Army Moves

by Alfonso Azpiri, Javier Cubedo, Manuel Cubedo, Santiago Morga B., Victor Ruiz Tejedor
Dinamic Software
Crash Issue 41, Jun 1987   page(s) 16

Producer: Ocean
Retail Price: £7.95
Author: Dynamic Software

Derdhal is a member of the Special Operations Corps. His mission is to infiltrate a heavily guarded enemy base and steal information held in a safe.

To achieve this aim he must cross the seven screens of this horizontally scrolling arcade game, passing through swamp, jungle, desert and sea. Each screen must be completed before progress can be made to the next.

At his disposal Derdhal has a jeep, a helicopter and his marching boots. The jeep and helicopter can be accelerated, slowed and made to jump (take off and land) whilst Derdhal himself moves left and right and jumps.

Energy and fuel supplies are limited, with the level remaining shown at the bottom right. Derdhal is armed with weapon systems ranging from missiles to grenades. When opposing forces are destroyed points are awarded, and the total displayed at the bottom of the screen. A bonus life is acquired after 25,000 points.

The first stage sees Derdhal's jeep travelling across a partially destroyed bridge, gaps in which are leaped by using the jeep's turbo boost. Helicopters and trucks attack, and contact with either loses a life. They may be destroyed with ground to ground, or ground to air missiles fired from the jeep. At the end of the bridge an enemy base is reached, from there a helicopter is stolen and used to reach the jungle base. An extra nine lives are now credited to our commando.

Now Derdhal flies over desert, (rich in missile silos and attacking jets), a sea full of submarines, and a jungle (complete with look-out posts). Low flying earns him credits, but is more dangerous. A good landing earns additional points at the jungle heliport.

Derdhal moves on foot towards the jungle headquarters, crossing swamps by leaping from island to island, missing quicksands, avoiding the explosions of enemy grenades (at night their position is shown by lighted eyes) and scaring away or ducking beneath the deadly beaks of Giant Toucans. From now on soldier-boy is equipped only with a machine gun and grenades.

Having survived the jungle ordeal, the next stage involves attacking the enemy's barracks. There the main building is scanned from watch towers, but these can be knocked out using grenades. Shots can be fired from a crouched position and windows crawled beneath in an effort to improve your chances.

Once inside the main building the central bunker is entered and the search for the safe begins. Derdhal hides behind doors and prevents them from being opened, and when on the stairs he cannot be seen by the enemy. Should he throw grenades whilst in the bunker he must take care as they can bounce off walls at dangerous angles. Finding the safe complete's Derdhal's mission.


Control keys: Definable; Up, Down, Left, Right, Fire
Joystick: Kempston
Use of colour: varied through the screens, often brightly coloured
Graphics: large, detailed and well defined
Sound: below average
Skill levels: one
Screens: seven levels with flip screens

Despite the slick presentation and the neat graphics and sonics which Dynamic have incorporated in Army Moves, it still doesn't grab me. A rigorous play-testing will soon show any self-respecting player that there's no fun involved. The first six levels are much too hard, causing increasing frustration so one gets increasingly infuriated. The use of colour throughout is dubious, there are a lot of attribute problems and some of the landscapes are garish. I wouldn't recommend this.

One of the most frustrating games I've seen this month - Army Moves is almost totally impossible, not because playing is difficult, but due to the screen layout and the slipshod collision detection. The sound is also pretty substandard, with no tune and poor spot effects. It might appeal to the Rambo types who like killing anything that moves, but for me there's no real lastability.

Army Moves is extremely difficult to play. Not because it's too complicated or requires lightning-fast reactions (because it doesn't), but because of the bad design of the play area and the inaccurate collision detection. The graphics are well defined, even though the colour used is appalling. Sound is below average with very boring effects, and nothing approaching a decent tune. The controls are sluggish, even with a joystick. I had little fun playing Army Moves - it's very boring, plain and a great disappointment.

Presentation: 61%
Graphics: 56%
Playability: 52%
Addictive Qualities: 51%
Value for Money: 57%
Overall: 54%

Summary: General Rating: Dubious collision detection spoils what otherwise night have been a reasonable, if uninspiring shoot 'em up.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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