Publisher Ziggurat and developer Terminal Reality have dropped an updated version of Apogee shareware classic Terminal Velocity on PC and Switch without telling me, and I am offended. Terminal Velocity: Boosted Edition is a source port of the overlooked classic that everyone played that updates the base game to run natively on modern hardware.
Terminal Reality is actually the original developer of Terminal Velocity, having released it way back in 1995 for DOS. The three-episode game was released by Apogee under their 3D Realms label, who gave away the first episode for free as part of their shareware method of distribution. Because it was free, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone with a DOS-based PC at that time who didn’t play it. In fact, I bet there are numerous people reading this right now going, “Ooh! That’s what that game was called.”
As sort of a space-flight sim similar to Descent, Terminal Velocity had you cruising across planet surfaces, accomplishing various objectives, which were normally just blowing something up. It wasn’t a particularly deep game, but it had 3D polygonal graphics, which were still catching on with PCs at the time. I want to say that it’s mostly memorable because of its shareware origins, but that sounds like it’s damning it with praise. It’s an inoffensive and fun experience, and I honestly enjoy it more than Descent.
The Terminal Velocity: Boosted Edition features extended draw distance, widescreen visuals, reduced polygon jitter, re-engineered sound, and translucent shadows.
I love seeing source ports of older games. It’s possible to get a lot of them to run in something like DOSbox, but that can be finicky to get it just right. I prefer a nicely future-proofed engine over tinkering any day.
Terminal Velocity: Boosted Edition is available right now for PC and Nintendo Switch for $11.99. Xbox and PlayStation console ports are reportedly coming sometime in the future.