or Battle Isle II Scenery CD)
  • Battle Isle 2220 - Shadow of the Emperor (Battle Isle 3 - Shadow of the Emperor in Europe)[2]
    1995
    Strategy
  • Incubation: Time Is Running Out
    1997
    Strategy (German title Incubation: Battle Isle Phase Vier, UK title Incubation: Battle Isle Phase Four; also known as Battle Isle 4: Incubation, Battle Isle: Incubation, or just Incubation)
  • Incubation: The Wilderness Missions
    Strategy
    additional missions to Incubation
  • Battle Isle: The Andosia War
    2000
    Strategy (German title Battle Isle: Der Andosia Konflikt; also known as Battle Isle 5: The Andosia War or just The Andosia War)

References

  1. ^ [1] Battle Isle 2200 product page
  2. ^ [2] Battle Isle 2220 product page

External links

See also

  • History Line: 1914-1918 – WWI with the Battle Isle '93 engine, game released before Battle Isle 2 on the PC/DOS platform.
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