GOOOOOOOOOD MORNINNNG VIETNAMMMM!!! It's gonna be hot and wet! That's nice if you're with a lady, but it ain't no good if you're in the jungle!
Selecting the Story Mode takes you into the games campaign, where you can change the game’s difficulty before playing, and see some information on your upcoming mission. It’s June 1965 and you’re somewhere near Bien Hoa; from here, as Papa Bear, you’ll control your platoons.
Your main mission objective is to patrol the surround countryside while winning the hearts and minds of the South Vietnamese people. You also have a secondary objective of investigating any Vietcong activity you hear about. After hitting the Play button you’ll watch a small introduction welcoming you to Vietnam and explaining that the frontline against communism has been drawn here in South Vietnam. This communist offensive must be stopped before the rest of Asia falls under communist rule.
This first mission acts as a tutorial and explains what and how to complete your missions. You find yourself at the Bien Hoa Air Base in the Dong Nai Province in your command tent. On the desk in front of you is a map and radio, and in the top right corner is the date and the current time. Below this is the tutorial, which will go through everything you need to command your troops. First off, you will need to turn on your radio; once the radio is on you can start giving orders to Alpha and Bravo platoons. Holding down the Space Bar will give you dialog options for you to command your troops; the dialog options are shown in the bottom left corner.
Selecting the map on the desk will detail the area in which you’re currently positioned. There’s a legend in the bottom corner of the map detailing the region’s topography. The map is also laid out in a grid pattern; each main grid is made up of ten by ten small grids, and each of these smaller grids has coordinates. Moving your cursor over the grids will reveal the coordinates. On the left side of the screen is Map Tools, Headquarters and Options. In the bottom right corner is where you can see any chat you’ve had with base, the commands, the coordinates and the time that each of these commands was given or reported back to base.
On the map you’ll notice a small square grey token; these tokens are friendly units, enemy tokens are indicated in red, and unknown contacts are indicated as a mustardy yellow-coloured token. Each type of unit will display a different image on each of the tokens, depending on what the unit is. A crouching soldier image indicates it’s a soldier, one lying down indicates that it’s a sniper and a tent is a base. There are others, such as assault and support helicopters, artillery, mortars, vehicles and APC’s.
To move your troops, you will need to give them commands, and you do this by making sure the radio is turned on first (obviously) then holding down the space bar. This will then open the command bar in the bottom left of the screen. Here you’ll have various options depending on your current mission's progress. As we only have Alpha platoon currently, these are the only options on display. Selecting Alpha platoon while still holding down the space bar will allow you to select the corresponding key for your command, Report (1) or Order (2). This will then open another set of options for you; again, selecting the corresponding key for your command will give your platoon its orders. Both Report and Order have different commands which may be given.
Orders will tell your platoon where to go and what action to take. Moving your platoons is simple; you go to the orders, move, and from here you can select any designation available to you by selecting the corresponding command key, or you can select a coordinate on the map. Then by releasing the space bar, your platoons will follow your command (when possible - sometimes you can’t under the current situation). It will take your platoon some time to reach their destination, so to help speed things up you can fast forward time by using the clock in the top right corner of the screen. Once your platoon reaches its destination, time will revert to normal speed.
Reports are where you can receive updates on your platoon's current positions, their status etcetera. It’s a good idea to keep in contact with your platoons’ positions as this will update their token on the map to show where they are currently positioned. Reporting your status will give you information on your current morale, number of men in your platoon, any wounded etcetera.
If you have any wounded, you will need to have them medevac'd back to base before you lose any of your brothers. You can do this by either making the long trek back to base with the platoon who currently has wounded, or you can, if available, use the support helicopters. Having the helicopter meet your platoon somewhere safe, you will then be able to load the wounded into the helicopter and have it sent back to base, where you unload your live cargo. You can also use the support helicopters to transport your platoons to designated areas.
You can keep an eye on your current objectives by selecting the HQ tab, which will tell you what you must do to complete the current level. Once you’ve completed all objectives, you will complete that level and be able to move on to the next one. At the end of each completed mission you’ll have a report file detailing your Friendly and Enemy Loses, Wounded, Killed in Action and your Score. You can also watch a replay of your Victory.
There is also Quick Battle Mode where you can play Survival or Eliminate. You can customise the game to your liking by setting the difficulty and choosing the types of units and number of enemies. I haven’t tried these game modes yet, as I’ve only played the campaign, but hopefully I’ll have a bash at some point.
In the options, you’ll find settings for Audio (Master, Music FX and Voice volume sliders), Graphics (Quality Level - Low to Ultra, Resolution - 50Hz to 240Hz Refresh Rates, Token Size and Text Size), Gameplay (Language - English, Polish, German, French, Spanish, Russian and Chinese), Difficulty Preset (Story, Commander, Veteran and Custom Modes). There are also some options to customise each of these modes, such as Token Position Auto Update, Simplified and Challenging Fight, and half a dozen or so more.
Controls: Here you will find options for Voice Recognition, Hold to Open Radio Panel, Full Controls with Mouse Only and Border Map Scrolling. Also here are the key binds for the game and you can remap the keys should you wish to and reset to default should you wish to change back.
It’s quite an interesting strategy game where you give orders to your platoon. It’s easy to learn and there are various difficulty levels for everyone. There are a couple other game modes other than the campaign and you can also customise your games to your liking. I did have a couple problems now and then when trying to drop off some wounded and my helicopter pilot kept saying not possible but that was probably me doing something wrong. The other thing I had was that after selecting the options tab while on the map, it wouldn’t close. I had to restart the game to have it removed but I’ve only had this happen once, so probably just a random bug or something on my end. The developers are also active with updates which is always nice to have.
I’d certainly recommend this game; it’s fun and it gives me a reason to shout out GOOOOOOOOOD MORNINNNG VIETNAMMMM!!!
Review written by Piston Smashed™ for Zeepond.com!
Positives+ Simple and easy to play
+ Multiple game modes and difficulties for everyone
+ Has achievements
+ Has cards
Negatives- I had a couple of little problems but nothing too bad
This is Papa Bear. Alpha Status Report. Bravo Engage the Viet Cong. Let's get this war over before Christmas!
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Zeepond Rating: 8/10
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