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/// Usenet Review:  Cow Wars
    ------------------------
    By Marcus Albers
    (malbers@ns.ccsn.edu)


PRODUCT NAME

        Cow Wars, version 1.1


BRIEF DESCRIPTION

        A humorous artillery game.


AUTHOR/COMPANY INFORMATION

        Name:           Chris Richards
        Address:        P.O. Box 3311
                        Iowa City, IA  52245
                        USA

        E-mail:         crichard@umaxc.weeg.uiowa.edu


LIST PRICE

        Free -- this program is in the public domain and available on the
"Aminet" ftp sites in /pub/aminet/game/shoot.


SPECIAL HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS

        None.  The program is AGA-compatible.


COPY PROTECTION

        None.


REVIEW

        As a big Monty Python fan, I love a humorous game, and finally I
have found one:  Cow Wars.  The title itself intrigued me, to begin with.  My
first impression was that it may be something based on the many cows of "The
Far Side", but it is even better.  It is Artillery gone Monty Python!

        The game that this is based on, called Artillery, is an old game
that pits two players against each other, armed with cannons.  Each player
takes turns changing the angles on their respective cannons and blasting
cannon balls at the other player over a mountain.  Factors such as wind
speed and direction and the amount of powder charge will affect the motion
of the cannonball.  A very addicting game.  Now, it's better.

        Cow Wars uses the same basic rules and variables as the original
game.  But, instead of firing cannonballs, you are firing COWS!  Strange,
but true.  Complete with a resounding "mooooooo" whilst they fly over the
mountain towards their intended target.

        You have to fire and hit your opponent with three types of cows:
styrofoam, glass, and (of course) real cows.  The wind direction and velocity
change constantly and are monitored by a small flag at the bottom of the
screen.  The wind affects the cow types differently:  a styrofoam cow will
blow around more than a glass cow in a strong wind, and a real cow is not
affected as much as the other two.  The cannons themselves pace back and
forth on their respective sides of the mountain, making the positioning of
constant shots that much more difficult.  Both the maximum wind velocity and
the maximum distance that the cannons should travel can be controlled by the
user, or can be picked at random by the computer.  The size of the mountain
can be changed as well.

        Then there's the "fire penguin" (as if this wasn't strange enough
already).  He is an oversized penguin that floats back and forth above the
playfield, ready to intercept any airborne Holsteins that may come his way.
With a villainous laugh, he devours any cows that cross his path, making it
even harder to hit your target.

        Is this game impossible to play, you ask?  Not in the least.  It is
very playable, and it can be made as easy or as hard as you like.  The game
is set up as a two player-only game, but is a lot of fun to play by
yourself.  The fact that the other cannon moves around on the other side of
the mountain makes it a challenge to hit even if it isn't trying to hit you
as well.

        The program itself was written in Amos, the graphics done with DPaint
III, and the sounds were taken from a disk of Macintosh sounds.


DOCUMENTATION

        The documentation is well written and very complete.  


LIKES AND DISLIKES

        As for suggested improvements, the only one that I would suggest is
a true one-player mode with a computer-controlled opponent.


CONCLUSIONS

        I rate this game as a 9.8 out of a possible 10 points.