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D-Day - The beginning of the end logo

"Who do you think you are kidding Mister Hitler?" sings Matt Broughton in his best Captain Mainwaring voice.

D-Day - The beginning of the end At the end of 1941, the Third Reich was at the peak of its powers. Hitler's greatest fear, though, was that a second front would be opened in Western Europe before he could completely subjugate the Russians. To prevent this he announced that he would be fortifying all 2,400 miles of the western coastline. And fortify he most certainly did, in fact we're talking fortification on an almost fortificatious scale. (GET ON WITH IT! - Ed).

Anyway, Hitler used slave labour consisting of conscript Frenchmen, and workers shipped in from every conquered nation to build pillboxes, guns of every size, millions of mines, and a stunning array of beach obstacles including small children, ice cream vans, and drawing pins (are you sure about that last one? – Ed.).

This Atlantic wall presented defiance to any who might think to challenge the Reich from the sea, but two and a half years later, the mightiest military force ever assembled for a single operation would do so. It was called Operation Overlord, it happened in a place called Normandy, and it was fuelled by millions of cans of Spam.

And that is what this game is all about: you've got an entire Allied army with infantry, landing craft, artillery, tanks, and you can put them just about whenever you blummin' will fancy!

DEAD TREES
Okay, first things first, let's just take a quick wade through the 'impressive' packaging that we've become accustomed to with strategy games such as D-Day...

We're not talking one manual, we're not talking two, we're not even talking three manuals ladies and gentlemen – we are, in fact, looking at some four manuals, each between 44 and 57 pages each, covering Technical Supplement and Tutorial, Micro-Miniatures Battles.
Campaigns, not to mention a paltry 49-pager giving a complete historical lesson on the real Operation Overlord. In fact, reading these manuals should be called Operation Overload – most potential D-Day players will feel as though they've just re-sat their A levels!

HARD ENOUGH?
Said manuals are actually very well written and quite interesting, but if you're a lazy so-and-so like myself, a read of the quick start guide and a scan through the rest will soon leave you fit and ready to take on the evil Führer. The game plays in one of two ways; with you either acting purely as a campaign manager, directing your forces from above and never getting your hand dirty, or you can make use of the aforementioned Micro-Miniatures system, actually moving individual units around the battle zones and taking part in each battle. Should you choose to let the computer play the battles, you just watch while Captain America calculates the losses based upon the available statistics.

The game is played in a number of turns, with you programming the moves and actions required, and then setting the game into action, sitting back and watching the outcome.
As is the norm in strategy games of the 'board' variety, each unit has a number of movement points, as well as a morale rating, which must be taken into consideration when issuing orders if you expect compliance.
Further difficulty levels within the game include such elements as commander personalities affecting whether your generals follow their own plans instead of yours, as well as turning supplies and certain information on or off.

The semi-window driven interface does its job quite nicely, and though not exactly offering the most attractive displays ever, certainly delivers the goods as far as statistical information goes. The speed of the game can be altered to suit your needs, but to be honest, after the first hour or so, you don't really appear to be making much progress. It's not that you're doing badly, it's just that you always seem to be about level with the Hun until something dramatic happens.

This is also the sort of game where you need to be able to remember where all of your units are, and why you've put them there, there's nothing more frustrating than coming out of a long battle, looking at the map and forgetting what strategy you were about to employ. Most of the play in D-Day is based around you making the best use of your given forces, and it doesn't take long to get the hang of things, but I can't pretend I was ever on the edge of my seat.

So what can I say in summary? Well, it's very clever and no mistakin', but whether it'll have you up all hours imagining the sound of panzer tracks in the still night air, I don't know.

CU Amiga, September 1994, p.68

IMPRESSIONS £29.99
A500
A1500
A500+
A2000
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A4000
IMPRESSIONS SOFTWARE, INC. 222 THIRD STREET, SUITE 0234, CAMBRIDGE MA 02142. TEL: 071 351 2133
 
RELEASE DATE:
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OUT NOW
STRATEGY
IN HOUSE
MOUSE/KEYBOARD
2
1
YES
1Mb

 
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59%
50%
69%
70%
Not exactly Virtual Reality, but pretty good for strategy heads.
OVERALL: 74%