SOFTWARE REVIEW: TAI PAN by Richard Karsmakers
Imagine yourself living back in the time of James Clavell's
"Shogun", the book so beautifully put onto celluloid some years
ago with a leading part for Richard "John Blackthorne"
Chamberlain. That isn't that difficult if you've read the book,
since the writer succeeds to capture all the realism of mediaeval
In his book "Tai Pan", Clavell succeeds in capturing quite some
realism as well, and the game succeeds in reflecting that also.
"Tai Pan" is the exiting story of a man and an island. Become
Dirk Struan - a pirate, a smuggler, a manipulator of men
achieving riches beyond imagination. Enter a world of blood, sin
treachery, conspiracy and murder - a game of Grand entertainment!
Ocean has finally been able to launch the long awaited game "Tai
Pan" - already featured in many U.K. Atari advertisements and
wetting a lot of people' appetites. Indeed, the screen shots
looked great and I couldn't wait for the screen to show the first
graphics when the game dropped in my mail recently (wherefore I
must thank Mr. Miles Rowland, Export Sales Coordinator of Ocean).
The first graphics were a bit of a letdown. Although functional,
I had expected more of the front picture (by the way, the
graphics were done by Mr. Pete Lyon of "Airball" graphics fame).
First thing you can do is select whether you want to use joystick
or mouse (joystick should be plugged into port 0 - the mouse port
- which is very unfortunate).
After some more time of loading, the first scene reveals itself
on your computer screen. Hmm. It could have been better but it
could have been worse as well. I was used to better Pete Lyon
artwork, but I did not loose my confidence in this artist just
yet - there might be more stunning artwork to come. And indeed,
it came. While listening to the music (done by Peter Clarke, and
which may be considered bad at all) I wandered around town,
searching for someone that would lend me money (this, so I read
in the manual, was the first thing to do). Some better artwork
soon revealed itself to me - stores, inns, even a jail (of which
I saw the unhealthy side of the bars before long). While
strolling around I found something with which I could press gang,
but unfortunately it took a long time for my to find a
phylantropist to lend me the money required for the purchase of a
ship. After some time, I went to eat something in a restaurant
and that's where I found my benefacturer. After hiring a crew and
getting some goods I went sailing and even better artwork was
presented to my tired eyes - the graphics seem to get better and
better as you continue in the game (especially the map is done
really well). Sailing is a bit complicated, but it shouldn't stop
you from sailing around the pacific Ocean and fullfilling the aim
of the game - to earn a lot of money, eventually gaining the
title of "Tai Pan" - Supreme Leader. To earn all that money, you
must do what I told earlier and sail accross the wide oceans from
island to island - each island featuring a town of its own.
Fighting other ships and other excitement will soon be launched
at the bewildered player...
Although it leaves not too good a first impression, "Tai Pan" is
definately a game of high standard, and much fun to play if you
have enough perseverance. The graphics are good, the music even
better and the category the game belongs to is 'arcade
Name: Tai Pan
Overall rating: 8.5
Remark: Would have liked some more
Price: DM 39,-
The game can also be obtained through Ocean software. For info,
call England (0)61-832-6633 (10 lines) or write to Ocean, Ocean
House, 6 Central Street, Manchester, M2 5NS, England.
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.