Incubation: Time Is Running Out
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (July 2011)|
|Incubation: Time Is Running Out|
|Developer(s)||Blue Byte Software|
|Publisher(s)||Blue Byte Software|
|Release date(s)||September 30, 1997|
|Genre(s)||Turn-based tactics, Tactical role-playing|
|Mode(s)||Single player, multiplayer|
Incubation: Time Is Running Out (also known as Incubation: Battle Isle Phase Four) is a turn-based tactics computer game from Blue Byte Software released in 1997. In the game, the player controls a squad of soldiers against an alien threat. The game was one of the first strategy titles to use fully 3D graphics, and supported hardware acceleration on the 3dfx Voodoo.
The single-player campaign includes around 30 missions set in futuristic interiors full of aliens, as a squad of space marines battles to save the civilians and themselves. The game has some head-to-head and co-op multiplayer support via LAN and software such as Kali. There are three difficulty levels which influence parameters like monster respawn and damage rates.
Outside of missions, the main decision is which weapons and equipment to purchase to outfit the squad. A variety of weapons are available. Some low-level guns feature bayonets for mêlée combat, which form a substantial element of the game. Equipment like jetpacks, scanners, improved armor, stimulants and medical kits becomes available as the space marines accumulate experience points.
Incubation is part of the Battle Isle series, though it is only loosely related to the other games in the series. The plot revolves around a mysterious virus causing indigenous inhabitants surrounding a planetary colony to mutate into the monstrous Scay’Ger.
Incubation was released on September 30, 1997. Blue Byte later published an expansion pack, The Wilderness Missions, which added new missions with more resourceful enemies, as well as a map editor.
Criticism of Incubation was mixed. PC Gamer's take was quite positive, awarding it the title of the Best Turn-Based Strategy Game of 1997. Others felt the game made some steps in the right direction but lacked the depth and challenge needed for a great strategy game. Writing for GameSpot, Greg Kasavin noted that "most weapons at your disposal carry limited ammunition and can overheat rather quickly, forcing you to fire only when you must." Niko Nirvi of Pelit, who initially considered the game a botched X-COM variant, came to think of it as a sort of puzzle game and was very taken with it. GamePro gave it 18 out of 20, commenting: "Best of all, the game is both challenging and fun, proving that real-time strategy isn't always best. Incubation is definitely a winner."
- GamePro 103 (February 1998) page 77