Source: VideoGames & Computer Entertainment – December 1989
Omega (not to be confused with Omega Race) by Origin was really a game ahead of its time given that it was released in 1989. The goal was to build a tank with a certain budget, program it, and then pit your tank against others. As you win battles, your budget increases and you can build better tanks for more difficult challenges. You could even create your own battlefields.
Omega was ahead of its time in a couple of ways. Part of the game involved actually programming your tank. There were various AI script commands that could be used that were reminiscent of BASIC. There were instructions that allowed control of various functions of the tanks as well as others that allowed communication and coordination between tanks. The code used to program the tanks was cross-platform so Omega players from different platforms could still compete with each other. For a while there was even an official Omega BBS to facilitate this.
Omega was available for several platforms including the Amiga, Apple II, Apple IIgs, Atari ST, Commodore 64, DOS and Macintosh. The ad above mentions all of these with the Apple IIgs and Macintosh versions “coming soon”. This game has never had a sequel or been remade but I think it would be an excellent candidate to remake today. I’m not aware of anything quite like it. If you want to give this one a try, any of the versions are pretty good and there really isn’t a significant difference in terms of game play. The 16-bit versions will have somewhat better graphics in most cases but it isn’t a big deal for this game. Pick your favorite platform and give it a try.
The above ad is from the December 1989 issue of VideoGames & Computer Entertainment.