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Game info

Lost Patrol

Lost Patrol
GenreAction Strategy
DeveloperShadow Development
PublisherOcean Software
Reviewed byndial
The Lost Patrol is among the best Nam-themed war exhibition games that combine strategy and action. The game was designed by Shadow Development and published by Ocean Software for the Amiga OCS and the Atari ST; a year later, it was ported to the DOS systems (published by Melbourne House).
Vietnam 1966. Your squad flies back to the Base from a routine mission. But only 57 miles away from home your chopper is shot down. You command a team of seven survivors from this crash and your mission is to return home safe. Your quest is tough, as the territory is full of enemy VC patrols searching for you after their success in bringing down your chopper, booby traps and low morale. Your team's supplies are limited, having a few hand grenades, 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 paces: double march, normal and extreme caution. You'd better check your walking speed and assign scouting tasks as there are several threats across the way, like booby traps which will probably hurt or kill your team members instantly.
You can also use recon which will give you info for the land terrains! 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. You might come across minefields, snipers, head-to-head combats and also deal with villagers. Minefields require you to check the ground for explosives with bayonets and some slow digging before the time expires! You may also encounter unarmed close combat (a la beat 'em up) with VC soldiers using your punches and kicks. Also, you will find yourself pinned down by heavy enemy fire in which you must duck to avoid or stand up to shoot or even throw grenades against the VC groups, trying not to be killed or overrun!
Actually, the most fun part is the sniper sequence! Your squad is pinned down by enemy snipers and asks you to spot their hideouts (since they are visually invisible and seeking their muzzle shot flush!) and kill them. 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 that you can correspond with for important info by choosing an appropriate question from the 4 available at a time. You can also directly kill a villager to threaten the others and gather more info. Be noted that some villagers may be VCs who will surely try to give you misleading info (i.e. there are cases when searches at the village reveal VC tunnels that you must destroy with grenades etc).
Note that you must also take care of your team's need in food, rest, sleep, wound care, so you have to let them take some rest at times, otherwise they won't be docile any more.

Lost Patrol on the Amiga is a real joy to play and watch! It sports a variety of still and animated screens with impressive details and 32 simultaneous colors (16 for the ST and DOS versions). The game also includes several digitized sequences (captured with The Vidi-Amiga, a video digitizer that connects to the parallel port and is capable in capturing real-time videos with up to 16 grey-scales or color stills with up to 4096 colors). Note that, those scenes are missing from the Atari ST version. There are 28 intermediate scenes, 5 digitized sequences (Amiga / DOS only) and 10 arcade or interactive sub-games. There is a lot to see but it may get repetitive when experiencing the same scenes time after time. But considering that this is an only two floppy disks game, this is normal and well accepted!
The game's sound is great too, including an excellent in-game tune (that keeps playing when not in an action scene) as well as several sampled sound effects (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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