North & South: Les Tuniques Bleues is a hilarious, action strategy game, developed and published by Infogrames in 1989, for almost all home computers of this era.
STORY / GAMEPLAY The game takes you to the American Civil War (1861-1864) and you can choose either the United States (the North) or the Confederate State (the South) armies. The game's interface is a map of North America, where you can move your armies and take over enemy states, forts or even harbors (in a 2D horizontally scrolling race against the clock!) Troop movements and most of the other strategic plans, take place on a single screen map that shows the American states of the time, with the objective to vanish the opposition from sight. Your priority is to occupy enough territory to establish a rail supply line and subsequently fill your safe and buy new troops. Of course, the occupation of a territory already inhabited by enemy forces, means war! Each battle scenery includes wide terrains like canyons, rivers or forests that will make troop formations harder, but can also work to the enemy's (or your) advantage. With doses of humor, you battle against your opponents by using infantry, cavalry or artillery units (which you can switch at any time). Reinforcements can be completed via ships or by gaining money through trains. During each battle, the terrains are seen from above and the game offers beautiful views with lots of colors, while the armies look so tiny and the sound is so funny! In some quests, such as taking over a fort, the game's perspective changes to side scrolling (as I said above), where you control a single soldier and try to kick and stab the enemies in order to reach the flag and take over the fort before the time runs out. The same happens when you chase a train, aiming to loot supplies that will help you in your battles. Overall, North 'N South is a greatly done, funny and very amusing game, suitable for everyone (from kids to adults), no matter what style of games you prefer! Absolutely recommended!
GRAPHICS / SOUND The ST version is colorful and offers some nice visuals and sound! The color palette (16 colors) is identical to the Amiga version (possibly an ST port) and comparably the ST version has some differences in sound (as expected). Of notice is the intro music which on the ST sounds a bit "trimmed" compared to the Amiga! The battle grounds are nicely drawn while the tiny, funny troops are beautifully animated. The music of the game is a funny spoof taken from known war anthems of the 1860s.
In-game music sample:
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CPU: Motorola 68000 16/32bit at 8mhz. 16 bit data bus/32 bit internal/24-bit address bus. MEMORY: RAM 512KB (1MB for the 1040ST models) / ROM 192KB GRAPHICS: Digital-to-Analog Converter of 3-bits, eight levels per RGB channel, featuring a 9-bit RGB palette (512 colors), 320x200 (16 color), 640x200 (4 color), 640x400 (monochrome). With special programming techniques could display 512 colors on screen in static images. SOUND: Yamaha YM2149F PSG "Programmable Sound Generator" chip provided 3-voice sound synthesis, plus 1-voice white noise mono PSG. It also has two MIDI ports, and support mixed YM2149 sfx and MIDI music in gaming (there are several games supported this).