MILITARY MADNESS / Hudson / Turbografx 16

It is the year 2089, and man has exploited the Earth's resources far beyond his insatiable needs. So, he has turned to mining the moon. However, the evil Axis powers have taken control of the moon, and are planning an invasion of Earth with the help of some new gigantic super bomb they are working on. In a series of battles you, as the Allied forces, must run the Axis off the moon and save the day for industry, science and technology or whatever.

Military Madness is mostly a hex-based strategy game, but with the presentation of a console turn-based strategy game such as the Fire Emblem and (much later) Advance Wars games. Usually hex based battle games are sparse numeric affairs for war nerds, so this sets the game more in line with console conventions and makes it a little more user-friendly and pleasant. There's a series of 32 battles, each self-contained on a single screen, and you don't carry units over or anything like that - you pick up where you left off via password, and all battles always start out the same way. In line with the futuristic setting the units are a bunch of armored troopers, tanks and et cetera. You don't get to build new units, but on certain maps you can capture enemy factories which toss you a new one here and there.

Basically all you do is move your troops and attack, but there are of course strategic considerations. The type of terrain you are on grants you a defense bonus, and having other units nearby increases your firepower. If you can surround a foe, that gives you a tremendous attack boost. As units live through battles they gain experience, which raises their abilities.

This game has become something of a cult classic and upon playing it's easy to see why, it's a pretty solid old strategy game with a good presentation style. I don't think, however, that it will be enough to win over anyone who isn't already an established fan of this genre.

Videos :

* Gameplay Video