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Universally Free Combat

Looking for a remarkably complex interstellar warfare game with both space combat and planetary elements? Then you’re in luck, because Derek Smart’s Universal Combat, the fifth title in the not-for-wimps Battlecruiser series, has been released as freeware. At 445mb, or 28 Peggles, the game is a waif compared to modern titles, but it still has much to offer if you’re the kind of gamer who is chock full of grit… and patience. It’s not exactly a smooth ride and the game was looking fairly clunky when it came out in 2004, and hasn’t aged well. Not only that but it’s impenetrably complicated in places and had a 200-page downloadable manual to supplement the fairly beefy paper manual that came with the game… And I can’t find the manual download online. Still, even if it is scary: it’s also free.

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Jim Rossignol

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