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Game info

Lost Patrol

Lost Patrol
GenreAction Strategy
DeveloperShadow Development
PublisherOcean Software
Reviewed byndial
Lost Patrol, was probably one of the best Nam war exhibitions in a mixed gameplay title for the 16bit home computers back in 1990. Initially designed and developed for the Commodore Amiga, and ported later to the Atari ST and PC home-computers.
Lost PatrolVietnam 1966. Your squad was returning back to the base from a routine mission in a helicopter. But 57 miles from home, your bird is shot down. You command a team of seven survivors from the heli crash, and your mission is to return home safe. Your quest is hard, as the territory is full of enemy VC patrols looking for you after their shot down success, booby traps and failing morale. Your team's supplies are limited, having a few hand grenades, limited bullets and food for 2 days only!
The game has a unique for its time gameplay. It is an icon based graphics adventure in which you guide your team across the main game map using a compass. The team walks at three different speeds: double march, normal and extreme caution. You'd better check your walking speed and assign scouting tasks to your members as there are several threats across your way, like booby traps which will probably hurt or kill you team members instantly.
You can also use recon info which will give you info for the land terrain-wise but not ... Charlie-wise! The enemy just pops up in small or large groups toting heavy enemy fire. And here comes the action sequences of that marvelous game;
There are several action scenes here. You might get across minefields, snipers, head-to-head combats and dealing with villagers. Minefields requires you to check the ground for explosives with bayonet and some slow digging before the time expires and get yourself killed instantly! You may also encounter unarmed close combat (ala beat em up) with VC soldier using only punches and kicking. Also, you will find yourself being pinned down by heavy enemy fire in which you must standing up to shoot or avoid or throw grenades and ducking to avoid enemy fire against VC groups and trying to be neither killed nor overrun;
But my best part is the sniper scene! Your squad is pinned down by enemy snipers fire, requiring the VC snipers to be located (being visually invisible and seeking their muzzle shot flush!) and disposed of. Use you rifle scope to magnify the position of the enemy and shoot!
The game also offers the ability to deal with local villagers. You may find villages in which you will have to question the locals for precious info by choosing an appropriate question from the 4 available at a time. You can also direct kill a villager as an (bad) example in order to get more. Be noted that some villagers might be VC who will surely try to give you wrong info (i.e. there are cases when searches at the village reveal VC tunnels, which you must destroy with grenade etc).
Note that you must also take care of your team's need in food, rest, sleep, wounds etc. So, have them at rest some times, otherwise they will not be in command any more.

Ok, the game is a joy to watch! It is full of still and animated screens with impressive details and 32 colors on screen for the Amiga version (16 for the ST and PC versions). Gameplay also offers several digitized sequences (video captured with The Vidi-Amiga, a video digitizer which connects to the parallel port of the Amiga and it is capable of capturing real-time video in up to 16 grey-scales, or color stills at up to 4096 colors). Note that, those scenes are missing on the Atari ST version. There are 28 intermediate scenes, 5 digitized sequences (Amiga/PC only) and 10 arcade or interactive sub-games. There is a lot to see, but it can get repetitive when meeting the same scenes time after time. But considering that this is a two-disk game for the Amiga, this is normal and well accepted!
Sound is great too, offering an excellent in-game tune (when not in an action scene) as well as several sampled sound FX (i.e. explosions, gun fire, the metallic lock n load as the sniper force rounds into the breach etc).
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Intro/Menu music:  In-game music sample:
Gameplay sample
Comparable platforms

32 colors
Commodore Amiga OCS/ECS

16 colors
Atari ST

11 colors
Hardware information

Amiga 500/500+

Amiga 500/500+CPU: Motorola MC68000 7.16 MHz
MEMORY: 512KB of Chip RAM (OCS chipset - A500), 512 KB of Slow RAM or Trapdoor RAM can be added via the trapdoor expansion, up to 8 MB of Fast RAM or a Hard drive can be added via the side expansion slot. The ECS chipset (A500+) offered 1MB on board to 2MB (extended) of Chip RAM.
GRAPHICS: The OCS chipset (Amiga 500) features planar graphics (codename Denise custom chip), with up to 5 bit-planes (4 in hires), allowing 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 color screens, from a 12bit RGB palette of 4096 colors. Resolutions varied from 320x256 (PAL, non-interlaced, up to 4096 colors) to 640x512 (interlace, up to 4 colors). Two special graphics modes where also included: Extra Half Bright with 64 colors and HAM with all 4096 colors on-screen. The ECS chipset models (Amiga 500+) offered same features but also extra high resolution screens up to 1280x512 pixels (4 colors at once).
SOUND: (Paula) 4 hardware-mixed channels of 8-bit sound at up to 28 kHz. The hardware channels had independent volumes (65 levels) and sampling rates, and mixed down to two fully left and fully right stereo outputs
The Amiga 500/500+ (default) color palette
12bit RGB 4096-colors palette
(32 to 4096 colors on screen)
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