Interactive Magic – Vangers; One for the Road review

Photo of Interactive Magic – Vangers; One for the Road

According to the blurb that comes with this game, “By the end of the 20th century, people finally united scientific and esoteric knowledge, which had long been separate and antagonistic. It was the achievement of some Spirits who got in a transcendental contact with some powers resembling Infinite Mind”. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat? This is obviously not going to be a ‘jump in and play’ type game. This requires some thought.

(Several days later) Wow. Vangers is a game that truly defies classification. But I’ll try anyway. It’s something of a cross between a strategy game like Total Annihilation, a driving game like Micro Machines and a trading/adventure game like Wing Commander Privateer. All rolled into one. As one of the Vangers of the title, you must leave your underground dwelling and scavenge the surface of your planet, following the instructions of your masters and improving your vehicle all the time. Some of the action takes place on land, some in the air and some underwater. There are hidden traps and passages, with a constantly varying environment. It’s all fantastically disorienting and unusual, set in a bizarre an almost unrecognisable future.

Tony Hart? Absolute genius. Not only did he always have a glamorous female ‘assistant’ on his Take Hart TV programme, but he was also a far better artist than Mr Know-what-it-is-yet? And he was a master of plasticene. The connection between Tony Hart and Vangers is… tenuous, but the game’s developers also seem to have a firm grasp of the plasticene art, which makes for some very weird and unique scenery elements within the game. That, along with the strange sound effects and music, contributes to the atmosphere this fascinating game.

Company: Interactive Magic

The Russian developers of Vangers have created a totally unique game. There really is nothing like it. Anybody with an attention span of less than a week would be advised to walk away, but if you persevere, Vangers will provide a gaming experience that's unlike any other.