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Tactical Combat
Multiple languages (see individual downloads)
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

Other Links

David McCandless
Chris Bourne

The Elite Unit is the dream of every self-respecting sadist. Keith Chegwin applied but was refused because he was too irritating; Rambo had a go but failed the knee tap test, even Phil South tried but was chucked out (and up) when he ate the swamp on the assault course.

The Airborne Ranger's are the best of the best of the best. Volunteers from throughout the Army step forward - but only the toughest, most dedicated and smartest (insert your own cabbage joke here) get in. But before even they can place a mere toe-nail inside those hallowed elite barracks, they must survive the most rigorous, toughest and downright stupid training course in existence. Then - and only then- can they wear that trendy black beret with RANGER embroidered on it.

In this game you play - remarkably enough - a ranger on a multitude of missions behind enemy lines. These missions range from your everyday jobbies (destroy munitions depots, cut pipelines) to your rarer heroic excursions (liberate POWs and free hostages). All must be completed in a tight time limit or death is inevitable.

First thing to do is strategically deposit your survival supplies over a scrolling representation of the map, and then strategically deposit yourself 'behind the lines'.

'Behind the lines' is an unastounding monochrome landscape, littered with bushes and rocks, trenches and barbed wire. Your ranger moves about, running or crawling, armed with a limited supply of bullets, grenades, time bombs and first aid kits. Soldiers mill about, dimly trying to align themselves with you, spraying bullets. Gun turrets sit in awkward position, shooting and sending you scampering for cover.

The graphics are small and insignificant, your man runs about as an untidy collection of pixels. The paying area is a small rectangle in the centre of the screen, so the scrolling is smooth and easy. The sound is brusque, a couple of beeps and you' be lucky. The way your character can interact with the landscape is quite impressive though. He can dive into trenches, crawling about in the dirt and even take cover behind rocks and trees. The large amount of missions adds to the stating power of the game, but - and this is a big fat ugly but - when you die (and this happens quite frequently) you have to reload the whole level again! Aaarghhhh! it's disgusting, foul, diabolical - aarghhh it's the pits!!

But if you ignore this detrimental gameplay draining feature, then you've got an attempt to combine shoot 'em up with strategy - and it only half works.

A fair shoot 'em up with bearable graphics and acceptable addictiveness, but average multi-load stricken gameplay.