Written by  :  Ashley Pomeroy (233)
Written on  :  Jun 21, 2000
Platform  :  DOS
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The Good

A classic, often-overlooked early simulation of commanding a tank platoon, this game is still great fun nowadays. 'Platoon' is the operative word - instead of driving a single tank around, you command four of them, plus support units. As a 'roving spirit' you can take control of each of your platoon's crewmembers, although most of the time you'll either be the gunner, or looking at the map view. It's in the map view that most of the game is played - you move your platoon from one corner of the map to the other, using hills for cover, and firing shells at the (hopefully confused) enemy. The strategy is just simply enough not to be confusing, but complex enough to provide a challenge, and the interplay of your support units is handled extremely well, although many of them are of dubious usefulness. Your potentially conflict-winning Apaches seem to spend most of their time hiding behind hills, for example. It's interesting to note that the recent sequel, despite modern visuals, was actually less fun to play, despite being almost identical.

The Bad

Whilst most of the graphics are attractive, and you can see for miles, the enemy are rendered, amusingly, in bright red. The infantry columns that were so effective in 'M1 Tank Platoon 2' are simply small red pyramids, and explosions are very cartoon-like. As with other games of the period, you might find it hard to run at a playable speed. Amusingly, the game offers a 'high horsepower' mode for fast PCs - i.e. 286 machines.

The Bottom Line

A classic, ancient sim of tank warfare, that's actually better than the 1999 sequel.