Virtua Combat

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Dracula on a bike
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Joined: July 18th, 2010, 4:47 pm

Virtua Combat

Post by Dracula on a bike »

Here's a freeware game for Windows, which might be a few years too recent for inclusion on this site (its earliest beta test version was released in 2005, thus putting it in the Windows XP era), but I'll go ahead and mention it here anyway: Virtua Combat by Brilliant Bytes Software.

It's a clone of the 1991 Macintosh game Spectre and its 1993 followup Spectre VR; as such, it's a 3D shooter game similar to Battlezone, where you play as a tank, and it supports both first-person and third-person options for POV.

Brilliant Bytes Software later went on to release an official Spectre game for iOS (titled Spectre 3D, released in 2010, but no longer available from the iOS app store as of this writing), and more recently also released an HTML5 play-in-browser adaptation of it (titled Spectre WEB, available from the official Spectre 3D website, and stated by the developers to be in alpha test status in a Twitter post from June 20, 2022).

The developer's original release announcements for Virtua Combat were posted on the forums by a user named "matt_j" (who appears to be the main person -- or possibly the only person -- behind the "Brilliant Bytes Software" moniker). As far as I can tell, they released a total of 3 builds of the game, all of which were labelled as "demo" versions. (I'm guessing that the reason why this game never made it as far as a "version 1.0" release might be because the developer later licensed or acquired the "Spectre" trademark, which would mean that Virtua Combat basically ended up being a series of beta test versions of what eventually became Spectre 3D.) Here are links to the developer's original release-announcement forum posts: I've played the "demo 3" release of it on Windows 10, and it seems to run correctly. (Though there's one annoying thing about it: it seems to always run in a window, with a single fixed window size, and the window always seems to be placed at an off-center location on screen upon launching the game, and also it won't let you move the mouse pointer outside of the game's window. Despite that, though, you can still move the window manually by pressing Alt+Spacebar to bring up the window-menu for the game's window and then choosing the "Move" item from that menu.)

(Also, it appears that Brilliant Bytes Software at one point had a website at a different domain name from the Spectre 3D website, which contained a page specifically about Virtua Combat. As of this writing, that old website appears to still be online but no longer fully functional.)
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