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Age of Sail, a Windows CD-ROM (requiring minimum 486/33-8MB RAM) for $54.95 from TalonSoft (1-800-811-6504).

Age of Sail simulates naval warfare as fought from 1776 to 1820. This game is a detailed and relatively realistic representation of the tactical arena at the ship-to-ship and the squadron-to-squadron level. Fighting is done in real time and many features are available to adjust realism and playability. There are scenarios representing some of the most famous actions of the period, including the Battle of Trafalgar, and noteworthy ships, such as the frigate Constitution. There is also a campaign game of linked scenarios and a scenario editor for designing your own battles. Background information is available in the form of an online help system that gives a fair introduction to the period and the navies.

Gamers looking for global strategy or the logistics of the sailing navy will want to look elsewhere, but those who wish to get a feel for the actual heat of battle will find this game a very entertaining introduction to combat in the era of the “tall ships.”

Michael Breen