Vietnam 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 anymore!
Ok, the game is a joy to watch here although the number of colors being used here are reduced to 16 on screen (the original Amiga version uses at least 32). The game is full of still and animated screens with impressive details! Note also that the 5 digitized video sequences found on the Amiga and PC versions are all missing here. Also, some of the total (28 original) intermediate scenes are also missing here but still they are lots to see! Although it can get repetitive meeting the same scenes time after time we must consider that this is a three-disk game for the Atari ST!
Sound is good too, offering a nice in-game tune (when not in an action scene) though it is totally different to the (Amiga) original. There also a few sound FX, some of them being digitized (but most of them are missing here i.e. the wonderful metallic lock n load as the sniper force rounds into the breach, found in the Amiga version only). Overall the game is nicely presented on the Atari ST which adds an asset to the gameplay!