Battle Isle '93

Title           Battle Isle '93
Game Type       Strategy
Company         Blue Byte
Players         1 or 2
HD Installable  Yes
Compatibillity  All (Disable AGA)
Submission 	Neil Matthews

BI 93 is a turn-based futuristic strategy game, which can be played either
against the computer or another person. It'll run on just about any Amiga,
but you'll need to disable AGA if you have it, and it plays MUCH better
from hard drive.

Each game is a single battle between two sides. Each side has several
types of tanks, robot infantry, artillery and air units. As you progress
through each battle, you get more and better units to play with. The games
are played in turns, but this is done very cleverly.

The two opponents both play at the same time, but take it in turns to move
and fire. You get a vertically split screen showing each player's view
(you see the map from overhead), and while one player selects units and
tells them where to move the other selects them and tells them what to
fire at. The firing doesn't happen immediately; when you've both finished
your selections you end the turn and the computer works out all the
combat, which takes effect BEFORE the movement. Confusing? Not when you
play it.

This means that a unit you've just moved can get destroyed before it sets
off, but it does allow the game to give you the feeling that it's all
happening in real time. Whenever there is combat you get a neat little
overhead animation showing the units in a group firing at each other,
which can be really nail-biting as you see your best tank squadron getting
pummeled by artillery...

The graphics are superbly done, with the units much better-looking than
those in, for instance, Dune II. There are a few animations thrown in from
time to time as well, all of which add to the atmosphere.

There are loads of tactical elements which enhance the gameplay - units
which survive combat get gradually tougher, you can build new units in
factories or repair them in depots, you can capture the enemy's factories
and depots, you can transport units inside other ones and so on.

The game is best played against a human opponent, because computer AI is
never going to give you the same challenge. The programmers make up for
this by making the computer heavily outnumber you - several of the battles
start out with you being so horrendously out-gunned that if it was a real
battle you'd just give up. However, luckily for you computers aren't good
generals so they just tend to throw everything at you all in one go. This
means you can usually survive (if you're cunning) with a fighting retreat,
repairing key units and gradually wearing the computer down to the point
where you can attack back (thanks to the fact that the more times a unit
survives combat the tougher it gets).

This is a top game. The look and feel is brilliant, the difficulty is
pitched just right. It has given me countless hours of fun and I can't
recommend it enough - 10 out of 10, at least.

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