by Gremlin Interactive/Interplay Productions

House Set and House Horus of the planet Tawy are at war, each seeking total destruction of the other. You are a low ranking pilot of House Horus, and must fight for your heritage as the battle for the throne rages on. It's a cute little back story, nothing new, but it explains the Egyptian imagery and theme quite well. Basically, you'll fight in the skies in this 3D desert action blast-fest that requires a little more then brute force. You'll need your brains (at least a little) to plan out your missions well if you expect to meet with success.

The graphics are well done, if a little redundant across the levels. You do get tired of sand after a while, but the haze and smoke effects are pretty darn cool. Remember, this is not a game utilizing hardware acceleration. All of the effects here are part of the basic programming. Not too shabby, even if it is something we've seen a couple of times before. Sounds are well executed, voice acting is adequate. Nothing really stands out, but nothing is detrimental either.

The game plays much like Terminal Velocity or Hellbender. It looks more like Terminal Velocity - DOS based, nice SVGA graphics, etc. But you are able to hover as in Hellbender and perform pre-defined aerial maneuvers. The maneuvers are a nice touch, and give it a feel of it's own, rather than a clone of Terminal Reality's old standbys. You receive missions from your commander, and fly out into the desert to complete them. You'll find reconnaissance and salvage missions, or prevent an army from reaching a certain point. Much more intelligent that the usual "blast everything out of the sky" type missions, although you'll get what amount to those, too. There are a total of 24 missions available to you, taking place both during the day and at night. As you progress you'll advance in rank and be allowed access to better and more powerful weapons. Weapons are pretty standard fare, ranging from the chainguns to lasers to nuclear devices. Interesting technology in the game includes an interactive map, where you may select any spot you like so that your guidance system points you to it. Targetable enemies makes hunting simpler and flares help redirect incoming missiles. Shield energy recharges itself while you fly around idle, and weapons stores must be located and raided - no ammo floating around for no reason in this game. Multiplayer is not included, it would have been nice to team up and blast at an enemy army of human opponents.

Sandwarriors is a good game. It doesn't break any new ground, but it does provide an entertaining game with intelligent missions and a few extras.

Graphics 85%
Sounds 80%
Gameplay 80%
Interface 86%
Overall Impression 80%

Bottom Line: Entertaining game, even though we've seen most of it before. It does include well thought out missions and pre programmed maneuvers that you may perform with your ship. Advancement during the game is also a nice extra. No multiplayer options.

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Copyright 1997 Electric Games. All rights reserved worldwide.