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Sentinel Worlds I: Future Magic

DOS - 1988

Also available on: Commodore 64

Alt name Sentinel Worlds 1: Future Magic
Year 1988
Platform DOS
Released in United States
Genre Role-Playing (RPG)
Theme Real-Time, Sci-Fi / Futuristic, Space Flight
Publisher Electronic Arts, Inc.
Perspectives 1st-Person, Top-Down
Dosbox support Supported on 0.58
4.34 / 5 - 45 votes

Description of Sentinel Worlds I: Future Magic

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One of my most favorite sci-fi RPGs ever, Sentinel Worlds is one of the very best "hard" sci-fi games ever made, despite disappointing sales figures. Your task as is to command a crew of 5 Federation officers as they embark on an epic quest to combat raiders that are plaguing the Caldorre System in the far-future year of 2995, learn where the raiders' base is, and terminate the problem once and for all.

There are many bold innovations that set Sentinel Worlds apart from other RPGs. For one thing, the game is very non linear: you can ignore the central plot (i.e. solving the raiders mystery) for as long as you want-- there are many random dogfights with raiders ships you will encounter in space, each of which require manual dexterity as well as strategic planning (e.g. you can coordinate attacks with other Federation Interceptors in range). Engaging in these action-based fights is a lot of fun, and is a good way to boost your crew members' combat-oriented skills. You can also make a living by harvesting valuable minerals on a planet's surface, and selling them at planets where demand is high. Earned income can be used in various ways, from buying better equipment for your ship, as well as more powerful weapons and gadgets for your crew members.

Once you decide to get knee-deep in the game's plot, you will find a complex, well-written story that involves many subquests (some of which are optional), plot branches, and colorful characters. The conversation system is particularly notable: when you converse with another character, you must often select a response from a number of multiple choices. Each response you choose will affect that character's attitude and future response towards you, and the "optimal" response is not always obvious. This makes the game frustrating at times when you have to resort to an earlier save game if you have selected a conversation choice earlier that prevents you from finishing the game. Worse still, the game only allows 2 save game slots, which makes manual backup almost unavoidable (I remember backing up my saved games to about a few dozen files, just in case).

Despite this flaw, Sentinel Worlds is so well-written, gripping, and teeming with characters going about their business in real time, that you'll gleefully forgive the game and plunge headlong into its many intricacies. The game's well-written plot will appeal to adventure gamers who don't normally play RPGs, while RPGers will find much to like about its skill-based character development and a myriad of high-tech items to use. Don't miss this one folks, and be sure to try the sequel Hard Nova which is even better :)

Review By HOTUD

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Comments and reviews

Pilgrim 2019-07-28 3 points DOS version

Some tips for character creation for those wanting to try this classic:

- You will earn your first few levels by blasting raiders in space, so your character's stats doesn't matters early on the game. The only relevant skill is the Pilot's gunnery, and he will be perfectly capable of handing raiders with just 1.

- HP are calculated initially as STR+STA, and later you are given bonus HP per level according to your STA: 10-11: 1, 12-13: 2, 14-15: 3, 16-17: 4, 18-19: 5, 20: 6. This means that a character with 10-10 will start with 20HP and have 30 at level 10. A character with 10-20 will start with 30HP and have 90 at lvl 10. So, this is a primarly characteristic to invest on, unless you want your characters to get killed with 1-2 shots.

- Skills gained per level are calculated from Comprehead: 10-13: 1, 14-16:2, 17-19: 3, 20: 4. As there are few useful skills in the game, you don't need 20 COM, 17 is more than enough.

- STR is only important for contact and edge weapons damage. You might want to invest some for your combat-leader, or just stick to projectile weapons and ignore STR.

- DEX governs how fast your character attacks, it's very important, but you can raise it during the game and have it at 20 by the time it really matters. It's specially important for the Medic, so he cal heal faster.

- CHA is useless until mid-game. NPCs will react the same no matter your CHA. At mid-game one of your characters becomes a magic user, and CHA determines how many magic energy he gets. Your Comm Officer is the ideal choice.

- For skill assignation, first maximize your primary weapon (projectile for almost all, edged if you decide to use a close-combatant as your frontman). Then max tactics. Then Athletics (you can only raise attributes to a max of 3+atlethics). After that you will already know the ropes of the game and know what to do, maybe max edged so your characters can rely to a secondary hand-to-hand weapon if they run out of ammo, and max Blasters for late-game.

* So a ideal starting party would look like (in combat party order):
1- Main fighter: 13-20-10-17-10
2- Second-Liner: 10-20-13-17-10
3- Medic: 10-18-15-17-10 (he will be in the middle, HP not so important for him)
4- Future Magician: 10-18-10-17-15 (raise CHA to 20 asap with plastic surgery)
5- Rear Guard: 10-20-13-17-10 (enemys will attack you from behind very often)

TheZoid 2019-06-12 0 point

Couldnt find any walkthrough on how to make the game work with D-Fend Reloaded. Just cant for the life of me figure out how to get past the load game disk screen. Guess its not so simple.

Cybersloth 2018-12-17 -2 points

need help to run the game, dont understand where how to section is to run the game in D-fend.

Me 2018-10-09 0 point

anyone have a savegame at or past the space station... even trained up.. they are wiping me out

KingMob4313 2017-03-28 1 point

Make sure to play this game with the Tandy sound on:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O48HgFio6wI

admin 2016-03-16 0 point

@Whane The Whip: thanks for the awesome work on the manual

Whane The Whip 2016-03-15 3 points DOS version

The game is great but I wanted a decent looking manual so I updated the plain text manual to a more visually appealing PDF. It's easier to read, has screenshots and is still searchable. It contains the same content and in the same order as the original with some subtle enhancements and typo corrections. 30 page PDF here: http://bit.ly/sw-fm

Bunch 2013-02-27 0 point DOS version

Awesome game ! great memories ... THX

bre 2012-03-19 0 point DOS version

I like dis

Adamma 2011-06-23 0 point DOS version

to get around the Disk problem, be sure the game is in c:\sw1 (it's in the readme.1st file)

haynema@earlham.edu 2011-02-20 1 point DOS version

It tells me I need a disk to play the game; have no clue what to put on my drive for dfend reloaded in the driver profile

admin 2010-07-15 1 point DOS version

Use DosBox with a frontend like Dfend Reloaded to launch the game. See the howto section to read how to do. Cheers ;)

justin.flottmeyer@us.army.mil 2010-07-14 -2 points DOS version

Having trouble getting this gameto work, Says my 64 bit computer won't play this 16 bit game....

DMac 2010-03-17 -3 points DOS version

It tells me I need a disk to play this game?...what can I do?

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