Not Forgotten - NetStorm: Islands at War | Tetris Meets StarCraft Meets Tower Defense -

Not Forgotten – NetStorm: Islands at War | Tetris Meets StarCraft Meets Tower Defense

Indigo Gaming
Views: 32681
Like: 1876
Let’s set our course to NetStorm: Islands at War, the obscure 1997 real-time strategy game by Titanic Entertainment. NetStorm was to be the first online-focused RTS ever made by a major studio, and on top of that accomplishment, it created a fascinating and memorable world, with Chess-like combat, Tetris-esque puzzle mechanics, and online multiplayer capabilities, that hasn’t quite been replicated anywhere else.

This episode of Not Forgotten looks into the history of the game’s development, the context of 1997s internet restrictions, what made the game fail, and its community revivals, including a spiritual successor and even a Starcraft 2 mod.

Join the unofficial NetStorm community on Discord:

Vote for Netstorm on GOG’s Community Wishlist

0:00 – Introduction to NetStorm
2:31 – What made Netstorm unique
9:48 – Online gameplay issues, hacking, launch timing
13:56 – The future of NetStorm



PWMI, lead developer of Netstorm multiplayer restoration project



NetStorm original soundtrack composed by Mark Morgan

Additional music licensed through Epidemic Sound:



StarCraft gameplay by JayborinoPlays:

Command & Conquer gameplay by Major Thriftwood:

Ultima VII gameplay by Major Thriftwood:

Age of Empires gameplay by Nookrium:

Warcraft gameplay by Stu:

Warcraft II gameplay by Stu:

Quake gameplay by Pagb666:

Flash Element TD gameplay by Splazer Productions

Age of Empires upscaled intro cinematic by The Gaming Restoration |




Ken Demarest:

Successors / crowdfunding campaigns:

Starcraft 2 module (unreleased):



#Tetris #Starcraft #RTS


  1. Played this as a kid all the time as my dad had the CD, never got to play online but still played this for hundreds of hours

  2. Another great video, and definitely interesting to be looking at such a unique forgotten game.

    That said, I’m not a superstitious guy but maybe don’t name your studio after the most famous naval disaster in history. Probably bad juju

  3. Holy shit! I've been looking for the name of this game for years. I remember trying a demo way back when on like a PC Gamer CD. Those sun disk throwers, I remember those clearly!

  4. Do a not forgotten on split second please. One of the most unique racing games to this day

  5. This game wasn't obscure at all until Starcraft came out and everyone stopped playing it. I still remember a friend try to talk me into Starcraft. "Netstorm is like golf. Starcraft is like hockey"

  6. I honestly hope that we see this game in modern context. Because its a great game that just needs some polish.

  7. I played this game in the 90s. Great game, thank you for the video and memories.

  8. The strategy and mindwork in this game is way ahead of its time. Even today you'll barely see games that can match the concept of this game. It was like chess but rts. I still remember my earlier matches. there was one time i was owning like crazy then out of the blue the opponent kidnapped my priest with a golem+decimation and overturned it. The strategy in this game is top notch.

  9. The guy doing the demo for this video is clearly forgetting that the bridges have shortcut keys.

  10. i loved this game. totally forgot about it, remembered it now randomly. did a search, found the channel. nice one. cheers (Y).

  11. Never heard of this game until now but it looks really unique, would love to see strategy games come back and for people to experiment with them again. Looking forward for more "Not Forgotten" videos.

  12. I remember this game being one of first ones I downloaded off the internet. To have a demo that was able to connect to regular game sessions was amazing. To have internet functionality built into a demo was unheard of. It was always a premium feature. Game servers weren't cheap. They were hoping that people, witnessing stronger players, would be encouraged to buy the full version. Only trouble is that so many people downloaded the demo and nobody bought the full version, so you were pretty much guaranteed to get a lobby full of demo players, just like yourself. Equally capped, and equally weak, so it was fun. We played endlessly. It was fun, because it was different. Trying to outbridge eachother was like a real time chess game, where you could place pieces as fast as you could think. It was such a great experience. I have fond memories of this game.

  13. innovative FAR beyond its time ; just wow ; reminds me of how the movie 'last action hero' bombed at the box office due to releasing along-side jurassic park

  14. Played this online a lot in my early teens on my old dial up connection. The online community was really cool in those days.

  15. Can you do a video on Stratosphere: Conquest of the Skies? 🙂

  16. The first one that goes through the wall always gets bloodied. Truly ahead of its time. I remember playing this with my friend online back in the late 90s. Somebody would get a house call and the game would get disconnected. He was always better at building bridges and won 90% of the time because of this. I found the game fascinating, even though I sucked at it. Would be great if somebody did a HD re release of this. Such a unique setting and design that one could easily do something big with it. Here's hoping.

  17. Ah..I remember sneaking into my uncle's room whenever he was not there to play this game….we couldn't afford a computer back then but was fortunate enough to have someone who could own it..🥰

  18. I remember playing this game daily on my late teens thanks to netstormhq. The multiplayer was really intense and fun.

  19. I’ve played this game on and off since 1998. I actually met the love of my life through the beautiful online community that is Netstorm.

  20. I used to rock this game as TheGeneral , community made some nice patches for this. JEDI for life boii

  21. I played the demo of this back when it was new. I don't think I ever completed it, but the look and atmosphere (and the way the golems go "yes master") really made it stick in my memory.

  22. Oh man, it's so great to see NetStorm get the recognition it deserves! I played this game a ton growing up, and the multiplayer was great even on a 56k modem. After getting used to spamming the bridge hotkeys and hearing the rapid placement sounds when bridging against other players online though, it is driving me nuts seeing footage of bridges being build so slowly with just the mouse haha.

  23. I remember playing the demo for this game when it was bundled with another classic RTS called Dark Reign. Pretty fun but never got around to playing the full online version.

  24. This game was my childhood. I honestly pray to the Furies for its return.

  25. everything Celador said, plus to add this was really my first internet gaming experience so quite amazing the excitement I got from that lol, magic memories.

  26. Netstorm was amazing and almost no one has heard of it.

  27. Hah, I'd completely forgotten about this one. Think I had a badly cracked version, or maybe a demo from a magazine? The sounds are so instantly nostalgic to me though, thanks for this vid!

  28. Fantastic video, great quality mini doc. I didn't know much about NetStorm, aside from playing the demo once or twice as a kid and being intrigued by the odd gameplay.
    Stratus: Battle For The Sky seems to be dead.
    Driftland: The Magic Revival is kinda similar and is OK!

  29. Netstorm was great. But people started building their bridges completely around your island to prevent you from building out every game

  30. I would love to see this played at a pro level (with a remake).

  31. Thank you for this video. NetStorm truly deserves not to be forgotten.

  32. I remember trying to play this again a few years ago and realized that yeah, I'm still absolutely crap at this game.

  33. I loved this game as a kid. I actually even wrote a mini analysis about it as part of a game design course. I loved the way that nothing in this game was straightforward, everything required strategic thinking, even the building of bridges.

    I had no idea about the remakes. While I actually prefer the graphics of the original over the new 3d stuff, I'd welcome the chance to play more maps with this kind of gameplay in any shape or form.

  34. Netstorm will always be a special game for me.. it just feels so different from the rest, even felt that wen i was a kid playing it on my windows 95

    I also still own the original disk for this game 🙂

  35. It's an interesting concept for sure, but I can't help but wonder if maybe we've lost a lot from the RTS genre's pivot to competitive PVP focused gameplay.

    Honestly, part of the reason RTS is a rapidly narrowing niche seems to be that high APM micromanagement is not a skill many people have or can develop, but it's also the one skill diehard eSports RTS players prioritize. It's alienating both for casual players and old-school story focused RTS players who grew up with single player-oriented titles like the old C&C games, which focused on rich, complex narrative driven objectives that involved playing in unorthodox ways.

    I've never been all that interested in the PVP side of things. It just isn't well suited to the slow, methodical techy approach I grew up with. But I can't forget missions like One Magic Bullet from C&C 1 that truly changed how you interacted with the game in a way hero units rarely do now.

  36. Bud, what a hidden gem of a channel. How are you not more popular? Your Elder Scrolls deep dive drew me in, but you've got a ton of awesome topics on here! Excited to watch more!

  37. I used to play this all the time when I was a kid, I was having trouble remembering the name of the game, I'm glad I was able to find it again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.