In the last eight years or so there have been very few original games but one stands out in my mind as the best. That game is Mercenary, a speedy vetor graphics 'future sim'. No-one who's played this game could have failed to be pulled into it. When I first bought it, many aeons ago, I played it for months, very often for ten or 12 hours a day.
For those who need a reminder of the plot: you're a 21st century mercenary who, through battle damage, has been forced to land on the planet Targ. Most of the planet's inhabitants have wiped themselves out in a massive war, but the Mechanoids and the Palyars are still at each others throats - and you're in the middle of the conflict. All you want to do is go home, but you can't do that until you find a spaceworthy ship. But it doesn't hurt to do a bit of freelance work while you are stranded, and you're offered cash to carry out certain tasks.
Your only companion is Benson, a computer that goes everywhere with you and fills you in on the locations that you visit and is a communicator between you and the Palyar and Mechanoids.
It's a difficult game to complete - but the lastability's high because every minute is enthralling. Many people have escaped from Targ but I never quite made it. I got very close to finding the interstellar craft but couldn't pin-point it.
Playing Mercenary again brought back a lot of memories. Five or six years have passed since I first tried to escape from Targ and the game is as brilliant now as it was then. A Smash and no mistake.
Yikes! We've ground to a halt and we did so want to fly under Targ's bridge.