Battle Isle Phase Four : Incubation

Appeared : Nov 1997
Developer : BlueByte
Editor :
Distributor : Ubi Soft
Official Web Site :
My opinion : outstanding

The title page
The Menu page
The Options page

Incubation. The fourth in the series of Battle Isle titles. I cannot comment on the previous ones, I never played them. But Incubation is certainly a valuable part of the family.

This game is like and unlike any other game. Xcom or Jagged Alliance are certainly close, with turn-based combat as main common point. Incubation has one thing that the others do not : atmosphere. This game oozes atmosphere and tension. Some might scoff at turn-based combat, but they have never lived the anxiety of carefully planning a move, giving the order and then watching what happens. That is the main difference. Sure, as in any turn-based game, you give the order, the unit obeys and something might crop up. Yeah, they're all the same, you can say. Well, no. This one is different.

Here, when something happens, the action is live, not viewed from above. You see your trooper make his move from HIS OWN eyes, or from SOMETHING ELSE's point of view. Add to that the utterly magnificent sound track that is just odd enough to make you feel uneasy and it all adds up to an experience much more tense than point-click-move.

But don't take my word for it, check it out and order it online.

Mission briefing
In the mission

Unfortunately, all the good things (and there are many) in this game are somewhat tarnished by a mission editor that lacks ease-of-use and functionality. Either that, or it is complicated enough to discourage tinkering from all but the most dedicated.

The main gripe I have on this editor is that you can invent your own missions, but in a given set of rooms that have already been modelled. Quite a drawback if you were hoping to create a temple mission or a space station. You cannot. You can only modify existing missions, and you cannot create a campaign either - single mission only.

Too bad. A custom campaign editor would have seriously enlarged the experience.