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
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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. I only subscribe to exactly 10 Youtube channels, because I feel so many channels just spam out content week after week to keep up their views. You are of course one of my 10 channels, that I always take time to watch and support. Love your style and production quality.

  2. This was one of my favs in the late 90's, even though I could only play locally. It played unlike anything else.
    One resource which you didn't link, and which proved very valuable, is which is kinda down right now, but held lots of valuable info, forums, patches, history, etc. That site has existed for a very long time, so I hope the wayback machine managed to get a good copy of it.

  3. This was a great Mini Doc.
    You do amazing work. Bravo.

  4. This is one of my favorite game channel on youtube. The quality is really something else, I've been here since the God game documentary. I might even say this is comparable to Ahoy, well almost.

  5. Thank you, this was one of my favourite RTS of all time, and I still have the manual kicking around that I always love flipping through every so often. I really wish it had done better then it did.

  6. Man what an interesting setting and game, I wish we would see more settings like this.

  7. Any news on cyberpunk part 2?? or waiting for 2077 to come out so you can include that? Thanks!

  8. Rip game spy and game ranger i think it was called dont remember 100%

  9. I can't thank you enough for highlighting that game. I've played a demo of that game during my childhood and tried to remember it's name for years after that with no success

  10. Does anyone knows where to find comprehensive guides/tutorials for this game? Anything regarding multiplayer tactics/counters; systems/mechanics; common build orders; lore; etc…? Any help will be much apreciated. 🙂

  11. Art for this game quite great for the time.

  12. This isn't tower defense, it's tower Offense.

  13. This RTS is hidden gems.

    Sad no one try to revive this

  14. I played that game for a long time. It was really fun. Although cheating was a big problem in its early days.

  15. I loved this game. I randomly discovered it when it was free to download off the netstormHQ website, guessing it was around 2005? The online community was pretty awesome and I was hooked for months.

  16. I think if the ex devs of this game could get the funding for a mobile Port it would definitely see some success, or even a steam version with some touched up graphics and controls

  17. Played a demo back in middle school and then played a lot of the singleplayer in university, when it became free. This game put so much stock in multiplayer in its marketing that people might have been unaware that it had a single player mode and its singleplayer was also very very very fun, a mix between a puzzle game and strategy with lore and everything.

  18. For many years I wondered if this game wasn't a dream of mine. Really great and unique.

  19. Nearly forgot this masterpiece. Played it a lot during mid 2000s on some community server, surprisingly it had plenty of players back then and it was sure fun experience. Probably was the first multiplayer game ever to feature permanent progression system – whenever you sacrificed enemy priest, you get to unlock new towers – quite satisfying.

  20. Indigo, please bring us Cyberpunk Documentary part 2. Love your content. ❤️

  21. Damn, your production value has gotten better and better. Narration still could use some work though. Regardless, well done!

  22. Found this game on accident back in the day and played it till it bled. Not forgotten… yeah, I wish!

  23. When I was 13 or so I would have to go to my dad's office and wait around for hours as he finished work. For some reason this game was installed on all the computers despite no one knowing that it was there or how to play it. Naturally, I found it and learned how to connect a couple of computers together to play and had so much damn fun. I'm sure I barely managed to achieve anything in the game, but it was such a great atmosphere and always felt awesome to get any kind of upgrade.

  24. Another similar puzzle/tactics game which it seemed heavily based on but which is less well known is Rampart. Played this a bunch back in the day but was never that good at it.

  25. This video has almost been watched more times than copies were sold of Netstorm.

    But oh man I miss this fucking game. I played the shit out of it. It even totally nailed having a progression system like most modern games have now. It was WAY ahead of its time.

  26. Man you forgot to mention that if you didn't download an update to the game, one of the hacks you could use would literally drop everyone from the entire multiplayer server making it impossible to join games.

  27. 😀 So good. I remember my brother running across the block to tell me the CDS finally came. We sprinted back home and dove straight into it! 😀
    I feel like you should have kept the last part of the altar sacrifice in there!

  28. I remember playing this game back when it was free in the mid-2000s, 8 player mode was pretty much the most fun thing ever.

  29. I loved this game, a perfect game to convert the Galaxy Note phones using the SPen. I'll keep my eye open for any new playing options. Thanks for Review

  30. I played this game when it came out. Didn't know about the fan-made versions.

  31. I didn't even had internet back then but sure enough I played a cracked copy of NetStorm, it was an amazing game, with very unique mechanics and a great setting, a bit Populous, a bit Tetris and a bit Warcraft

  32. This game has always stuck with me. Wind X Bows were my noob crutch but I loved the ice cannons.

    Thanks for the wealth of information as I never knew about the dev and game overlaps. I loved UO and Fallout so it was a nice surprise.

  33. Such a great game. One of my favorites back in the days. Also it was pretty challenging. Great review!

  34. Still remember this classic, so weird and different to other contemporary games.

  35. Really love this series as it gives light to gaming gems that may have been overlooked in the past. Here's to more excellent content. Keep up the excellent work!

  36. This was the first game i properly finished and loved when i was young around 8 if i remember

  37. Nice video! new sub, I loved this game as a kid.

  38. I was a part of this community for 10 years. This game was bloody fun to play.

  39. Really wish YouTube would ping me for these

  40. This was one of the very first video games i played as a child

  41. GameSpy and QuakeWorld did not do matchmaking……

  42. It was absolutely brilliant game. I remember it after 20 years vividly: sounds, gameplay, atmosphere – this is the best indication on how good and impactful it was. Excellent tidbits of lore inside the game, novel gameplay, real variety in factions, amazing replayability. Classic case of "they don't do game like these anymore", current tower defense games are very basic and bland compared to this. 9.5/10.

    I'm also one of those who bought stratus on steam years ago, but so far – no news. They mentioned a sponsor in August on Facebook and that's it. Oh well. Back to nostalgia closet.

  43. omg not sure how I missed this video. i loved this game back in the day. I still remember my online handle for that game, it was St. Lucifer lol.

  44. Oh I played this for many years ago! and totally forgot about it until I seen this video!

  45. I played this so much. When I wasn't playing Outpost and I wanted a fast paced adreniline rush. Because man building in this game to block other players was INTENSE! 🙂 GOOD TIMES, thanks for the memory. Now where can I play?

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