M.A.X.: Mechanized Assault and eXploration

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M.A.X.: Mechanized Assault and eXploration

Postby gnat on Thu Aug 07, 2008 2:02 am

Does anyone here remember M.A.X.: Mechanized Assault and eXploration? I thought this game was bloody fantastic and deserved a thread here.

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M.A.X. is a turn-based strategy that was far ahead of its time when released in 1997. The basic storyline is you're this cyborg-commander "exploring" alien worlds and there are other cyborg-commanders with the same idea in mind. In this game, peaceful negotiation doesn't exist in the future, and that's where the "mechanized assault" part comes in. You command hundreds of loyal robots who would like nothing more than to help you undermine your enemy and have them blow up in a fireball of destruction.

The game has an immersive sci-fi atmosphere and play is deep; the strategies can get very interesting: Build sea platforms to construct your entire outpost on the water, becoming impervious to land-based attacks in the process. Make covert strikes to take out connectors and vital structures in order to cripple and enemy base defenses before moving in with your main force. Use infiltrators to take enemy units and capture alien remains found occasionally on the map. Pump additional resources into your factories to speed production (this can get very expensive, but can be worth it).

It has a lot of features that you don't see in many strategy games these days.. There's this fantastic pre-game screen where you can purchase units and upgrades before the game begins. When you've selected your initial force to be dropped down to the planet (via dropship), you then select a landing site, carefully choosing a spot where you think other players are not as likely to land, yet will still be of some strategic value (unless you have purchased a lot of tanks in the previous screen and intend to cheapshot the other player). If two or more people land in around the same area, it almost guarantees an early game skirmish and an exodus to somewhere else on the map for the failed player.

The game allows you to do a full visual zoom of the map from unit to planetary map level; this is a feature that many say Chris Taylor pioneered with his Supreme Commander game. MAX did it first, and did it well.

The graphics were also phenomenal considering the technology it was made for (i'm talking pre-pentium 1 era). The soundtrack and effects were nothing but pure awesome and instantly make you feel like you are right there on the alien planet with your robot force.

You can get the game running easily enough on a virtual machine running Windows 98SE, or DOSBox. There is actually an opensource remake of it in the works as well that looks quite promising.

Back when I was just a little newb, in the beginning of my lanning days, I remember playing this game for hours on end with Deathright in hotseat mode. Good times!

b4wls b4wls b4wls b4wls b4wls
out of five bawls.
I give this game my upmost recommendation. It's simply one of the best of its kind.
Never get discouraged, just let your nerdy flourish -YT
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Re: M.A.X.: Mechanized Assault and eXploration

Postby Serenity on Thu Aug 07, 2008 10:55 pm

hmmm interesting...
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Re: M.A.X.: Mechanized Assault and eXploration

Postby paragonvortex on Sat Apr 21, 2012 10:07 pm

I concur! M.A.X. was one of the best turn-based tactical strategy games ever devised. I played it extensively after its release in 1997, and just recenlty started playing it again after purchasing MAX 1&2 via download from GOG.com(i.e. Good Old Games) for just $5.99.

Its not real stable on my Windows 7 PC, so I play it on my older Windows XP desktop. For a description of the game, think three dimensional chess where your chess pieces are military units(i.e. Armored Fighting Vehicles, Transports, Infantry, Scouts, Airforce & Navy) and your objective is to build a base, mine resources, establish a defensive perimeter with radar installations, missle turrets, AA turrets etc. Once you have a mechanized force of sufficient size, you scout and explore your planet to seek out and destroy any enemy factions. All of the units you produce are customizable via multiple different upgrades you can acquire from mining gold, and building the appropriate structures to upgrade your units. All units have a line of sight/range of fire and will fire opportunity fire if an enemy unit enters their zone of control. This makes the AFV scanner and AWAC's units invaluable to see ahead into the fog of war to detect enemy radar, AA, and long range missle units that could impede your attack. The depth of tactical and strategic planning that goes into this game is very satisfying. They just don't make games like this anymore. It truely is a "good old game" which I enjoy! This is why I spent the time to post this reply.

This game was very underated and poorly advertised at the time of its release. So if your into deep turn-based strategy games, and happened to miss out on this one, give it a shot, it may worth your while!
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