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Have You Played... Z?

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Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

I played Z so long ago that I don’t remember if I really like it. I remember that it threw out the base-building and resource collection of Command & Conquer, which I did like, in favour of a control point system where resources and units were generated by capturing terrain.

Z tried to add complexity in other ways. The need to steal terrain and materials from your opponents meant you could do things like kill the driver of an enemy vehicle and commandeer that vehicle for your own army. I remember trying to orchestrate this far more than it was actually useful, for the simple novelty.

It also had a fancy, computer-animated opening cutscene which established that the robots you were controlling were drunken dudebros. I remember being more impressed by the animation than the comedy, even as a kid.

I also remember, since it was by the Bitmap Brothers, that it felt even at the time like part of a wave of Amiga developers who were struggling to change or keep up with the times. The Bitmap Brothers had made Speedball and The Chaos Engine, but seemed to fizzle out not long after Z and a sequel, Z: Steel Soldiers.

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Graham Smith


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