North and South


Title		North and South
Game Type	Strategy
Company		Infogrammes
Players		1-2
Compatibility	All Amigas
HD Installable	Yes (WHDLoad Patch)
Submission	Kristian Hesketh Profiled Reviewer

Review
North and South is a cartoony wargame set during the American civil war.
Up to two players battle it out in a variety of locations, without the
tedious, humdrum aspects of "realistic" wargames. The battles take place
with you overlooking the action from a forced perspective above, almost as
if you were postioned on a clifftop adjacent to it.

The game menu set's the precedent for the game, instantly assuring you
that it is not very serious. The menu options have comical sound effects
and clicking on the photographer amuses some people for a short time.
There are only a few options, most of them used to turn on/off features.

Once the game has started you can see a map of the USA and figures
representing your armies in the different states. Each army can move to
another adjacent area in one turn and if they move into an occupied state
battle commences.

This is where the fun really starts. The armies line up and you will be
able to control one group of soldiers from the Infantry, Cavalry and
Artillery. Hitting the left Amiga key cycles through them. Each of them is
very easy to control, simply push the joystick to move them and hit fire
to attack.

There are, naturally, other things that happen. The cavalry cannot move
backwards and the artillery cannot move forwards or backwards. Pulling
backwards with more than one unit under your command results in the troop
lining up together to allow them to cross thin ravines. The infantry can
move in all directions, but a bit slowly. They fire rifles for a short
distance, but with careful aiming can take care of anything. The artillery
has a simple system for attacking, although it is limited to a certain
number of shells every fight. Holding down the fire button results in a
moving red line across the top of the screen. Letting go of the button
results in the shell being fired somewhere on the screen in front of the
artillery. Careful practice can take out whole platoons in one go. The
cavalry is the fastest unit, but cannot reverse. Attempting to pull
backwards lines them up (and they stop while you hold back). They attack
with swords so can only win in close combat.

The locations can be destroyed and damaged. Bridges can be blown up and
buildings too, meaning that the troops have to find other ways of getting
across the rivers. If you feel you are taking a beating simply hit
backspace and you will retreat to safety.

The main map screen has a number of other exciting things that can happen.
Taking control of the railway stations gives you more cash and therefore
more reinforcements. Trying to take over the enemy installations requires
quick reflexes as it is a fast scrolling platform-type affair with enemy
officers, dogs and dynamite hampering your progress.

Indians can kill whole platoons too near their camps, a lack of daylight
can prevent the platoons movement and reinforcements can appear at any
moment if you have control of the sea port. During the game you can
combine any two platoons to become one. All the units in each will add
together to provide a far more formidable unit. Simply highlighting a
platoon with the mouse informs you of the number of cavalry and etc..

This game really comes to life with two human players, and it is great fun
destroying the enemy when you know who is controlling them. The game is
enormous fun, because of the simple and very effective battle scenes.
Tactics are needed, but it never gets tedious or bogged down and the whole
war can be over very quickly. A brilliant game that I find myself coming
back to again and again. The sad thing is that there haven't been any
games inspired by this yet inspite of it's excellence.




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