Omega Review + Tournament Coverage – Computer Gaming World

This is a review of Origin’s tank programming game Omega taken from the November 1989 issue of Computer Gaming World:-

OmegaReviewCGWPage1 OmegaReviewCGWPage2


In the same issue, CGW started a monthly feature covering the tournament for the game that Origin ran. A flyer for this tournament was included in every copy of the game and it ran for several months with contestants pitting their tanks against each other. The winner won all of Origin’s games, an Omega jacket, $500 and an Omega trophy. The trophy and/or jacket would make nice collectibles to say the least although I’ve no idea what happened to them. Each month’s competition had a brief writeup in CGW with the final results being declared in true Origin style as an announcement by Cybertank manufacturers OSI. I’ve included scans of all of the monthly features below:-

OmegaTournament1 OmegaTournament2

OmegaTournament3 OmegaTournament4

OmegaTournament5 OmegaTournament6

While I’m posting I’ll mention that I’ve added a couple more guide scans to the downloads page. These are X-Wing Collector’s CD (the biggest guide I’ve scanned so far) + Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade. More Lucasart’s scans are on the way when I get around to it.

Omega Review – PC Plus

This is a review of Omega from the February 1990 PC Plus magazine. The reviewer was positive about the game in general but must have been something of a pacifist as he didn’t like the warmongering concept.


While I’m on Omega, I’ve uploaded a scan of the lengthy Cybertank Engineer’s Handbook from the game. I scanned this for replacementdocs years back but couldn’t do a decent job without a book scanner. By the time they had compressed it down, it was more or less illegible. The new scan is much improved and in the downloads for anyone who wants it.

I should also mention the sell off of Origin bits and pieces that Rhea Shelly (ex Origin QA) is having as posted on There isn’t anything on there I wouldn’t want in all honesty, although I’ll be confining my bids to a select few items to give myself a slim chance of actually winning something. I was hoping to see Caverns Of Callisto among all those early games but no such luck.

Day 35

I finished up Omega without any trouble last night. I just modified my tank to turn left 3 when it hit the edge of the map so that it ended up diagonally crossing the middle. This made the battles much faster and I beat the Ogre on my first attempt. There’s no cutscene or anything to mark the end of the game beyond the usual certificate and a final rank of Omega.

There is still plenty of room to improve my tank and the game could be played long beyond this point but this is good enough for me. All in all this was a pretty impressive game, if you ever fancied programming an A.I. its well worth a look. Next up: Knights Of Legend

Day 34 – Omega

Omega is a very different game to anything else Origin has ever produced. In this game you must design the ultimate tank choosing the components and programming the A.I. Your tank then goes up against a predesigned tank and if you win 7 out of 10 you get promoted and get more money to improve your tank. The manual for this game is huge – 300 pages+ I would guess but the page numbering makes no sense.

You can’t play the game without reading most of it either. That would alienate most people straight off I would have thought but pc gaming was very different back in the 80’s. It really shows how much the industry has changed that a major publisher would release a game like this.

On starting the game you get a nicely animated introduction and some unncessary eye scanning effects. These are better than anything I’ve seen in an Origin game to date – with a game like this they probably felt the need to put the effort in since you would be staring at code for most of it.

The game uses a mouse driven interface, which works well. You can choose from a huge variety of tanks and components although most are too expensive at this stage. To start with I just use a sample A.I. from the manual.

To advance in the game you have to run clearance tests against a pre-designed tank. If you win 7 out of 10 you get a promotion and more money for your tank. The A.I. from the manual is good enough to beat the first tank. Things get trickier after that.

Most of the tank fights seem to end up in slugging matches with both standing still and shooting each other. My first minor A.I. change is to fire in the same place 6 times without bothering to scan for the enemy tanks position. This gives me a clear speed advantage and gets me through the next couple of levels.

At this point my speed advantage vanishes as the other tank has an upgrade which enables it to lock its scanner onto me and fire without scanning again. To counteract this I have to purchase a jammer which removes this lock and then add the appropriate code into the A.I. Again this gets me through a few more levels.

My next major problem is a tank which backs away to repair, then waits for me to come onto it and shoots me as soon as I’m in range. This one is seriously annoying. My strategy here is to not move if the enemy is within a range of 10 so that he always comes onto me instead. This is a slow process, so I just leave it running but when I get back to my PC I’ve won 9 out of 10.

The next battle is up against an Ogre tank (a clear reference to the game). I’m struggling to find it with my A.I. and tend to end up following the edges of the screen around. When I do find it, I usually win so if I improve my path finding to go to the middle of the map, I think I can beat it but this will have to wait till tommorow.

All the programming is a bit too much like the day job for my liking but this is a pretty impressive game and really would teach the fundamentals to someone who has never programmed before. You can battle friends tanks or there was BBS support as well. You can even design teams of tanks that can talk to each other. The options really are endless if you wanted to carry on with this game. From my point of view, I’m just trying to get to the top level of promotion and move onto the next game. I’ve no idea what the top level is but I expect that the ogre I’m fighting is the toughest opponent and I’ll win the game if I beat it.