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NetStorm (Titanic Entertainment/Activision)
Praised by critics as a refreshing real-time strategy game amid the countless Command & Conquer me-too clones, NetStorm was set to soar high for both solo gamers and Internet multiplayer junkies alike. You say you haven't even heard of this puppy? You're not alone. The game sold only 13,500 copies. Here's what you missed.

"Though probably still the most advanced multiplayer Internet strategy game released, NetStorm suffered from poor timing."
--Peter Karpas, Activision



Blow it up!
In NetStorm, gamers control an airborne island that hovers in the upper atmosphere above a planet. The goal is to capture your opponents' priests and sacrifice them to one of the elemental furies--Rain, Wind, or Thunder--carrying this out by building a temple, workshop, and altar. Gamers must strategically build bridges with Tetris-like pieces to capture an opponent's priest, meanwhile defending the floating fortress with an entourage of powerful weapons.

Peter Karpas, director of global brand management at Activision, admits, "Though probably still the most advanced multiplayer Internet strategy game released, NetStorm suffered from poor timing. It came out before Internet gaming had really broken through, other than for Doom and Quake. This made it a difficult sell."



Blow it up!
Karpas also feels the look and gameplay diverged from the gaming world's zeitgeist at its release. "NetStorm was a new type of real-time strategy game, and the combination of an Internet focus, a new type of gameplay, and a new universe with unique units all made it difficult for the average gamer to grasp [the game's concept] when looking at the box on the shelf."

Was NetStorm too different for its own good? If released today, would its Internet component be a strong selling feature rather than a hindrance? You be the judge; download a trial version of NetStorm.

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