1991 Image Works
Platforms: Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, PC
Drop Soldier was a RPG that put you in the shoes of a 1st rank soldier, where you are set a number of night and day missions.
You could do missions by yourself or command a platoon and issue orders, plan attacks. One of the exciting aspects was where CU Amiga talked about being able to connect up to 16 Amigas together via modem or RS232 to play as a team.
The missions would range from destroying various enemy bases, to delivering objects to certain locations. The drop soldiers themselves would be equipped with power suits to enable them to jump and run much faster than standard soldiers.
The game was being developed by Ross Goodley, with Pete Lyon on graphics. Both had just recently completed work on Gravity which was also released by Image Works. The game was to combine 3D elements with RPG-style gameplay throughout, where you could fly around 3D landscapes and walk inside buildings (again in 3D).
Design of the according to Richard Hewison in Retro Gamer issue 9 was inspired by Robert Heinlein’s classic sci-fi novel Starship Troopers. According to one report in ACE magazine, Image Works felt that Ross had surpassed his Gravity game, and something rather special was on the cards.
Originally the title was set to see release for Christmas 1991, but unfortunately Image Works would go under after the disappearance of Robert Maxwell. There was talk of trying to find a new home for the game shortly afterwards, but sadly it was never picked up.
Hopefully we’ll get to hear from Ross and Pete at some point about the title and how far it got. Hopefully one of them may even still have something of the game itself. We don’t believe that the PC or Amiga version got very far and that the ST version may well have been the lead development (to be confirmed).
If you know anything more about the game, please do get in touch.
With thanks to Karl Kuras for the heads up and Richard Hewison and Retro Gamer magazine for the screenshots.