Midwinter is a strategic simulation game published in 1989 for Amiga , Atari ST and MS-DOS -compatible systems, with role-playing and first-person shooter characters. Midwinter was designed by Mike Singleton and distributed through Microplay / Rainbird Software .
Midwinter takes place on a 410,000 km² island belonging to the Azores , where arctic conditions prevail due to a post-apocalyptic , nuclear winter . In the midst of the cold, people live in small, widely scattered settlements. The only sources of energy are volcanoes lying under the ice sheet , the heat of which is harnessed with the help of so-called heat mines. In this scenario, the player first takes on the role of Captain John Stark, the commander of the Free Villages Police Force (FVPF). Stark's opponent (computer opponent) is the power-hungry General Masters. He commands a small army and is about to seize control of Midwinter.
Tasks of the player
At the beginning of the game the player (alias John Stark) finds himself alone somewhere in the arctic tundra , only equipped with a sniper rifle , a pair of skis and a map . Since Stark is inferior to the general's army, which is equipped with snow caterpillars and airplanes, sabotage plays an important role. So the player can z. B. stock up in weapons depots with explosives and thus destroy the enemy's heat mines. Furthermore, he must try to find comrades-in-arms among the island's population to stand by him against Master's army. Every time Stark can win an islander for himself, the player has another character available with whom he can move on Midwinter.
Midwinter is difficult to assign to a single genre , as it combines different elements.
Role play elements
The individual people that the player can unlock in the course of the game have very different strengths and weaknesses. For example, children have little stamina and cannot drive vehicles , but General Master’s army ignores them. This means they are moving slowly, but on the other hand they are ideally suited to informing the island population about the impending danger and thus recruiting new characters. Adult characters also have a lot of sympathy towards children and are happy to assure their support, while they sometimes dislike each other and refuse to cooperate. When falling, a player can injure different parts of his body. While z. As an injury to his leg locomotion significantly slowed on skis performs a head injury to a player faster powerless is.
Skis are the most important means of transportation in midwinter and every character is equipped with them from the start. There are also various land and air vehicles. There are four classes of caterpillars (fox, cat, wolf and bull) and three classes of aircraft (fighter, bomber and hang glider / hang glider). While fighters and bombers are reserved for the Army of General Masters, the player will occasionally find a slope glider at mountain stations ( accessible here and there by cable car ). The range of the slope glider is limited, but there is always a relatively strong updraft on the mountain slopes , so that even larger distances can be easily overcome along the mountain ranges.
Midwinter offers a map on which all places and buildings are marked. This helps the player to find strategically important points. As soon as Stark has gathered a troop of campaigners around him, the task is to block the supply lines that are important for the general's army and to destroy their most important buildings ( radio stations , weapon depots, heat mines, prisons). The destruction of buildings attracts the attention of General Master's troops, so that crime scenes have to be vacated quickly after an act of sabotage.
First person shooter elements
In Midwinter there is a handgun (sniper rifle) and hand grenades . Bunkers or church towers are therefore particularly good locations. Snow vehicles are equipped with ground-to-ground and ground-to-air missiles . Hang gliders are equipped with air-to-air missiles .
In the computer magazines of the 1980s, Midwinter was celebrated as a milestone in computer game history due to its unique combination of different genres, and the learning curve was considered to be very steep. In addition to the fact that the player had to control more and more characters , it was hardly possible to solve the game without reading the manual at the same time, as this was the only way to learn something about the relationship between the individual characters. Not least thanks to its technically and atmospherically unique graphics for the time, the title was a great success and found a successor with Midwinter II - Flames of Freedom, which however could no longer follow the success of the original.