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Description

Desert Rats is the second entry in R. T. Smith's World War II trilogy, including Arnhem and Vulcan. It simulates the North Africa Campaign in 1941-42 commencing with the arrival of Rommel in Tripoli and ends with the Battle of El Alamein. The bitter campaign includes Operations Battleaxe and Crusader and the Battle of Gazala. The game is named after the men of the 7th Armoured Division who were known as the Desert Rats after adopting a 'gerbil' as their insignia. Several versions like DOS and ZX Spectrum 128K includes two additional scenarios: Operation Compass and the Battle of Beda Fomm (December 1940-February 1941).

The gameplay is shown on a scrolling map by turns. Players select the units and give them orders to hold position, move to, fortify, or assault. Units move on the grid of rectangular cells. The balance of battles may be adjusted by Malta Status (Historical, Operation Hercules, Not used as base) as well. Historically, Montgomery defeated Rommel at El Alamein, and it is player's opportunity to alter the history making it sooner or vice versa.

The game is accompanied by a detailed instruction booklet including historical background notes of the campaign with maps and photographs. Two players representing Allied and Axis may be computer or human.

Screenshots

Desert Rats: The North Africa Campaign ZX Spectrum The game has a save feature so the first of several decisions the player must make is whether to continue a saved game or start a new one
Desert Rats: The North Africa Campaign ZX Spectrum The battlefield is bigger than it appears. After giving orders to the troops in the immediate area of conflict the map screen shifts eastwards to show the rest of the allied forces
Desert Rats: The North Africa Campaign ZX Spectrum Final decision. This is a one player game so which side does the player want to be?
Desert Rats: The North Africa Campaign ZX Spectrum I have yet to work out what role Malta plays in this but this is a historically based game so perhaps I'll learn something

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Critic Reviews

Crash! Jun, 1986 95 out of 100 95
ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) Dec, 1987 905 out of 1000 90

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POMAH (47428) added Desert Rats: The North Africa Campaign (ZX Spectrum) on Feb 07, 2011
Other platforms contributed by POMAH (47428)