When I first bought and installed this game, I kept getting an error message about spyware - after some frustration and fiddling I found out the problem; apparantly the open movie on the DVD uses a Macromedia Flash copy protection that does not like virus scanning software. Here's a quick and easy fix to this problem...
1) open up NOTEPAD or another plain text editor (NOT Word) and write the following line into it:
2) SAVE this single line of text in the same folder that Battlecuiser installs into, by default, it will be
C:\Program Files\DreamCatcher\3000AD\Battlecruiser Millennium Gold
when you save the file, save it with whatever name you find handy, BUT BE SURE TO USE THE EXTENSION ".BAT", as in this example
3) Now to play, simply make a link to this "bat" file, then double click your link and you are off and running!
The bat file (a/k/a batch file) forces WindowsXP to open a command line box and run the primary game file (bcn.exe) using what's called a "switch", in this case, the switch we are using is "-n", which means, "start the game but skip the opening movies". After doing this, my copy of Battlecruiser ran perfectly fine in WindowsXP.
AS TO THE GAME ITSELF: I've been playing one version or another of the Battlecruiser lineage for nearly 8 years now, and while it is the most realistic space craft simulation you will find out there, you have to remember before you buy it what that means - for example, our "real" space craft of today, the Space Shuttle, is the single most complex piece of equipment on earth. It takes 3 computers to operate it properly, and shuttle pilots spend HUNDREDS of hours in simulators just learning how the systems onboard work - and the space shuttle doesn't even fly to our own moon, let alone other planets. The Battlecruiser in this game is not anything nearly as complicated to operate as the real Space Shuttle is, but players should not EXPECT to be able to just plop down in the commander's chair and be able to do every little thing right out of the gate. This game has a very severe learning curve, and very little in the way of tutorial help - but in defense of the game's design team, the universe of Battlecruiser is so open ended a simulation, with literally hundreds of planets and thousands of npc ships all running about at once, that writing a step by step tutorial wouldn't even be practical - like trying to write out Mapquest directions from Los Angeles to New York City - it would take a book the size of a Oxford English Dictionary (you've seen them in a library - those huge reference books so big you can break someone's foot with them if you drop them) to write out all the things that you can do, and that can happen to you, even in the very "easy" to use "roam" mode.
This game is for those who are hard core into simulators - who enjoy the sense of accomplishment that comes from learning how to use a complex piece of machinery (the Battlecruiser) and how to interact in as near to real world a simulation of interstellar space flight as you're likely ever to find out there. This is a game for someone who wants to invest a few MONTHS of their life, not just a few hours on a weekend.
For those few, the rewards are definately worth it - as close to actually going to space as most of us will ever get.