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Challenge Software
Strategy: War
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Mark Caswell, Nick Roberts
Chris Bourne

Back to a time when large, hairy men rampaged around the British Isles raping, pillaging and plundering - no, not Poll Tax inspectors! The Vikings invaded and the Anglo Saxons defended their lands (know your history). Patriot that you are, you're put in charge of an Anglo Saxon army with which you must beat the Scandinavian interlopers at their own game.

Two battle scenarios are on offer, and three difficulty levels. Pick between Pitched Battle, The Battle and The Easy Way. The main part of the screen is taken up by the playing area which consists of a map of the battleground with icons scattered around depicting the opposing troops. Top right is the options screen, seven in all: move, fire, scan (find out your own and enemy strengths), next (give orders to the next unit), stand, end (the current move) and quit (the game). Below this is the status screen of your chosen unit (either friend or enemy): always find out enemy strengths before attacking!

As with most strategy orientated games you take it in turns with the computer to move troops around and attack. Some troops carry spears, sling shots etc, so they can kill the enemy at a distance, but most soldiers carry axes or swords which necessitates close quarter combat.

Vikings should be of some interest to strategy players. Graphically it's no great shakes, but once you get into it it's rather playable, even though response times are on the sluggish side.

MARK ... 56%


'I'm not usually a fan of strategy games like Vikings, I've always found them boring and would much rather be blasting a few aliens out of the sky with a photon gun! Having said that Vikings is really good. The graphics are all small of course, but there is a surprising quality to them in colour and detail. The Viking counters you use to play the game with are also well drawn. Big fans of strategy will love it: the idea is to win the battle against the opposing army. You encounter rivers, trees and have to move each piece around them individually to succeed. Vikings will appeal to all strategy fans. Gameplay's perhaps a little monotonous though.' NICK ... 62%

A reasonable strategy excursion into unexplored historical territory.