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ZX Spectrum 48K

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Owen Bishop, Audrey Bishop
Chris Bourne

A game that takes you to the blue, blue Pacific to see how Uncle Sam helped win the war in the east. Though both games are set in the same area and in the same period, they couldn't be more different!


Battle For Midway is all about a battle that marked a turning point in the war in the Pacific - it was the first time the Japanese suffered a major defeat.. The game captures much of the atmosphere of steaming steadily ahead for hour upon hour, scanning the horizon for distant battleships. Or you may be patrolling the skies keeping a weather eye open for those tell-tale signs of Japanese shipping. Then, suddenly out of the blue, there's a Japanese naval force ahead, or a bunch of bombers, and the action begins. Before you've had time to do much about it, the action is over and you're left to clear up the damage.

Much of the Pacific war was like this and this game a fair simulation (apart from no radar).But does this make it a good wargame? We reckon not. In practice, the tactical element is too slight, as you only have ten units to control. Once you've given these their orders, there's nothing much to do except wait for the Japs to attack.

The action comes in the form of arcade screens, which aren't optional. Your success in this game depends too much on dexterity and not enough on brainpower.

If the flat-top is your scene, or perhaps if you long for a change from foot-slogging, Midway could be worth a try. We were glad to return to dry land!


The other game on this tape, Iwo Jima, employs much the same system as Falklands 82. The aim is similar too - you have to land on and capture an island. Iwo Jima, a tiny volcanic island, was heavily fortified by the Japanese. Lying 700 miles from Japan, it was on the track of the US bombing raids, and used as a forward base for fighter attacks against the bombers. In the hands of the Americans, it would become an important air-base for hammering home the ever-intensifying bombing of Japan. This was a bitter, hard-fought battle, one of the costliest in human lives of the whole war. For months the Japanese had fortified the island, digging out tunnels and gun positions in the solid rock.

In the game, as in real life, the Japanese units are invisible until they reveal themselves by attacking. They remain firmly in their secure bunkers and are very difficult to eliminate. We played the game following the historical sequence, landing near Mount Suribachi, advancing across the island to cut it off and attacking the mountain fortifications fiercely. Then we captured the airfield and advanced along the north shore. We won in the end, but only after a hard struggle.

There's plenty to do in this game, and the simple three key control system helps keep the game (and the Marines) moving.


Screenshot Text

Iwo Jima