CDS Microsystems
Board Game
ZX Spectrum 48K

Tony Dillon
Chris Bourne

Cor lumme lawks! Here's another one of those 'board games with a bit of computer interaction' that CDS keep bringing out. I remember the last one well. Brian Clough's Karate School it was, and I remember not thinking much of it when I saw it. Mind you, not long after that, a friend of mine got hold of a copy, and we didn't stop playing it for weeks. This time I've taken the time out to play it with a friend, and you know what, it ain't bad at all.

You, and one to three other people, are commanders of a country's armoured forces. The aforementioned countries, who by some ingenious stroke of luck all beckon on each other's borders, just happen to be at war, so like good soldiers, you have to beat the crap out of the enemy.

Each player starts the game with an equal amount of units. Eight tanks of varying strengths and four armoured cars ditto. These they place within their own provinces around the 40 cm by 40 cm board that comes with the game. Then the game begins...

It is played like a standard wargame, but the pieces and board add a 'real' feel and make it easier to understand battle situations. Each player in turn checks the computer to see how many action points they have for the round, and allots them accordingly. One action point will move one vehicle two squares across flat ground. On hilly ground, they can only move one, and mountains and rivers are out of bounds.

If any kind of conflict occurs, e.g. one of the current player's units encounters an opposing unit, or a player's unit comes across an enemy factory or even the HQ, then the respective icon is selected on the main game screen. The players then get to feed in all the relevant info on the encounter (type of vehicle(s), distance etc) and then get to view the action on screen in glorious technicolour. The computer then prints up the result and reports any action that needs to be followed, i.e. the removal of destroyed pieces.

Tank Attack is presented very professionally. The packaging and pieces are high quality, though due to their small size I can see little tanks getting lost very easily - camouflage colours can work on rugs too!

On-screen presentation is attractive. Between turns a newspaper front page is displayed telling you in dramatic headlines 'how goes the battle'. Colour is used very well, especially on the action sequences, where there is a lot of colour, but surprisingly little clash.

It's well worth buying if (a) you've got a friend (that's Chris out - JD) (b) you like strategy.

Label: CDS
Author: A&H Andersson
Price: £12.99
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: various

A good game, but must have two players.