Rose-tinted glasses time again people!
Back in the late 90’s, I had a terrible PC. I played CivII: ToT and Mechwarrior 3… I played a lot of Minesweeper and Solitaire… but most of all, I fell in love with a now obscure title called Thunder Brigade, which came in a mega bundle PC game package that my dad got from Cash Converters.
Thunder Brigade was a hover tank game where you floated around vast lumpy maps with the sole aim of destroying enemy bases and tanks. Your ship had armour plates on all sides and once one was gone, you had to be careful to spread the damage around the rest of your craft or risk losing internal components or your arse.
The game wasn’t the best looking thing on the market (even for the time), but the way the game controlled was fantastic. Drifting and floating around at speed felt amazing and the combat was deeply satisfying.
The game had a nice pacing to it, and although the maps were barren, it gave a sort of odd alien charm to the atmosphere. The soundtrack too, was brilliant and added to the fast paces floaty feel of the game.
The story was fairly simple; them’s the baddies, ‘avv ’em, sort of deal. While it was short, the scenario editor meant you could play around for days, giving yourself ridiculous challenges and extending the fun until far after the campaign was complete.
Whilst the game received fairly poor reviews and no port to consoles, the premise was unique and no game since has truly emulated the feeling of freedom of movement.
I think that this game deserved a sequel, and while other hover tank games have followed, most notably the Descent series, nothing’s quite scratched that itch for me.
I would love to see a fan remake or a spiritual successor one day, however I am unaware of such a game in development, sadly.