3-D Havok

Name:
3-D Havok
havok
Company: Amiga
Model #:
2110
Programmers:
Frank Ellis and Jerry Lawson (Videosoft)
Year: 1983
Released?
No
Notes:
Sold as a reproduction cartridge in 2010

 

According to the manual that came with the reproduction sold a few years back, your stellar cruiser’s hyperwarp has cut out and you are adrift in an asteroid field.  Your only hope is to shoot your way out with your ‘high-density laser-pulse inverter’ (which sounds like a fancy way of saying laser beams).  Ok so there’s not much of a plot, but who needs a deep plot when you have 3-D(ish) action!   Shoot on brave space warrior, the fate of the crew is in your hands.


havok

 

3-D Havoc is composed of two different stages (three if you count the ending as a stage).  The first stage is a first person perspective shooter where you must shoot incoming asteroids… IN 3-D!  Each asteroid that hits your ship causes your shields to drop a little.  Once your shields fail your ship will begin to make sputtering sounds and move very slowly.   However due to the incomplete nature of this prototype, it’s actually impossible to die in the game (it’s assumed that once your shields failed the next hit would be lethal).  You can actually turn your shields off and on with the left difficulty switch (the top and bottom of the screen will be gray when the shields are up and black when they are down), but there’s no point in doing so.  It’s unknown if the ability to turn the shields on and off is a deliberate choice (in the completed prototype turning off the shields may have conserved fuel or had some other benefit) or if this was simply a tool used to debug the game during development. 


havok

 


In addition to the shield gauge there are also a Gred gauge which measures how much ammo you have left and a Fuel gauge which measures, you guessed it, how much fuel you have left.   If you run out of fuel your ship will stop moving and you’ll be a sitting duck for asteroids.  This has an unintended consequence in that if you stop in a spot where you are unable to shoot asteroids (they can miss your ship completely in certain spots), you will never be able to complete the level and will be stuck.  In a similar manner the Gred gauge can also run out leaving you with no ammo and no way to complete the level.  However both the Fuel and Gred gauges deplete so slowly you’d almost have to be trying to run out of fuel or ammo to have this happen.  In case you’re wondering, no one is sure what Gred stands for.  It might be short for Grenades (your shots look more like bullets or grenades than lasers), but this is pure speculation on my part.   There also appears to be a bar at the top of screen that might be yet another gauge of some sort, but it appears to be either non-functional in this prototype or simply some random eye-candy like the colored squares above it.


   havok



After shooting a dozen or so asteroids you’ll be taken to the second stage which takes place in a tunnel of sorts.  Here you must shoot down several enemy spacecraft before they can destroy your ship.  After shooting down three or four ships, you’ll see a brief screen that says HERO with your crew cheering your apparent asteroid shooting prowess (they have more faith than I do, my money was on a fiery asteroid related death).  After this you’ll be briefly taken back to the second stage where you can shoot down two or three more ships before being booted back to the first stage.  If you beat the first stage again you’ll see a large flying saucer with a number on it indicating your current level (you start on level 0).  After which you’ll be taken to the next level of difficulty and all your systems will be given a recharge.  It’s unknown if this repeating of the first and second stage before completing a level is a bug or if this is how it would have worked in the final version.

havok

 


Much like 3-D Genesis, the big draw of 3-D Havoc was the 3-D effect.  Attempting to play the game without the benefit of red/blue glasses is nearly impossible as the screen is constantly switching back and forth between red and blue frames that make up the 3-D perspective.  Even with the proper glasses, the 3-D effect is pretty bad as the 2600 just doesn’t have the resolution to do it properly.  Still, it would have been a decent gimmick at the time and probably sold pretty well given 3-D’s brief resurgence in popularity at the time.


havok


 

The history of 3-D Havoc is interesting.  Originally planned to be a cassette based game for the Amiga Power Module (a Supercharger type unit), it was then moved to the Power Play Arcade series of multicarts (see this page for more information).  3-D Havoc would have been teamed up with 3-D Genesis and 3-D Ghost Attack on Power Play Arcade cart #1 (5 carts were planned in total).  It’s unknown why Amiga decided to put three full games on one cart as any one of these games could have stood on their own, but it would have been a real deal for the penny conscious gamer.  Perhaps Amiga knew that the market was becoming cluttered and thought that offering several games on one cartridge was a way to stand out from the crowd (Xonox did something similar with their double enders).  Whatever the reason it was all for naught as the project was cancelled before getting out the door due to Amgia’s decision to stop with the games and focus on a little computer that they’d been developing instead...

 

 

Return to 2600 Software