Tunnel B1

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Tunnel B1
Tunnel B1 Cover.jpg
North American PlayStation cover art
Developer(s)NEON Software
Kaiko
Microcabin (Saturn)[1]
Publisher(s)
Designer(s)Antony Christoulakis
Jan Joeckel
Boris Triebel
Artist(s)Andreas Samland
Leif Rumbke
Composer(s)Chris Hülsbeck
Platform(s)DOS
PlayStation
Sega Saturn
ReleaseDOS
PlayStation
  • EU: October 1996
  • JP: 4 October 1996
  • NA: 31 October 1996
Saturn
  • EU: January 1997
  • NA: 15 January 1997
  • JP: 29 August 1997
Genre(s)First-person shooter
Mode(s)Single-player

Tunnel B1 is a sci-fi first person shooter developed by NEON Software and published by Ocean Software in 1996. It features a soundtrack by Chris Hülsbeck of Turrican fame.

The PlayStation and Sega Saturn ports were released in Japan as 3D Mission Shooting: Finalist (3Dミッション・シューティング ファイナリスト).

Gameplay[edit]

The player character travels through a set of precarious tunnels in a high-tech hovercraft. The tunnels are filled with enemy vehicles, choppers and sentry guns which the player has to take out or avoid. Many sections require the player to clear them in a given time limit.[2] The player can upgrade their weaponry.

A complete map of each level can be accessed at any time.[3]

Development[edit]

NEON Software began by working on a game which alternated between segments in a hovercraft and segments in a helicopter, both running on the same game engine. Publisher Ocean Software felt the two play styles did not work well together and suggested that they split them into two separate games. The helicopter segments became Viper, while the hovercraft segments became Tunnel B1.[4]

A demonstration at the April 1996 European Computer Trade Show impressed crowds, and Sony Computer Entertainment subsequently purchased the rights to publish Tunnel B1 and Viper for the PlayStation in North America.[5] Ocean later sold the North American publishing rights for all versions of the game to Acclaim Entertainment, stating that they wanted to focus more on development.[6]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Review scores
PublicationScore
EGM7.75/10 (PS1)[7]
GameSpot4.6/10 (PS1)[8]
Next Generation3/5 stars (PS1)[9]
Sega Saturn Magazine87% (SAT)[10]

Most reviews for Tunnel B1 highly praised the game's visuals, especially the lighting effects.[7][9][10][11][12] However, most also remarked that the gameplay, while fast-paced and competently designed, is too simplistic and lacking in variety to maintain the player's interest.[8][9][10][11] Some also criticized the low-to-the-ground perspective.[7][8] A reviewer for Next Generation felt the game could still be worthwhile so long as the buyer didn't expect much from the gameplay,[9] while Scary Larry and Dr. Zombie of GamePro both contended that "a weekend rental" would be sufficient to exhaust what enjoyment the game has to offer,[11][12] and GameSpot's Jeff Kitts found it too relentlessly boring to merit attention.[8] The four reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly instead contended that Tunnel B1 does manage to combine its impressive visuals with flawed but overall fun gameplay. Shawn Smith and Crispin Boyer elaborated that while it does seem repetitious in the early levels, those who persevere will find the game has a satisfying amount of variety.[7] Rich Leadbetter of Sega Saturn Magazine was pleased that, apart from the replacement of the transparencies with meshes, the Saturn conversion is nearly identical to the PlayStation original, and includes some exclusive content to somewhat make up for the loss of transparencies. He summarized the game as "Not the classic it should have been, but pretty solid (if a tad samey) entertainment."[10]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.microcabin.co.jp/sakuhin_intro/index3.html
  2. ^ "Tunnel B1: WipeOut Meets Descent". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 89. Ziff Davis. December 1996. pp. 298–9.
  3. ^ "Tunnel B1: Fighter Flies! Holy Cripes! They're All Coming Out the Pipes! Aieee!". Sega Saturn Magazine. No. 12. Emap International Limited. October 1996. p. 22.
  4. ^ "Spiele Dealers". Sega Saturn Magazine. No. 7. Emap International Limited. May 1996. pp. 56–59.
  5. ^ "Sony Grabs Ocean Titles". Next Generation. No. 19. Imagine Media. July 1996. p. 21.
  6. ^ "Tidbits...". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 89. Ziff Davis. December 1996. p. 28.
  7. ^ a b c d "Review Crew: Tunnel B1". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 90. Ziff Davis. January 1997. p. 66.
  8. ^ a b c d Kitts, Jeff (December 1, 1996). "Tunnel B1 Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
  9. ^ a b c d "Tunnel B1". Next Generation. No. 25. Imagine Media. January 1997. p. 176.
  10. ^ a b c d Leadbetter, Rich (January 1997). "Review: Tunnel B1". Sega Saturn Magazine. No. 15. Emap International Limited. pp. 84–85.
  11. ^ a b c "Quick Hits: Tunnel B1". GamePro. No. 101. IDG. February 1997. p. 74.
  12. ^ a b "Saturn ProReview: Tunnel B1". GamePro. No. 104. IDG. May 1997. p. 94.