The Echo Cluster
The Echo Cluster is a resource designed to invite new players to play the game VGA Planets. Since there are countless other sites and resources, many of which jump into hard data or assume a stong knowledge of the game, The Echo Cluster a friendly home for the learner. Here you will find basic yet essential files to enhance game play as well. In the Forum you can post your comments or concerns, or even share VGA war stories.. But first, here's my introduction to this addicting strategy game...
"Checking all ship reports... all ships report in... WHAT THE?? I have a combat recorder transmission, stand by, engaging recorder... I've got a Klingon ship de-cloaking... firing photons at me... my fighters have brought his shields down to 23%... another mark 7 photon blast to our hull... our damage is now at 80%!! We lost her!!"
Another turn, another month in the galaxy and much has happened while you were away, commander. Your colonists are rioting, your freighter hit a mine field, and you've run out of the precious mineral Duranium at your starbase... However you did build two fully-stocked Instrumentality Class starships and their waiting for your command... but wait, you have three messages from alien races... one of them is still pressing to know if you are friend or foe, while the other is begging for your assistance at Omicron II. There is an ion storm approaching, so you would have to act fast if you care to help the Privateer race... their promise to grant you a cloaking vessel is one you do not want to give up... but wait, what's this... a message from one of your Catspaws.... "We have been robbed by the Privateer ship Killswitch." Forget those back-stabbing Privateers, and let's move our two new ships in for the kill..
Though VGA Planets doesn't hold a catchy or luring name, don't let that fool you. Fans of this game are still playing ferociously since the early 1990s as newcomers are joining each year as well. Created by Tim Wisseman, it's name actually has a history behind it...
In 1990, VGA video cards were cutting edge tech. Many had just EGA and many popular games were ANSI or Text based. VGA was high tech. It was a warning to BBS users that they must have a VGA card to play this game. There was an outcry at the time to make an EGA or CGA version of the game. . . but that never happened. The top shareware games of the time use EGA in their title, like EGA Mud or EGA Trek.
This isn't a fast-action, 3D graphic-card requiring game to test your reflexes. Rather, VGAP is a strategy game that links the MIND with GAME PLAY. In other words, you'll be playing this game 24-7... In your bed, in the car, in conversation, etc. As you try to second guess your opponents' moves, you'll be second guessing your own as well. As your empire grows, so will your resources and power.
If you like science fiction, if you like strategy games like chess or Risk, and if you happen to like building a space ship from scratch to form your personalized vessel, with a personalized name and a mission of your choice,, this game is for you. Ever feel the need to CREATE something? The child-like urge of building a starship out of Lego blocks? Forget the kids stuff, this is serious... we're talking about an armored space station able to hold 250 fighter ships. Set your pace to fit your lifestyle... play everyday, three days a week, two, even one. The game operations/interface may seem confusing and overwhelming at first, but once you get the hang of it, you'll never regret getting involved. Make sure to visit the tutorial in the "how to play" section. Welcome to the Echo Cluster!