ECTS 2001 first look: Mech Platoon

Kemco gets into the real-time strategy business with its upcoming GBA offering.

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Kemco's Mech Platoon attempts to be a traditional real-time strategy game in the vein of Warcraft or Command & Conquer. As the name suggests, you are given an army of various robotic units to work with. You can select them one at a time, click-drag over them to select groups, and even assign different units to different groups for easy access to numerous groups of units. Like any RTS game worth its price, Mech Platoon has plenty of structures and resource gathering as well. The game has three resources--rock, sand, and crystal--and each unit and structure requires a different combination of the three resources to be built.

While you wouldn't expect the GBA to be able to handle an RTS-style interface, Kemco's game takes a simple approach that seems to work pretty well. The A button is used to select units and commands. Once you click on a unit or structure, a small menu of commands is displayed. Clicking on your base gives you construction options, and clicking on units lets you move them or command them to gather resources or attack.

Mech Platoon uses prerendered graphics for its units and structures, and aside from a slightly muddy look on some of the units, the graphics work just fine. The game has an extensive tutorial mode that teaches you the basics of movement, resource management, construction, and combat. The game will have link cable support for up to four players, letting you play competitively and swap units between systems.

No US details have been announced, but the European release of Mech Platoon is scheduled for November.

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