CCS
1990
Strategy: War
£12.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
None

47
Paul Rigby
Chris Bourne

Somehow, by early December 1944, Hitler had achieved the near impossible. He had, from defeated and disarranged armies, constructed a new army group on the Western Front. A Group that was not only constructed to hold the front - but to punch a hole all the way to the English Channel. What followed was the largest, and most daring, armoured counter-offensive in history.

Complete with 20-page manual, CCS's interpretation of the battle also includes a few Interesting 'what ifs' such as having the poor weather remain throughout the battle, not allowing Montgomery to be appointed as Commander of the Northern shoulder and delaying Patton during his 90 degree upward turn of the southern battlefront. Other pre-start options include an Allied/German computer player, a two-player option, levels of difficulty and deployment options (historical or player-set).

The on-screen map and units are well designed and easily interpreted. Placing the cursor over any unit brings up its stats including unit morale, supply level, movement points, etc. Orders are easily despatched and into found by the find key which hops around the map, cycling through your forces.

The game follows the standard order/movement phase-type play. Giving any unit an order turns it light blue. Orders include Move, Road (an excellent, timesaver, order that requires the unit to follow the road to the destination), Bomb (artillery fire), Construct/Demolish (for bridges) and Sabotage (for the two American supply depots).

Initially, considering the bad weather, aircraft support was negligible. Sensibly, though, some air attack/recce is available on a limited basis. On the whole, Battle of the Bulge is an excellent game -although I'm slightly foxed as to the 128K version on side two of the tape as I couldn't see any 128K enhancements and no mention was made of this in the manual.

CCS have not included a modifier for the German undercover commando team that caused some disarray in their American uniforms by scaremongering, rumour spreading, etc. I would have liked to have seen this included as they did have limited success. American troop movements were delayed, some high ranking US officers were arrested/delayed on suspicion of being a spy, etc. Even with my minor gripes, I still enjoyed Battle of the Bulge. CCS once again show they have the Spectrum wargame market by the short and curlies.

PAUL RIGBY ... 82%

CRITICISM

An excellent strategy game, a few extra options would have made it perfect.

78%
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82%