Retro Gaming Review – Crimson Skies


This is actually review of the old Microsoft PC games rather than the Xbox games because I don’t have an Xbox and it’s the universe I wish to praise rather than the game itself.

That said I am enjoying whizzing around 1930s America as a sky pirate shooting down planes and Zeppelins. I suspect it’s actually pretty easy as a flight slim for a fiver second hang it’s a good laugh.

In a nutshell America after the great Crash of 1929 split into various successor states such as the Nation of Hollywood, the Peoples’ Collective and Republic of Texas. The battles between these powers meant that road and rail networks where cut and as a result cargo Zeppelins came to the fore. And with Cargo Zeppelins came Sky pirates and Air Militias flying various weird and wonderful designs across the skies of North America.

The game reflects this thirties feel with black and white cut scenes, your wingman and opponents using 30s banter and swing band music marking successful stunts as you race across the skies. I suspect from a game play this is quite an easy game but makes it fine for a novice like me and I haven’t tried it on the harder settings. But I enjoy the atmosphere and its that 1930s parallel universe that keeps me playing it. Missions that include attacking submarine aircraft carriers*, digging up buried treasure and rescuing boffins from Red Russian Zeppelins also help keep the atmosphere bubbling over.

The game actually was an old FASA boardgame (that I would to get hold of one day) before jumping to digital. The aircraft with their swing wings and pusher propellers look at once 1930s but fresh and many are based on new designs.

A trial version of the first two scenarios (which misses a fair amount of the colour) is available here http://www.microsoft.com/Games/crimsonskies/

A fellow has helpfully kept a lot of the boardgame background information here http://firedrake.org/roger/csarchive/universe/index.htm With my sad muppet roleplayers hat I can see this background having loads of potential for roleplayign games.

I would love to here how the Xbox game works and fits in if anyone owns it. I be interested if it brought any other elements in like any FPS levels which I think could work really well with boarding actions and the like.

This review is extremely more coherent than the in-person version which is just me jumping up and down saying ‘ 1930s Sky pirates!’ is successively more excited voice.

* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Submarine_aircraft_carrier believe it or not.

GS Reviewer: Andrew

More from the world of Geek Syndicate

%d bloggers like this: