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Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds

   
 
Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds
 

Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds (SWBG) is the oldest PC game that I find myself going back to over and over to play. By today's standards the graphics and animation are very low in quality, but that matters little when you enjoy the game play. In essence, you control one of the factions within the Star Wars universe such as the Empire, the Rebel Alliance, the Wookies, the Naboo, the Gungans and the Trade Federation. An expansion pack called Clone Campaigns added the Republic and the Confederacy. The player would use worker characters build their civilization by gathering resources such as food, carbon and nova crystals. With these, they build buildings from which you can either build units or do research. Quickly you build an army with land and air vehicles to battle other factions for supremacy. The gaming engine that runs this program was the same one used in the Age of Empires game, but reworked to utilize unique Star Wars characters and elements.

This game has the ability to play against other players on networked computers. My son and I played many, many hours of Galactic Battlegrounds. The most striking thing about this game was that it came with the tools to not only create your own maps, but to actually program scenarios to customize your game play. I utilized this to create two complete scenarios with R2-D2 and C-3PO as the main heroes. They are real tricky to play with since they have no real way to fight by themselves, which makes these scenarios heavy in exploring and problem solving. If you happened to have SWBG, you can download these custom scenarios by clicking on the following: The Misadventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO and/or The Continued Misadventures of R2-D2 and C-3PO. Make sure to read the text documents included in each zip file for directions. And be sure you are thoroughly familiar with how the game is played before attempting these custom scenarios.

Fans of this game had also created modding tools that allowed you to customize scenario building elements and playable characters. For a while, I played around with those, enabling me to create my own creature for a new set of scenarios. I also created a large environmental unit, a dam. You can see a picture of this in the image below. Because of time and other events, I never finished the complete scenario before the online community that supported the modding tools and custom scenarios faded away. Lucas Arts replaced SWBG with Empire at War. While the graphics and animation on this game were far superior to SWBG, game play was not nearly as fun, and the ability to create custom scenarios nonexistent.

If you are interested in finding a used SWBG game to play, I have a word of warning. I've updated my computer many times over the years and whenever I now try to play SWBG, it inevitably crashes in the middle of the game. I believe it is incompatible with the newer video cards. The only way I can now play SWBG is to do so on my wife's computer, an old Dell which I haven't had the need to update. That is a terrible shame, since I still love playing this game.

 
Dam mod for Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds
 
Copyright © 2012 Tom A. Wright