Bring me to the main page   Bring me to the Reviews Index

North & South logo

INFOGRAMES £24.95 * Mouse and Joystick

North & South Just another game based on the American Civil War? Not quite. It is an interpretation of the cult French comic Les Tuniques Blues, which is absed on the US Civil War.
It is a simple one or two player wargame in which the ultimate aim is to destroy the opponent’s armies. Both sides start with two armies (each made up of six infantry, three cavalry and one artillery unit) and more armies are gained by primarily occupying territories which form a rail link from one major city to another. This way trains can run between the cities and trade can occur which earns you money in the form of sacks of gold: once you have five sacks, you automatically gain another army.

The only other way of gaining an army is by owning the state of North Canada, because every five turns or so a ship will drop off into that state an army of whichever colour happens to own it at the time. From a strategic point of view, one of the first things to do is try and stop the enemy from receiving more armies, either by occupying North Carolina or cutting his rail routes (or preferably even both).

Cut the rail route and you enter the first of the game‘s three arcade sequences where you control a soldier as he rides alongside the train. Jump onto the train and make it to the engine before the time limit expires, without being killed by falling off of the train or being hit by the enemy soldiers, and you cut the route and take the other player’s gold.
The other arcade sequences include capturing an enemy fort – which is similar to taking the train – and battles. During a conflict, the player has direct control over one of three types of unit: control between the units is simply switched by hitting a key. You must try to wipe out the enemy, before they do the same to you.
All the arcade sequences can be turned off at the start of the game if you wish to play the strategy game, and the outcome of battles and the rest is decided on the size of the forces and the competence of the leader.

There are several difficulty levels in the game, to suit most players’ abilities; for example, starting the game in the year 1864 as opposed to the default 1861 gives the south a distinct disadvantage. You could also have Indian and Mexican intruders who get upset when there is too much commotion coming from their neighbouring territories and so occasionally join in the fray.

GRAPHICS AND SOUND
Both are great. The cartoon book feel of the game gives it immense appeal and everything is well drawn and animated. The high-quality sound effects do their bit to complement the action.

JUDGEMENT
It is simple stuff, but very enjoyable. The computer opponent is not the world’s smartest, so it is not too difficult to beat. Play against a human with the arcade sequences turned on and things becomes a lot more interesting.
Andy Smith

Amiga Format, Issue 6, January 1990, p.p.70-71

GRAPHICS 8
SOUND 7
INTELLECT 4
ADDICTION 7
OVERALL 74%


North & South logo

Wer schon immer der Meinung war, dass der amerikanische Bürgerkreig völlig falsch geführt wurde, bekommt in Infogrames neuem Strategie-Epos Gelegenheit, die Geschichte neu zu schreiben.

North & South Bereits bei dem blau in blaue gehaltenen Vorspann wird klar, dass dieser Western aus dem Land der Gitanes-Raucher kommen muss - das Spiel ist denn auch an eine französische Comic-Serie angelehnt. Wahrhaft europäisch dagegen die Anzahl der angebotenen Landessprachen, immerhin fünf stehen zur Auswahl. Aber das Anfangsmenü hat noch mehr zu bieten: Für zwei Spieler konzipiert, kann jede der Parteien menschlich oder aus Blech (Computer) sein. Somit kann man den Rechner auch gegen sich selbst spielen lassen, was natürlich bald langweilig wird, aber zu Studienzwecken durchaus seinen Reiz hat. Den Schwierigkeitsgrad wählt man durch Anklicken der verschiedenen Dienstgrade, die vom einfachen Schützen bis zum General reichen. Weiter bestimmt man das Jahr, in dem man in den Bürgerkrieg einsteigen will, und entscheidet darüber, ob Rothäute, Mexicaner oder das Wetter mitmischen dürfen. Ist das geklärt, muss man noch festlegen, ob die Truppenverstärkung auf dem Seeweg erfolgen soll, und schon kann's losgehen - jedenfalls beinahe, denn vorher wird die getroffene Auswahl schnell vom Kriegsphotographen festgehalten, stilgerecht mit Pulverblitz und in Schwartz/Weiss, versteht sich!

Zu Beginn haben die beide Seiten je zwei Armeen zur verfügung. Vorrangiges Ziel ist es, eine Eisenbahnlinie zu kontrollieren. Damit ermöglicht man Geldtransporte an die Bank, und mit diesem Geld auf dem Konto kann man wiederum die eigenen Truppen verstärken. Das funktioniert naheliegenderweise umso besser, je mehr Bundesstaaten man durch geschickte Truppen-verschiebungen im Hauptschirm in Besitz nimmt. Leider verfolgt der Gegner natürlich dieselben Ansichten, sodass kriegerische Auseinandersetzungen im wahrsten Sinn des Wortes vorprogrammiert sind. Diese Kampfszenen orientieren sich ganz an den historischen Vorbildern, es wird also fleissig mit Kanonen über den Fluss geschossen, bis der Joystick qualmt. Dabei können plötzlich feindliche Indianerstämme auf dem Kriegspad auftauchen, oder ein schweres Unwetter zwingt die eigene Streitmacht zum Rückzug. Die Actionszenen insbesondere das Erobern eines Forts oder das Kapern eines Zuges, sind besonders gut gelungen und zudem nicht leicht zu bewältigen. Während des ganzen Spiels kann jederzeit zwichen Action und Strategie umgeschaltet werden, Sieger ist, wer als Letzter übrigbleibt - logo!

Schon der oben erwähnte Vorspann kann durch Witz, tolle Grafik und fetzigen Sound überzeugen, im Spiel setzt sich der Genuss ungebrochen fort. Da auch das Gameplay kaum Wünsche offen und Langeweile gar nicht erst aufkommen lässt, muss North & South als ganz heisser Tip für kalte Winterabende gehandelt werden!
(wh)

Amiga Joker, December 1989, p.?

Der Amiga Joker meint:
"So macht Bürgerkrieg Spass: North & South bietet Gags und Überraschungen am laufenden Band!"

Amiga Joker
North & South
Grafik: 82%
Sound: 88%
Handhabung: 80%
Motivation: 82%

Gesamt: 83%
Variabel
Preis: ca 89,- DM
Hersteller: Infogrames
Bezug: Bomico
Elbinger Straße 1
6000 Frankfurt 90
Tel.: 069/706050

Spezialität: Hier muss man all Instrumente spielen: Je nach der Sequenz wird mit Tastatur, Joystick oder Maus gesteuert. Die Spieldauer beträgt jeweils zu ca. zwei Stunden - keine Absavemöglichkeit vorhanden.



North & South logo

Infogrames
Price: £24.99

North and South T he American Civil War started in April 1861 when the southern – or Confederate – states decided to withdraw from the union with the northern – or Yankee – states in protest over the abolition of slavery. Eight years of bloody battle followed. More recently, however, the TV miniseries North and South has gone down a bomb in France (as ‘Les Blues et Les Gris’) and I have a sneaking suspicion that Infogrames’ game has been more than a little inspired by it.

North and South gives you the opportunity to relive in a wildly comical way the infamous interstate battles between the Union and the Confederates.
The main game is a map of the USA, divided up into two dozen large areas. Each of these areas can be one of four types: empty, Confederate owned, Union owned or occupied. Running through the map is a railway line with four stations. Dotted around the map at the start of the game are two Confederate armies and two Union armies. The idea of the game, like ‘Risk’ is to capture al the states on the map, or alternatively kill all the enemy soldiers on the map.

The game works in turns. At the start of a turn, all your occupied spaces flash. You can move all the troops in each occupied state, one space in any direction. If you try to move into occupied territory, you then have to do battle with the enemy.
As you move around occupying land, there are one or two things you must remember to do. Firstly, if you capture all the states between two stations on the railway line, the train will come along, carrying gold from station to station. With that gold you can buy new armies to replace all the old tired ones.

Also, there are one or two special locations op the map. When your opponent gets the train rolling, look where the train stops. That is his fortress. Raid it for lots of money. The state in the top left-hand corner is Indian country. Hang around there too long and those Injuns get annoyed and throw a hatchet in your direction. On the right-hand screen, about halfway up, is a boarding point. Every two turns, a boat rolls up the river and drops an army off at that point.

There is more than one way of playing North and South. On the surface you can play it as either a straight strategy game or an arcade game with strategy elements.
The strategy game is just a very simple game of Risk. All battles are decided by who has the largest army and all other events are determined by the computer. In the action game you are responsible for all battles, castle raids and train robberies. This is where the game comes into its own.
The battles are brilliant. You are shown a distant view of the battle and from this view you can control foot soldiers, mounted horsemen and artillery.
Both the fortress raid and the train robbery are played in the same way. Race at incredibly high speed along a scrolling play area leaping boxes and other obstacles, and punching, kicking or knifing guards away. All of these, including the battle, are done with the same degree of humour that really makes the game.

The graphics are of a very high standard, as is the soundtrack, and that is what makes the game an instant hit. However, I am sorry to say that the fun is a little short-lived. For some reason, the computer is very, very easy to beat. Rather than having any artificial intelligence, it seems to follow the same pattern of moves every game. Aren’t strategy games the ones that are supposed to keep you going for years?
Tony Dillon

CU Amiga, November 1989, p.74

SOUND
GRAPHICS
PLAYABILITY
LASTABILITY
91%
87%
76%
68%
79%


North and South logo Zzap! Sizzler

Infogrames, Amiga £24.95

North and South The American Civil War - a time of hardship for the USA as brother fought brother in the main title fight of the 19th Century, Confederate versus Union, North versus South.
The great battle is played over the whole of North America with Blues in the North corner and the Greys in the South corner. Choose the year that you want to start the game (1861-1864) and the skill level of the side you want to play (Corporal, Sergeant or Captain). The year of the battle dictates the situation for both sides (with the Union obviously getting a better deal towards the end of the war).

North and South is based around the idea of gaining land. Put the cursor on a unit you want to move and info flashes up showing how many soldiers, cavalrymen and cannons it has. If it's one of yours press fire and the states it can move to flash. The more land you control the more money you earn - fill up your safe and you get a bonus unit.
To collect your money you need control of at least two railway stations for the train to run between. Gaining more stations to earn more money, as well as destroying your enemy's money making is a prime objective. To take a station move a unit onto it. If it's already occupied the scene switches to inside the station. A brave 'volunteer' runs across the courtyard dodging dogs, leaping over dynamite and fighting the defenders. Beat all this AND the timer and you gain control of the fortress station.
But if that proves too difficult you might try a bit of robbery. If you've got a unit in one of the states the enemy train runs through you might have an opportunity to board it. If you do your man is shown standing beside railway track; jump onto a carriage then run forward, leaping the gaps and dodging the enemy soldiers. Get to the engine and you might steal enough cash to get another unit. Another way of getting money is to control the port in Virginia, where ships come, leaving a very handy combat unit.

All this is great fun but to get anywhere, plenty of men are needed for the combat scenes. When two armies meet it's off to battle with cavalry and cannons towing along behind. Best to use the cannon to soften up the enemy and send in the cavalry to mop up any survivors. Watch out for rifle toting troops - they're good shots. If you don't want arcade combat, the strategy mode fights the battle automatically.

Zzap! Christmas Special, Issue 56, December 1989, p.69

Robin Hogg Wargames are my sort of thing and while North and South won't see SSI quaking in their combat boots it's certainly a thousand times more fun to play. The option screen is a joy to play around with, as switching on different options is accompanied by little effects and sounds. What's more the in-game presentation is superb with humorous graphic effects popping up all over the place. The strategy may be a little shallow but with three skill levels per side, four scenarios, and numerous other factors to select there are plenty of options to keep arcade fans and strategists busy.

Stuart Wynne This really is a gem of a game. The sheer variety of gameplay, the many excellent details, like the photographer taking a picture when all the options have been set: it all adds up to an utterly irresistible package. The basic mix of strategy and arcade action is excellent, and to add spice you can turn on options for Virginia Port and Indian attacks. In truth the strategy may not be that complex, but the great arcade sections and wealth of options should make this a prized part of your software collection.

6 4
No news as yet although it wouldn't be impossible to convert.
U P D A T E

PRESENTATION 96%
Well polished with a great sense of humour and plenty of options.
GRAPHICS 93%
Cartoon graphics lifted straight from a comic book.
SOUND 87%
Suitable tunes and very neat spot FX.
HOOKABILITY 90%
Compared to all other strategy games this is unbelievably easy to get into.
LASTABILITY 91%
Three levels together with four battle periods ensure long term play.
OVERALL
90%
A fresh and offbeat arcade approach to the Civil War.