MC Lothlorien Ltd
Robert T. Smith
1983
Strategy: War
£7.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

82,83
Chris Bourne

This game comes excellently pacakaged in a plastic snap shut case, but the cover picture is a little misleading, or rather odd anyway, a montage of Napolean, Montgomery and Rommel, yet the game is a modern scenario - Napoleon never saw tanks, Monty and Rommel weren't all to familiar with Jet fighter aircraft either! 14 pages of instructions accompany the tape and are essential reading before play.

In most respects, this game follows the usual pattern of Lothlorien war games where two players (in this case, rather than one against the computer) are each given 12 various units to move about the battlefield until they encounter an enemy unit. This scenario is made more complex by the addition of various air forces, however units may only move one square per turn, so having aircraft doesn't mean zipping about the place any faster.

Units include; tanks, mechanised infantry, flak, anti-tank guns, scouts, infantry, artillery, paratroopers, fighter planes, ground attack planes and transport planes onto which paratroopers may be embarked, and from which they may Jump. Other elements are; airfields, bridges, cities, forts, hills, mountains, marshes, towns and woods.

There is a master program on the tape which offers you the opportunity of then loading an already saved scenario. You may also redesign the terrain and alter the content of the units. After the master programme comes a preprogrammed scenario called 'Twin River'.

CRITICISM

'This is a very complex game compared to many that Lothlorien have done in the past, and it takes some getting into. Unfortunately there is so much to do that It takes ages to get through a phase or turn. I see from the instructions that Lothlorien are intending to release various scenarios that will go with this master program in much the same way that the preprogrammed 'Twin River' on this tape is used. In theory it makes this a very flexible wargamers' program - indeed you can create a scenario which Is not modern or 20th century by deleting modern ordnance from the scenario - but I wonder whether the program here is really good enough for that. It is quite slow, virtually everything being In BASIC, and, as usual with these types of game, the graphics are quite small.'

'In my opinion, this type of game is only suitable for people who like war games/strategy games, and apart from its new feature (design your own battlefield) it's fairly typical of the rest of Lothlorien's programs. If you like those, you'll undoubtedly enjoy this one. I think a drawback is that it is for two players without a single player versus the computer option.'

'There are lots of keys and functions to master and most of the instructions appear to be written for experienced wargamers. For the general buyer of games the program has serious drawbacks; the graphics are small, one character size, the BASIC is slow and you have to keep looking up the graphic symbols in the instructions to interpret them. After this time and this number of war games, I would have thought programmers could have made greater strides towards better looking games than this.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: many keys
Keyboard play: Input commands taken rapidly, but general processing of commands takes time
Colour: quite well used
Graphics: generally poor
Sound: very rare
General Rating: Reasonable for war game addicts, only fair otherwise.

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