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Tactical Combat
ZX Spectrum 48K

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John Molloy
Chris Bourne

I'm not overly stunned by this game. It's a sort of cross between an arcade game and war game. You're in control of various military units as well as radar and explosive devices. The object of the game is to destroy the enemy's weather control station and to escape from the planet. Extra points can be gained if you destroy the weather control station, your own space ship and escape in the enemy's - just to make life a smidgin more complicated. The problem seems to be that it's too complicated. You give your units orders, so in one way it is like a standard wargame, however you use the joystick to control the units in an arcade fashion.

The screen consists of an aerial view of the battle ground where your units are deployed, awaiting orders. A square cursor appears and it's with this that you issue the appropriate orders to them. There's an element of automation in this game - if one of your ships is attacked when you're not looking, it'll defend itself, presumably by firing back. You're informed of all the action by a teleprinter which prints reports of the battle while you sit back and relax. Sorry, I mean carefully work out which of your units to deploy next (ahem).

To win the game you need to explode two of your three explosive units in squares adjacent to the weather control station. So If you lose your explosive units you might as well use that well known Speccy reset button and pull the power supply out of the wall. You have about as much chance of winning as Phil does of losing that spare tyre. (Oi! Phil). But If you do succeed in blowing up the weather control station, you've got to get back to the enemy spacecraft and press T. The ship takes off and your scoring shoots up.

If you're into wargaming and think you might want to try a sort of arcade version then this game is for you. If you don't like that sort of thing then it's probably best to check it out in your computer shop before buying it. I wasn't wild, I have to admit.