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Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares Joins Company's Chart-Topping Lineup of Sequel Product Releases Including Sid Meier's Civilization II , Grand Prix II and the Recent Debut of Sid Meier's Civilization II Scenarios

ALAMEDA, CA, November 19, 1996 -- There will be more aliens to conquer and great galactic missions to accomplish, just in time for the holiday season. Spectrum HoloByte, Inc. (Nasdaq:NNM:SBYT) announced today that Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares will arrive in retail stores prior to the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Developed by MicroProse's Studio in Austin, Texas, Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares, will be marketed under the MicroProse brand and distributed worldwide.

Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares joins the company's expansive strategy category, continuing the original Master of Orion's exciting theme of space exploration, colonization and combat. Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares offers never-before-seen challenges and oportunities, including SVGA graphics, enhanced cinematics, an original musical score and sound effects. The series continues to probe players of all levels with new gameplay that is easy to learn and entertaining, but remains a challenge to "master."

"In developing this sequel, we listened to our customers. We know they wanted more special effects so we've added more and updated the technology. The fans wanted more to explore, so planets and colonies have been added to the star systems. And players wanted control over their spaceships. Now, in fact, they can custom build their own. And, of course, they wanted the addition of multi-player capabilities. In Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares, the depth of game play is in the choices we give the players. Players can ask themselves: `Should I research advances in weapons or production technology; should I immediately attack the first opponent I see or is it better to trade with the opponent?' Furthermore, the different races add replayablity. Each race requires a different style of play to succeed, and when we added the ability to custom design a race, the possibilities for game strategies became nearly endless," said Steve Barcia, designer and programmer at the MicroProse Studio in Austin, Texas.

Derek McLeish, senior vice president of marketing, said, "We set out to create a product that refined the original top-selling game Master of Orion. It was our intent to build upon the success of the already established `Master of...' brand. We also recognize the hot trend of science-fiction in the entertainment industry and especially believe this game targets the general consumer's interest while also satisfying our many Master of Orion die-hard enthusiasts." McLeish continued, "As a leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software, Spectrum HoloByte continues to expand its extensive lineup of sequels focusing on the already successful and established brands: Sid Meier's Civilization II, Grand Prix II and the recent launch of Sid Meier's Civilization II Scenarios."

For a more challenging and competitive experience, Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares will be a stand-alone game that includes multi-player features such as local area network, modem and hot-seat play. Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares players will be able to research more technology, view new art in SVGA graphics, choose from more alien races (Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares will have 13 alien races whereas Master of Orion had 10), customize their own race, and enjoy a more detailed tactical ship combat and colony development.

In Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares, population growth has outstripped planetary resources and the need for galactic expansion has become a necessity. Acting as mighty emperors, users start with one colony and control how resources are allocated, where fleets are deployed, which galactic neighbors to wage war on and which to befriend. Then, players lead their people into other star systems, quickly securing the space and resources that will guarantee their supremacy. Players encounter various obstacles, including a race of fanatic xenophobes (the Antarans) from another dimension that wants to annihilate all intelligent life in the galaxy.

Category: Strategy
Era: Future
Format: IBM PC and compatibles; CD-ROM only; Windows 95 or MS-DOS 5.0 or later.
Min. Requirements: IBM PC 66MHz 80486 or faster; double-speed CD-ROM drive; MSCDEX 2.1 or higher; 8MB RAM or 16MB RAM if running under Windows 95; 75MB hard drive space free; SVGA (VESA required) for 640 x 480 x 256 colors; mouse and keyboard.
Supports: Sound Blaster/Sound Blaster Pro, ProAudio Spectrum.
Required for Multiplayer Option: 100% Hayes-compatible 9600 modem or faster (2 players),null-modem serial cable (2 player) and IPX network (2 to 8 players).

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Spectrum HoloByte, Inc. is a leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software for use on CD-ROM-based personal computer systems. The company is also developing software for use on next generation console machines. The company's five development studios are Spectrum HoloByte California, Alameda, California; MicroProse Software, Hunt Valley, Maryland; MicroProse Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina; MicroProse Limited, Chipping Sodbury, England; and SimTex Software Corporation, Austin, Texas. Products are available nationally and internationally through major distributors, retailers and mass merchants.

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