Saturday, June 16, 2007

Retro game of the week: North & South (AMIGA/PC)

North & South was developed and published in 1989 by Infogrames (now Atari Europe), as an offshoot of the Belgian cartoon Les Tuniques Bleues, which is based on the American Civil War. A lot of people, not necessarily into games, remember this game, generally because of the real-time strategic battle scenes. I know I do. I used to play it on my friends Amiga along with other excellent titles like The Chaos Engine and Cannon Fodder. Gameplay is simple and functional. The strategic board map is separated into states and territories, which, if conquered, generates funds and soldiers with each turn. If the state features a train station, the attacking player is forced to complete a short side-scrolling mission through a fort to capture the state. On occasions, the player would also get the opportunity to capture an enemy train in a similar manner, as seen in the middle picture above.

The battle scenes, also considered the key action element in the game, is different from the platform sections and the strategic map. In this mode, each player controls an army consisting of infantry, cavalry and cannons. The battlefield setting where you fight it out
is simple but well-balanced and detailed. Destructible scenery was nothing to expect back in 1989 - and the ability to do so made North & South feel special. Taking out the bridge was a good defensive strategy if outnumbered, but it took two well-aimed hits from the cannon, and time was always sparse. However, in every battlefield separated by either river or canyon, advancing armies could always use a secondary, indestructible passage across. The wealth of different game modes and the overall arcade feel that was evident throughout the game labelled North & South an instant classic. I've been trying to find a way to offer you the Amiga version since the DOS version looks like hell, but Amiga emulators are more complicated than I thought.
I'll include it in this post later, if possible.

Download North and South (1 MB) for DOS by clicking here. It should run on Windows.

1 comment:

gnome said...

What a brilliant little game it was. Believe it or not, I was in deep love with the CPC version...

Excellent post!