I actually first played this game on my family's old Apple IIe computer. It was my first introduction to the Battletech universe, and it made quite an impression.
In the game, you are young Jason Youngblood, the son of a famed Mechwarrior, who is attending training to become a Mechwarrior. The training teaches you how to control your Mech in battle. Lo and behold, the planet is attacked by Kuritans and you must flee your school, with the help of a friend of your father's, in your Battlemech to escape being destroyed.
You could fight it out, but the odds were heavily stacked against you. From here you must scour the countryside, recruiting more warriors and Mechs to fight the Kuritans with. You can have many different teammates, but no more than 3 Mechs.
I was surprised by the sheer amount of customability the game provided with regard to outfitting your Mechs and teammates. Thoughout the entire game you are constantly improving your Mechs, repairing damage and recruiting teammates (each with different skills). While the actual number of Mechs to choose from is rather small, the amount of detail put into the Mechs you can get, was simply amazing for the time period.
The goal of the game itself is to discover the fabled StarMap
that will lead to a cache of LosTech, extremely powerful upgrades for Mechs. In addition, there will be an end fight in which you get to pilot your father's BattleMech, a famouus Phoenix LAM.
As far as story goes, this game was superb. In addition, it really remained true to the BattleTech universe and style. Controlling the Battlemech was very basic, in a turn by turn format. Unlike today's BattleTech games which are more fluid, this felt more like a strategy RPG game than a first person shooter.
The music and sound effects would be considered cheesy by today's standards, but as a little kid with my first game, they were awesome. The game might be more introductory than the fast action paced games of today, but it was simply awesome back then.
I highly recommend this game to an true fans of the Battletech universe as it really was the first in what became a great series of games set in the BattleTech universe. In addition, the game was so well received that there was a sequel made.