Zap! (video game)

Infobox VG
title = Zap!


developer = GarageGames
publisher = GarageGames
designer =
engine = Torque Game Engine
released = January 5, 2005
genre = Top-down shooter
modes = Single player, Multiplayer
ratings =
platforms = Mac OS X, Linux, Windows
media =
requirements = 64-128 MB RAM, OpenGL/DirectX video card
input = gamepad, keyboard, mouse

"Zap!" is a top-down shooter computer game created by GarageGames. It is a commercial game that comes with a limited playable demo.

In game, the player control a triangular space ship that is able to "zap" other ships by shooting them down. There are seven different game types: Zapmatch, Rabbit, Hunters, Capture the Flag, Retrieve, Zone Control, and Soccer. The game's prepackaged maps have specific gametypes associated with them.

An eighth game type was included with the game named "Hold the Flag". This gametype and its default map weren't released to the public, yet recently, players of the game have made their own maps for this game type.

GarageGames has not further developed the game since 2005. However, there is now an open source project to revive the game, called Bitfighter.

Gameplay

"Zap!" is a top-down shooter; players compete as small ships using a variety of projectile-based weapons. The objective of teams (or single players) depends on the game type; some are simple deathmatches, while other gametypes revolve around retrieving certain items. Many of the game's gametypes are flag-based.

Weapons and equipment

When the game starts, each player spawns near a "loadout zone". In team games, each team has a loadout zone; in solo matches however, players can use any loadout zone. From the loadout menu, each player picks three weapons and two "modules". Modules are non-weapon tools that assist the player. The selected equipment loadout is activated when the player runs over a usable loadout zone.

There are five different weapons and five different modules. The five weapons are:
*Phaser: The most basic weapon. Fires a single shot; has a very high rate of fire.
*Bouncer: Similar to the Phaser, although shots will bounce of walls.
*Three way: A shotgun-like weapon that fires three projectiles in a spread pattern.
*Burster: A projectile that explodes after about two seconds.
*Mine dropper: Drops land mines. In solo matches, mines are only visible to the player that dropped them. In team games, teammate mines can be seen (they can hurt anyone, however).

The five modules are:
*Turbo boost: Gives the player a speed boost.
*Shield generator: Activates a shield.
*Repair module: Can be used on self, teammates, or stationary objects like gun turrets.
*Enhanced sensor: Allows the player to spot invisible ships and enemy land mines, as well as see farther.
*Cloak field modulator: Makes its user invisible.

The player has, in addition to a health bar, an energy bar. Energy is used by firing weapons and activating modules. When nothing is being used, the bar slowly refills itself. If it gets too low however, the bar must refill to a certain threshold before any weapons or modules can be used.

Maps

There are twenty-one official maps for "Zap!"; each one is compatible with a certain game type. Most have one or two; Capture the Flag and Zone Control have the most available maps. There is also a level editor built in; levels are saved as basic text files (.txt).

Many of the team-based maps have stationary gun turrets that fire at enemy players. The turret has a health bar; it will stop shooting when it runs out of health. Some permanently belong to one team while others are neutral and can be charged by any player. To take a neutral turret, it must first be drained and then repaired with a Repair Module. The turret will change color to match that of its owners.

Force field emitters are small triangles in walls that emit a laser which can only be crossed by the team that matches its color. Like the turret, force fields can be disabled at their base (and neutral ones can be recaptured). Gun turrets and force field emitters are often stationed near team bases to defend them.

Some maps also have teleporters, which transport the player to a different part of the map (or even an entirely different screen).

Gametypes

Solo matches

Solo match gametypes are free-for-all, non-team based games in which every player is against every other player. In this game, a "zap" is a kill.

;Zapmatch: The most basic gametype; a free-for-all deathmatch game.

;Rabbit: In this game the player attempts to get the "carrot" which is represented by a flag. Once the flag is grabbed by a player, the player turns red, and other plays must zap the red player (called a "rabbit") in order to get the flag for themselves. :The player that is able to hold the flag longest, wins.

;Hunters: In this game every player has a flag attached to their ship. Once a player is zapped the player drops their flag, and re-spawns with a new one. When a player drops a flag other players are free to pick them up. Once about every one minute the "nexus" (a green square somewhere on the field) is opened up for about 15 seconds, at which time a player is able to return the flags they have captured from other players for points. Whoever scores the most points (returns the most flags) by the end of the game wins.

Team games

These are the team-based games of "Zap!".

;Capture the flag: Different colored teams capture their enemy's flag while defending their own. Points are scored by stealing an opponent flag and returning it to their own base (however, the capturing team must have their own flag safe in order to score points).

;Soccer: A white ball must be maneuvered to the opposing teams goal and launched into it to score points. The ball moves when it is shot at. Players can still kill each other, although it does not give them any points.

;Zone control: A single flag is dropped somewhere in the field; multiple "capture zones" are also on the map. By taking the flag and entering a capture zone, that player's team scores a point. If the zone had been previously captured by another team, that team loses a point. If a team has control of every zone at once, they score a "touchdown." All the capture zones and the flag are then reset.

;Retrieve: Multiple flags are scattered throughout the level; one point is scored for each flag brought to a team's base.

;Hold the flag: Each team tries to hold the flag inside of their base for as long as possible. Which ever team holds the flag for longest before time runs out wins. This is similar to Retrieve and Rabbit.

External links

* [http://www.garagegames.com/products/39 Zap!] Official Product Page at GarageGames
* [http://zapthegame.com Official Zap! website]
* [http://www.instantaction.com/ InstantAction] Zap! on InstantAction.com
* [http://www.bitfighter.org/ bitfighter.org] Bitfighter is an open source Zap! spinoff


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