It the first casualty of war is innocence, then the first casualty of poor wargames must be patience. The initial test of your tetchiness comes when you're confronted with the tortuous terrain of the manual layout. Many wargames of this depth and complexity offer a quick-start tutorial. It familiarises you with the controls and quickly introduces you to the potential of the game - making the learning curve easier to climb.
The only thing is, D-Day's tutorial is the equivalent of "humping the boonies" for 10 miles or 100 degrees fahrenheit with no water. I'm not joking either.
It's even a difficult task working out just why the tutorial is so unhelpful. It may be that the game's user interface is just so unhelpful. There are loads of little buttons to press, but unfortunately, there's no visual or aural feedback informing you that you've actually pressed the button, or that the button press has registered with the Amiga.
Buttons like this should indent when they're clicked on - in gaming terms and user terms, it's good manners. Something that most gamers expect nowadays. Consequently, every time you play D-Day, it feels as if the programmers are being rude to you which is unsettling and ever so slightly distressing.
But no, the main reason for the tutorial's unhelpfulness is the way it's written and presented - no pictures, illustrations or diagrams. Learning curve times could have been drastically cut with the inclusion of at least a few cursory pictographs.
The game doesn't play that well either. It starts just as the landings are about to proceed. Control of the armies is by individual unit (divisions) and there is no opportunity to move divisions en masse, which is a shame.
Much of your time is spent tediously shuffling individual ground units around. Sure, productive use of all this movement can give the game a strategic edge, but so much time is spent doing this that you end up not caring what becomes of the units - just so long as you get them on to the beaches and marching eastward. Some sort of macro command would have been appreciated.
Individual battles are taken care of y the familiar (to some anyway) Micro Miniatures combat sequences. Take a look at some of the screenshots on the page to obtain a better idea of what they look like.
The Micro Miniatures help the gamer fight battles at an almost individual level. Like the rest of the game, the user interface is clumsy. But this part of the game is the most enjoyable, if only because you can split up units and try out manoeuvres.
If you're a die-hard, committed wargamer you may like D-Day - there's hours and hours worth of play tucked away in here. Anyone else should give it a miss.