Abstract Worlds home page      
Close Approach 
home :: pc games :: close approach :: news
Close Approach home page

Close Approach

News :
Contact us



9th February 2018
20 year anniversary video walkthrough of Close Approach released


5th December 2003
The full version of Close Approach v2.03 is now available to buy.  The full version of Close Approach provides 10 levels. Each level of the full version features a novel twist and gets progressively more challenging, with more asteroids, more power-ups, more enemy ships, larger containment field arenas, and the requirement for different strategies. Bonus levels are also included beyond level 10 - if you can get that far!

21st November 2003
A demo of Close Approach v2.03 is now available.  We have decided to put on hold v3, and instead release an improved v2 which you can soon buy directly from us.  The latest version features improved asteroid graphics, and asteroids that glow due to the heat of the explosion which breaks them up.

19th September 2002
Photos of the Abstract Worlds stand at the recent ECTS games industry exhibition have been posted on the main Abstract Worlds news page.
Visitors to our stand were treated to a sneak preview of the latest version 3 beta of Close Approach.  If you weren't one of the lucky few then don't despair since we have prepared Windows wallpaper of the new artwork for Close Approach v3.

28th August 2002 - Close Approach v3 beta at ECTS
An early beta of Close Approach v3 will be demonstrated at the Abstract Worlds stand at the ECTS games industry exhibition, Earls Court, London, 29-31 Aug 2002.

30th July 2002 - Close Approach v3 announced
Work has started on Close Approach v3.  As yet unpublished, the game will be available to purchase online from this website.

Version 3 DVD packaging

22nd February 2002 - Close Approach available in CompUSA stores

Although our publishing contract with Crystal Interactive expired in July 2001, Close Approach v2 has finally made it onto shelves at CompUSA stores across America for $9.99.
Version 2 CD packaging
The CD jewel case can be found in the Bargain Software Games area under Fogware Publishing (JC Research). The publishers are Crystal Interactive working in collaboration with Fogware Publishing (JC Research).

15th October 2001 - New Review

Sketch at the VB Game Programming Web Ring has posted an in-depth review of Close Approach, you can read it here.

1st September 2001 - Draft Artwork and Windows wallpaper available

Draft artwork for Close Approach's new retail CD jewel case, DVD case, and box packaging can now be viewed here. Included in the artwork are Windows Wallpaper images that you can download and use as your desktop background.

1st July 2001 - Publishing Contract with Crystal Interactive Ends

2 years ago, after realising that direct internet sales alone were not a viable means to fund future development, Abstract Worlds entered into an exclusive worldwide publishing contract with Dutch publisher Crystal Interactive, with the intention of getting Close Approach sold in retail channels. Unfortunately the publisher was experiencing problems of its own and just 'sat' on the game for 2 years, failing to deliver a single copy of Close Approach to retail shelves. Even more unfortunate was the fact that the exclusive contract meant that Abstract Worlds was not allowed to sell the game directly over the internet during that time. In the book publishing world, the situation where publishers sit on authors' books is quite commonplace, little did we realise that this could also happen in the 'fast-moving' games publishing world.

Abstract Worlds are currently in discussion with Crystal Interactive with regards to a non-exclusive license renewal. Much has changed at Crystal Interactive recently (it was sold to an American company), and there's always the saying 'better the devil you know'. One thing is for sure, we will not rush into another contract, and we will not make the same mistakes again. We are investigating other channels to market including reopening the direct sales channel over the internet - this will involve releasing a new version of the game with an unlock key mechanism.

Whilst this 2 year period of zero sales was bad for the company books - and very de-moralising for the people - we are still here, and we have not given up. We have undertaken research and development in other areas of 3D technology, and hope to release some new exciting products in 2002. Now that we are free from our restrictive contract, it is just a case of putting it down to experience and looking ahead to the future.

At Abstract Worlds, we apologise for the long period when the full version of the game was not available for purchase. We hope that the availability of the demo version over that time offered some compensation. I would personally like to thank everybody who has visited the website, downloaded and played the game for their interest, support and encouragement.

Paul Ireland
Abstract Worlds Ltd.

12th December 2000 - Asteroid related newsfeed added to home page

A newsfeed showing recent asteroid related headlines has been added to the home page. Come back often to find out the latest news on asteroids.

28th November 2000 - Close Approach v2 demo released

Close Approach v2 demo is now available as a free download from this site.
The game has been vastly improved ready for its retail release. Have a look at the new screen shots.
Version 2 improvements include:
  • Enemy ships introduced
    The enemy doomsday cults now have their own ships and they are determined to prevent you from completing your mission.

  • Power-ups introduced
    Destroy the enemy ships to collect power-ups. Add rapid fire, velocity boost and shield capabilities to your ships.

  • Translucent explosions
    Asteroids now explode with spectacular translucent energy flares which expand to fill your whole view area. Get your sunglasses ready.

  • Fractal generated asteroids
    The asteroids are much more detailed and are fractally generated at the start of each level. This ensures that the asteroids will always look different the next time you play.

  • In-game, 360-degree, slow-motion destruction scenes
    Witness the last moments of your ships from all angles with "The Matrix" style special effects.

  • More detailed 3D models
    The saucer-shaped space craft 3D models look more realistic.

  • Higher screen resolutions
    You now have the option of running the game at resolutions up to 1600x1200.

  • Coloured lighting
    Objects within the containment field now have an eerie blue glow.

  • Better music
    The new music enhances the atmospheric and intense experience.

  • Improved support for the latest 3D cards
    Close Approach now works with the latest 3D cards, including cards based on nVidia's GeForce 2 GTS 3D chipset.

9th August 2000 - Newsflash

A lot can happen in a year in the world of computing... unfortunately this is not also the situation in the world of retail publishing.
The good news is that the front and back CD cases have now been designed and our publisher Crystal Interactive has informed us that Close Approach v2 will hit the retail shelves by the end of this year.
Rest assured, Abstract Worlds has been improving the game during the last year, so watch this space in the coming months for more details and a free demo of Close Approach v2.

29th June 1999 - Newsflash

Abstract Worlds Ltd is now working with Dutch publisher Crystal Interactive to bring Close Approach to your local games retailer. Due to the exlusive nature of our publishing contract, we can no longer sell the game directly over the internet. As such the full version of Close Approach, which could be purchased directly from our website, has now been removed whilst we work towards a retail version. In the meantime the demo of Close Approach v1.1 is still available for download.

1st June 1999

What PC? magazine (July 1999 volume 18 issue 7 UK) included a screen shot and a cover CD demo of Close Approach v1.1

14th March 1999 - Screen shots updated

The screen shots section has been updated with the much improved Close Approach v1.1.

7th February 1999 - Close Approach v1.1 released

The new improved Close Approach v1.1 is now available from this website. Improvements include:

  • Better graphics
    The visual effects for the containment field have been improved, making it look much more dynamic and pulsating in appearance. There is still the option of using the original effects if you are happier with those. The sun and planets are also visible in the background to give you context of where you are in the solar system for each mission.

  • Higher resolutions
    You now have the option of running the game fullscreen at the higher resolutions of 800x600 and 1024x768.

  • Faster performance on slower PCs
    Enjoy faster performance on slower PCs by using the wireframe graphics option for a touch of nostalgia.

  • Improved 3D spatial sound
    Close your eyes and discover which asteroid the enemy fire is coming from.

  • Improved 3rd person mouse control
    Control your probe whilst viewing from your ship - its easy with the mouse.

  • More challenging pilot options
    Stick with the easy option of having the ship stop automatically after you move, or enjoy the challenge of piloting a ship that will continue to move in free space.

  • Fix for Voodoo II and DirectX 6 containment field problem
    The new visual effects for the containment field also solve the visual problem which was introduced by new versions of the Voodoo II drivers with DirectX 6 - see Known issues.

  • Fix for failed DirectX mouse initialisations
    If your system does not have a correctly configured DirectX mouse driver, the game will now continue with just keyboard input - see Known issues.

11th January 1999 - added 'Known issues' page

Added Known issues support page for describing issues with running the game under certain system configurations.

22nd December 1998 - magazine cover CDs schedule

The Close Approach v1.0 demo will be included on the following PC magazine cover CDs:

  • PC Home - January 1999 issue 79 (UK)
  • PC Gaming World - February 1999 issue 26 (UK)
  • What PC? - March 1999 volume 18 issue 3 (UK)
  • inter.net Magazine - February 1999 (Italy)
  • Computer Shopper - April 1999 (UK)
  • Computer Buyer - April 1999 (UK)
  • Personal Computer World - April 1999 (UK)
We would also be very pleased to hear from any US based magazines that are interested in including the v1.0 demo on their cover CDs, please contact Paul Ireland for more details.

23rd November 1998 - Close Approach v1.0 launched

Improvements from v0.9 include better, easier and faster keyboard control, new mouse control (highly recommended), improved sound quality, improved auto-configuration for better performance on slower PCs and finally the addition of novel twists in the full 10 levels and bonus levels.

13th November 1998 - Added Link to ZDNet review
ZDNet gave the game a 4 star review.


Sat 17 Nov 2018Copyright © 2018 Abstract Worlds Ltd.