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Mark Lucas
Strategy: War
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Angus Ryall
Chris Bourne

Well what do you know... Right from the start of Battle 1917 you know you're dealing with a toy. When you ask for instructions, it gets all funny ha- ha with the tank symbols and suchlike. It makes whoopee cushion noises at you. In short, this program treats the user like a favoured, but moronic, grandchild (this does not bode well for the Cambridge Awards jury. Who are they? Are they utterly bold?) The game itself is just a straight battle between two players; each player starts off with a King and 28 units of various types. The problem is that the units are grouped together n fours, and orders can only be given to the group as a whole. This means that as the group gets broken up (as you move diagonally, for example, some units may pass the corner of a lake while others get stuck behind it) you can end up moving three units in the wrong direction just to get a fourth one out from behind a tree. Cannon, the only units that can fire, must all fire in the same direction and for the same range. Whilst the game is very fast moving, a little more thought and time could have produced something with individual or group movement, which would have been miles better. One excellent feature of the game is the directional compass on the map, which gives the key for the direction you need. The graphics are clear, but are pretty juvenile.

Verdict: a toy. Nice for eight year- olds.


Not Rated