Team Yankee (Second Review)

Title		Team Yankee (Second Review)
Game Type	3D Combat Sim
Players		1
Compatibility	All
HD Installable	Yes
Submission	D.J.

 This was the game that inspired me to get an Amiga in the first place.
After my C64, the graphics were eye popping and I loved the satisfying
whooosh of a TOW missile streaking to its target.

 Based on the book of the same name, Team Yankee supposes that the Soviet
army has decided to heat up the Cold War and mount a conventional campaign
into Central Europe. An early and primitive sprite based VR game, your
contingent prowls the scenic (but unnaturally flat) countryside for Soviet
armour. You play all four units in your group. They have four vehicles
each, mostly M1 battle tanks, a couple of ITVs, Bradleys and (whoopee!)

 After a cool intro screen, missions start with a briefing map. Objectives
are set and available intelligence revealed as well as suggestions where
hazards might lie. Here you may also call in artillery and smoke, on a
timetable (so don't be early).

 During missions a scalable map allows for deployment of your forces and
will return some intelligence on enemy locations, if sighted.

 You may choose the lead vehicle in any unit for your POV. You can choose
full screen or to have the maps or vehicle views in a four way
split-screen. Full screen affords more controls and greater visibility
whereas the split-screen gives you a broader view of the battle.

 You can maneuver tanks on the map, setting their speed, spacing and
formation but you cannot control tanks from the vehicle view, only turn
the turret, a real pain. Inching forward through a forest means switching
between the map and the tank view, for instance. You can not set
way-points and the drivers are dumb, ie. you can't get them to follow a
road or track, or skirt a river etc.

 Another complaint is that when vehicles are under attack the affected
units send no distress message until they start loosing vehicles. A simple
"Unit one under fire" or "Unit two reports enemy sighting" would have
saved a lot of hunting through damage screens to find trouble. For that
matter a "Go to unit under fire" button would have been even better.

 Weapons range from machine guns through HEAT, Sabots to TOW missiles.
Infra red allows you to see through smoke, trees and at night. A wide
variety of Soviet vehicles, from soft to very hard, are represented.

 In all, the mouse driven interface is attractive but awkward, with
movement and weapons controls spread out in annoying ways. There are some
keyboard shortcuts but these are poorly laid out. The small 4-way screens
do allow for changing weapons but not the other options. Getting around
the controls during the heat of battle is as likely to cause casualties as
bad planning.

 The same half dozen missions are replayed in increasing levels of
difficulty. In earlier games you are fully replenished and repaired after
each mission. By the time you have a few extra stripes on your sleeve you
limp into battle with whatever survived the last beating you took.

 The missions are interesting and fairly accurate but trouble always comes
from the same places each time so play gets to be a bit predictable,
though no less difficult.

 A random mission engine would have extended the playability of the game,
especially since, at higher levels, many missions are essentially

 Being able to play the Soviet side would have been interesting too.

 An attractive and innovative early tank sim, Team Yankee could have
profited from some better testing and attention to the design of its

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