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Robert T. Smith
Strategy: War
Multiple languages (see individual downloads)
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Dave Nicholls, Ross Holman, Roger Willis
Chris Bourne

Dave: At last - a wargame that's both playable and makes full use of the Speccy's graphics. If I've been hard on this type of game in the past it's because none I've seen has yet come up to this standard.

First off, you're given the choice of four basic scenarios. If you're new to the game it's an idea to go for the easy option, a seven turn reccy round the battlefield. The next three cover specific operations that take more time but should turn you into a battle scarred veteran. Only when you've got ten hours to spare is there any point in tackling the final scenario that covers the complete Market Garden area. At the beginning it's sure to be a whole river full of bridges too far.

If you're on your tod, you'll control all the allied forces while the computer plays the Germans - with a friend, the allies split into Brits and Yanks and there's even a three player mode that offers a complete free choice.

Play is certainly fast but it's easy to follow so you shouldn't get hopelessly lost just as you thought you'd got 'em outflanked. Plus there are sound effects and on-screen flashes that show when a unit is under attack.

The scrolling screen covers the whole of the Arnhem area and there's also an accompanying map and booklet for budding battlers. In-door generals who'd probably find the real thing a touch too noisy could do worse than take a look. 4/5 MISS

Roger: Outside my usually cowardly tastes but good enough to make me take a general's job - leading from the rear ...4/5 HIT

Ross: Not my sort of software but I soldiered on - and then got beat! 3/5 HIT


Screenshot Text

Here's an overview of your immediate terrain It probably covers somewhere in the region of a fourteenth of the total battlefield.

The Advance to Eindhoven is on. This is the easiest of the five different scenarios and it'll only take you seven turns. The objective is to clear the centre road of German units. Course, if you're really a military megabrain you could change the course of history, beat the Germans and star in a remake of the film epic.

More info on what stage of the game you're at - on the easiest level there are seven phases building up to twenty-six on the trickiest. The border colour even changes to let you know when a different player's turn's come.

If the bridge is too far you'll find that the enemy has moved in pronto to guard it. Once they've put troops on bridge patrol, you'll find it pretty tricky to shift 'em.

The symbol here shows the type of unit you're moving. The 2nd Bn. Irish Guards is all tanked up and ready to roll...

Here's the roll-call of your troops. If you're yomping your way through one of the trickier scenarios, one or more of your units may be off-screen. When their turn comes round the screen scrolls to that territory.

There's a right barney going on here. To engage in battle with the enemy choose the bombard option from the menu, position the cursor and you'll be taken straight into the thick of the battle. The on-screen icons'll let you know the fire power of the opposing units.

Each unit has the option of travelling in two formations - either four character blocks in size or scrunched down to just one. Spreading out means you can go on the attack and your troops are less vulnerable. In the tight formation you can squeeze through smaller gaps, march along the roads at double quick time but if you're clobbered your troops'll sustain twice the damage.

Keep oft the grass! It's a lot trickier trudging over the rough terrain than going by road, so travel by tarmac it you've got to be there yesterday. But remember - you're a lot more vulnerable to enemy action when you're in the open.