Although I’m currently using a laptop that operates under the Windows 11 OS, I was still able to download and play the game HOVER! Given how much time I’ve had for the game lately, since I play while listening to news, I may have either beat the game or maxed it out.
WHAT IS HOVER!?
HOVER! is a game that could first be found on the Windows 95 installation CD. The purpose of the game, beyond being fun, was to show off the graphics capabilities of a computer running Windows 95. It was a big brag for its time.
The Windows 95 installation CD also contained a full-length music video of “Buddy Holly” by Weezer.
As great as our software has become today, it’s not nearly as fun as it was in 1995. But they had to make it fun because many people weren’t comfortable with computers. That’s another story for another time.
HOW THE GAME PROGRESSES
There are three different scenes, where you navigate your personal POV hovercraft through the different scenes. There are various things to pick up for power, as well as things to avoid, tools [springs, brick walls], and mystery offerings.
At first, you have to collect 3 blue flags through each scene. Then they make it 4 per scene, then 5 per scene, then 6 per scene.
After this, the game gets progressively harder with more enemy hovercraft being added. They become faster and pick up their own flags faster. The fewer flags they have captured at the end of a run, the more bonus points you will receive.
The goal is to capture all of your blue flags before they collect all of their red flags. There is only one life, so once you lose, the game is over.
There is no actual “winning” of the game. That said, I do believe that I may have “won” the game.
HOW COULD I WIN A GAME THAT DOES NOT HAVE AN ENDING?
As I noted earlier, the enemy hovercraft get progressively faster, more numerous, and more aggressive.
This requires the game to take up more resources. Since this was written for Windows 95, it has its limits.
In the above screen capture, I’ve achieved a high score of 3,117,750, and was able to get to Level 39. By this point, the game has become unplayable, as there are a great number of pauses, flashes, stutters, and the direction arrows become less responsive. Timing a jump becomes impossible as well.
Before this, the game is very playable and I find it to be an utter joy to have on my laptop.
IN THE END
I might try to beat this score, although it is unlikely. It takes a long time to get to this level. But it is very easy to fall into this game, so it could happen.
Since the game has no actual ending, it can be hard to figure when a game is really, truly over. Given that this game was included as a way of showcasing new graphics features, and was NOT created as a stand-alone game to play, they didn’t have the luxury of time OR disk space to make this game more robust.
Playing this game is like riding a hovercraft back to 1995. It was a simpler time. In that regard, HOVER! will always be a winner to me.
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