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Screenshot of Armagetron AdvancedScreenshot of Armagetron AdvancedScreenshot of Armagetron Advanced

Armagetron Advanced

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If you've ever seen the film Tron, you will easily recognize and understand the premise of Armagetron, a "light cycle" game.

If you haven't seen the movie, don't worry, the game mechanics are easy. Armagetron is essentially a multiplayer version of Snake except, rather than eating food and avoiding your ever growing body, you drive a super fast motorcycle that leaves a trail of light behind you. Your goal? Force the other players to run into your walls of light while avoiding the same fate.

Armagetron's gameplay can be described as on par with most other light cycle games. It features fast speeds, network and hot-seat multiplayer, AI, and 3D graphics. It can be fun in small doses, but a few design choices will most likely annoy you, especially if you've tried other, more polished games in the same vein.

Ihe AI is exceedingly cheap in terms of ability when compared to you. I'm not talking about how good or bad you may be at the game, I'm speaking of actual in-game ability. You'll often see the AI perform an insanely fast set of turns to avoid getting hit, whereas the player has a wait time between button presses. Even rolling off the movement keys as quickly as possible still results in a long delay between each turn. This means the AI can get out of tight spots while you cannot.

The AI can also be either really good or really stupid. In some instances I had an opponent run straight into a wall, ending the round in under 5 seconds, while other times it would trap itself in its own walls! You will definitely have more fun against human competitors.

As for graphics, they get the job done with simple light cycle models and minimal effects. The music, however, is nonexistent, with only a few sound effects filling the void.

There are other light cycle games (often simply called Tron clones) and while Armagetron Advanced does a great job of recreating the look of the original game shown in the film, it lacks both ingenuity and satisfying gameplay.