Reviewed by Paul Rixon


Issue 30

Nov/Dec 87

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1 player
1 joystick/keyboard


Tactical war simulations are enjoyed by a small but growing number of dedicated followers who rejoice over titles such as 'Tigers in the snow' and 'War in Russia'. Exorbitant American price tags have prohibited their widespread popularity in the past, but Mastertronic have now enabled a much wider audience to scrutinize the wargame concept with the release of INVASION, set on a planet inhabited by alien beings whose plan is to invade Britain. Can you prevent them from going ahead?


You have sole responsibility for Britain's defences, commanding several military outfits including 'radar' and 'explosive' units. Destroying a weather station is your main objective, and this is accomplished by situating three explosive units in adjacent positions next to the station. Alien units counter your every move so constant monitoring of all developments is necessary to establish what is happening. Instructions are issued to the units by means of a cursor, and the computer automatically handles the move and determines the outcome of combat.

Damage to a unit may be partially repaired by utilizing fuel cells, and a 'teleprinter' provides updates of the current situation. Status reports can be optionally displayed and other facilities include game save, 'explode unit' and 'move cursor to next stationary unit'. Points are awarded for disabling the weather station and alien ships, with bonus points given for eliminated alien units and human units remaining intact.

Graphically INVASION is a bit of let down. The battle area is pretty drab and uninspiring, scrolling is not at all like the smooth and effortless movement to be found in 'Eastern Front' but extremely jerky, and the display is generally lacking in detail and professionalism.

It's worth checking out if you are prepared to put some effort into gameplay. War simulations are by no means light entertainment and anyone buying the game without prior knowledge of the format could be in for disappointment. Seasoned war tacticians should find it a worthwhile challenge.