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Video Game / Bolo

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A Macintosh multiplayer game by Stuart Cheshire, prototyped in 1987 for the BBC Micro, recently ported to Microsoft Windows and Linux, distributed as shareware. It is an overhead-view multidirectional shooter with some elements of Real-Time Strategy games.

Each player controls a tank. The game maps include "bases" and "pillboxes"; bases are used to refill a tank's armor (that is, Hit Points), ammunition, and mines. Pillboxes are stationary artillery installments that shoot at enemy tanks. Both bases and pillboxes are owned by a player or team; in order to capture them, the enemy must shoot them to reduce their hit points to zero. Unlike bases, captured pillboxes can be collected by a player and then installed in a different place.

Players also have the ability to build walls, roads/bridges (tanks move faster when traveling on roads, and much slower through forests, swamps and craters,) and boats (allows a tank to move fast in water and to travel over deep water without dying, but only takes one shot to shoot out from under a tank.) Building these requires wood, which must be harvested from forests, which will slowly grow on their own (and spread over open terrain.)

When a tank's armor is reduced to zero, it will explode, dropping any deactivated pillboxes it may have carried. Tanks can also be destroyed by sinking in deep water. A destroyed tank will respawn somewhere on the map. Explosions (whether from destroyed tanks or from mines) can damage things, including the terrain itself (in some cases they can turn land maptiles into water maptiles).

Each tank also has an “engineer.” The engineer is used to harvest wood, collect deactivated pillboxes, install collected pillboxes, place mines (a tank can also drop a mine at its current location), and build walls/roads/boats. When doing one of these tasks, the engineer runs out of the tank to the target maptile, then return to the tank after finishing the task. The engineer can be killed (by shots or explosions), in which case another engineer will parachute in.

There's no fixed objective to the game, but generally players will form into teams that fight for control of the bases and pillboxes.

This game provides examples of: