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Alan Steel
Strategy: War
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Chris Bourne
Chris Bourne

EEEEEOOWWW... dakka dakka dakka . . . BOOOMM!!! And another Jap aircraft carrier sinks beneath the blue Pacific.

PSS has produced a passable war-game in Battle for Midway, which follows events fairly accurately.

Designer Alan Steel says he wanted to mimic 'The Fog of War', by which he seems to mean not knowing what's going on. That is entirely justifiable, and much of Midway is spent trying to locate the Japanese fleet before it realises you're onto the dastardly plan.

Unfortunately there is not a great deal of subtlety about the best tactics. As soon as you've found the main Japanese attack force, you send as many aircraft after it as you can, until you have sunk all four aircraft carriers. When they are out, the Japanese limp back home again.

The battle sequences are a novelty, using arcade skills. If you are attacked you get a gunsight and must blast the Japanese out of the sky. You also get a gunsight when you try to bomb the Japanese, but it will only shoot down your own planes. Steel says that's to pander to the tastes of arcade freaks, who'll shoot at anything. It looks more like an excuse to use the same piece of code.

We found it easy to scuttle the Nipponese schemes on level two, the straight historical simulation. There is a level three in which the Japanese are forewarned about your fleets and lay a trap, which might be more difficult.

A few months ago we would have said it was fine. After Overlords and Arnhem, however, it seems a bit ordinary.

Chris Bourne

Publisher: PSS
Price: £9.95
Memory: 48K
Joystick: Kempston, Cursor, Sinclair