Mechanized Assault & Exploration

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M.A.X.: Mechanized Assault & Exploration
Mechanized Assault & Exploration cover.jpg
Developer(s)Interplay Productions
Publisher(s)Interplay Productions
Designer(s)Ali N. Atabek
Paul Kellner
Gus Smedstad
Programmer(s)Dave Boulanger
Artist(s)Anthony Postma
Arlene Caberto Somers
Writer(s)Steve Perrin
Composer(s)Brian Luzietti
Albert Lloyd Olson
Platform(s)DOS, Windows
Genre(s)Real-time strategy
Turn-based strategy
Mode(s)Single-player, Multi-player

M.A.X.: Mechanized Assault & Exploration is a 1996 hybrid real-time/turn-based strategy video game for PC (MS-DOS, Windows) developed and published by Interplay Productions. The goal is to colonize newly-discovered planets, controlling the resources found there, and defend the colony against other rival factions.


According to Interplay, global sales of M.A.X. surpassed 150,000 copies by June 1998.[6]

M.A.X. was met with overwhelmingly positive reviews. Writing for Computer Gaming World, Patrick C. Miller called it "an uncommonly high quality game with excellent gameplay; challenging artificial intelligence; and considerable depth, variety, and replay value."[2] Next Generation similarly described it as "a sophisticated, challenging, and enjoyable strategy game with a great deal of replayability",[5] while Kevin Mical of GameSpot deemed it superior to the critically acclaimed Command & Conquer.[3]

Critics widely praised the game's large number of gameplay modes and options to play with,[2][3][4][5] huge variety of military units,[2][3][4][5] and sound effects.[2][3] Most were also pleased with the choice of real-time or turn-based play,[2][3][4] though Miller added that he found the single-player campaign frustratingly difficult in real-time mode, since the AI can make decisions and perform actions faster than humanly possible.[2] A more common subject of criticism was the instruction manual, which some reviewers stated is disorganized and omits key gameplay concepts.[2][5] However, reviews generally commented that the training missions are well-designed and do a great deal to overcome the difficulty of learning the game.[2][3][4]

M.A.X. was a runner-up for Computer Game Entertainment's 1996 "Best Strategy Game" prize, which ultimately went to Civilization II. The editors called M.A.X. "a fantastic science fiction exploration and conquest game that demonstrated anew how completely satisfying a turn-based strategy game could be in a decided shift towards real-time strategy gaming."[7] It was also nominated as Computer Games Strategy Plus's 1996 real-time strategy game of the year, although it lost to Command & Conquer: Red Alert.[8]


A sequel, Mechanized Assault & Exploration 2, was released in 1998. M.A.X. was re-released into digital distribution after years of non-availability on in September 2008.


  1. ^ Jones, Nathon. "Plodding". PC Gamer UK (38). Archived from the original on March 17, 2002. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Miller, Patrick C. (June 1, 1997). "M.A.X.". Computer Gaming World. Archived from the original on August 16, 2000. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Mical, Kevin (January 3, 1997). "M.A.X. Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e Wartofsky, Steve (1997). "M.A.X.: Mechanized Assault & Exploration". Computer Games Strategy Plus. Archived from the original on April 18, 2005. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e Staff (June 1997). "M.A.X." Next Generation (30): 128, 130.
  6. ^ Interplay Entertainment Final Prospectus (Report). Irvine, California. June 22, 1998. p. 37. Archived from the original on February 26, 2017.
  7. ^ Staff (July 1997). "The Computer Game Entertainment Awards 1996". Computer Game Entertainment (1): 54–58.
  8. ^ Staff (March 25, 1997). "Computer Games Strategy Plus announces 1996 Awards". Computer Games Strategy Plus. Archived from the original on June 14, 1997. Retrieved November 2, 2010.

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