Games written by Ian Reed

I have 2 games that you can download and play for free: Tactical Battle and the Adventure Game Engine, or just AGE for short. Craig Brett maintains Tactical Battle, and noone maintains AGE. I have been working on some new game projects, but they are not available yet. Nina0116 has written a port of the ShadowGate adventure originally from Nintendo that runs in the Adventure Game Engine.

Tactical battle is an audio game made specifically for the blind. It is a turn-based tactical game played on a tile grid. You control multiple units with different skills and abilities and attempt to defeat the enemy team.

My new focus with the game is to make it highly configurable so that players can become map creators and make all sorts of creative content. You can make your own maps, units, structures, skills, effects and terrain and there is an in game map editor for placing units, structures and terrain. You can also create your own user guide to go with your set of maps to give the background story and to explain how things work in your map pack. Be sure to read the main menu user guide and the user guide for each map pack you play.

If you decide to start creating maps be sure to join our mailing list outlined in the 'Joining the community' section below.

Signing up to play

The game requires you to create an account to play. Click here to create an account.

Downloading and running the game

You can download the latest dev release here: Tactical Battle

After downloading you should unzip the game. Then you can run the game by entering the Tactical Battle folder and running TacticalBattle.exe.

I no longer maintain Tactical Battle, but Craig Brett is often kind enough to make bug fixes and add new features for people. You can contact him on the mailing list.

There have been so many great map packs created for Tactical Battle by players just like you. Many of them are available through the in game map pack downloader. The AudioGames archive also maintains a zip file with all the map pakcs they know of. And I have a Map Packs page with links to others.

You can download the Adventure Game Engine here. with the ShadowGate adventure by Nina0116

After downloading you should unzip the game. Then you can run the game by entering the AGE folder and running AGE.exe.

The adventure game engine is no longer being maintained in favor of a new game creation engine I've been working on. But the ShadowGate adventure by Nina0116 works fine and is worth trying if you haven't already.

Problems running the game for the first time

For many people the games should start without problems, but if you're one of the unlucky ones here's a list of common issues:

Did you forget to unzip the game?

Because recent versions of windows make it so easy to enter a zip file and press enter on the game inside it can be easy to forget to unzip the game. If you're getting a crashing error complaining about not finding a file in the C:\Users\Your user name\Temp or similar this is probably the case. To unzip the game go to the folder you downloaded it to. Right click on the folder and choose 'Extract All'. Then choose the directory to extract to and be sure to run the game from the newly extracted folder.

Do you have a Windows N or Windows KN edition?

Apparently in Europe and some other areas Microsoft sells Windows N and KN editions which do not come with windows media player and the Media Foundation Platform. My games use the DirectX AudioVideoPlayback library which relies on some components of the Media Foundation Platform. This could be your issue if you're getting the following error: ActiveMovie Window: TacticalBattle.exe - System Error The program can't start because MFPlat.DLL is missing from your computer.

You can download the Media Feature Pack, which should give you the MFPlat.dll, plus everything else you need.

Getting a side by side configuration error?

You should be able to fix this problem by downloading and installing vcredist_x86.exe from Microsoft. Here is the link:

Missing DirectX or the .NET Framework?

To check if you have DirectX installed you can press the windows key + R. This takes you to the run window. Type 'dxdiag' and press enter. If it launches the 'DirectX Diagnostic Tool' then you have it installed. You can find the version of DirectX you have on the main page of this window. My games should work with DirectX 9.0c or later. I am currently testing them with DirectX 11. If you do not have DirectX installed try getting your windows updates.

AGE requires .NET Framework 3.5 Client Profile and Tactical Battle requires .NET Framework 4 Client Profile. If you need either of these you can download them here:

The games also require the SAPI 5 Speech engine. Windows 7 and Windows Vista come with this installed. If you are using Windows XP you may have to download and install it yourself.

Getting errors about sounds and music not loading?

A few players have had the following experience when running the game. When they first launch the game it complains about not being able to load about 5 sound files and 2 music files. Then it seems like the game has frozen or closed for about 5 minutes. Then they hear the main menu music start playing and the game runs fine after that.

The problem is that there is anti virus software running that does not trust the game. It somehow stops the game from getting access to it's music and sound files. Then it closes the game and probably scans it. 5 or so minutes later it decides it's ok and restarts the game with permission to access it's music and sounds.

Thanks to Niklas for figuring this one out! In Niklas' case he just had to let his anti virus software scan the game before running and then tell it he still wanted to run the game. Then it started without errors.

Joining the community

We now have a mailling list for discussion of the games. If you're creating your own maps for Tactical Battle you may want to sign up for the mailing list so you can get help from other map creators. The mailing list is also a great place to try out the latest maps and give feedback to the map creators as they often post versions of their maps to get feedback before the final release. Visit this page to subscribe to the mailing list.

Here are some other ways to join the community.


Brendan Smith and Lauren Downie created a walkthrough for Tactical Battle. It introduces people to the game, runs through a battle demonstrating various skills and shows a demonstration of how configurable the game is. It was made using version 1.10 and a lot has been added since then, but it is still a good intro for people who would like to hear how the game is played before downloading it.

January 2nd, 2013 Tactical battle walk-through by Brendan Smith and Lauren Downie.mp3

Thanks Brendan and Lauren!

How you can help

If you enjoy my games here's how you can show your appreciation.

I hope you enjoy the games!

Written by Ian Reed

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