Incubation: Time Is Running Out

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Incubation: Time Is Running Out
Incubation - Time Is Running Out Coverart.png
Developer(s)Blue Byte
Publisher(s)Blue Byte
SeriesBattle Isle
EngineExtreme Assault
ReleaseSeptember 30, 1997
Genre(s)Turn-based tactics
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 released in 1997. In the game, the player controls a squad of soldiers in a campaign against an alien threat.


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 as one of the first strategy titles to use fully 3D graphics, and supported hardware acceleration on the 3dfx Voodoo. Blue Byte later published an expansion pack, The Wilderness Missions, which added new missions with more resourceful enemies, as well as a map editor.


In the United States, the game sold only 4,805 copies during 1997.[1] Critical reception of Incubation was mostly positive. PC Gamer's take was positive, awarding it the title of the Best Turn-Based Strategy Game of 1997.[citation needed] 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."[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] 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."[2]

PC Gamer US named Incubation the best turn-based strategy game of 1997.[1]


  1. ^ a b Staff (April 1998). "How Did the PCG Award Winners Fare?". PC Gamer US. 5 (4): 45.
  2. ^ GamePro 103 (February 1998) page 77.

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