North And South on the Atari ST was a fun nod to strategy campaigning games, funnily presented with arcade elements and based on a popular French comic.
The player could play as either the Union North or the Confederate South and the object of the game was to beat either a computer opponent of varying difficulty, or the human alternative.
You would start with a map of the United States and occupy all of the free areas around about. It wasn’t until you landed on your opponents state that you had to do battle. This is where the fun 2d arcade style kicked in, you have cannons, cavalry and infantry and the object was to kill the opposition, which if you could master the cannons power meter, was deadly.
Your first real objective was to occupy stations along the railway, then you could get a steady supply of gold for more troops. However, if your opponent held a state along the railway, an attempted hijacking would take place. This was a timed 2D platform level, hopping the train carriages to reach the engine, whilst fighting off enemy soldiers.
If you tried to take an enemy held fort, a similar platform caper to the train was played, once beaten, the state changed hands and the gold was stolen.
Also, if you held New England state you would get a regular replenishment of troops, which was always handy.
You didn’t have it all so easy though, a rain/thunder cloud moved around the map and if it landed on your troops, you couldn’t move them until it moved on. Also, if you held Texas and Arizona you would risk running attacks from Mexicans and Red Indians, who would decimate your troops, which could really turn the tide of a battle.
It all sounds extremely complicated, but it was dressed up in such a fun way with cartoony graphics and comedy sounds that you never realised how strategic it actually was.
More fun than that you could actually go as the Confederates and win!
It made use of the Atari’s colourful graphics card and reasonable soundchip and was another hit for infogrames, the company behind Alone In The Dark and Drakkhen.
A classic game.
A Doc version of the game can be downloaded here.
Amiga version vid