The first thing which strikes you about Iwo Jima is the wonderful artwork on the cassette cover. If you've been wracking your brains wondering where you've seen it before, just go back through your collection of C&VGs. We originally commissioned the artwork for our December cover to illustrate a totally different game.
Iwo Jima is designed and written by John Bethell, whose last offering was Falklands '82. It's always difficult deciding what is suitable for a war game, computer or otherwise. Questions of taste and insensitivity inevitably arise. With the Falklands conflict so fresh in many people's minds, especially those who lost relatives, it might have been in better taste if John Bethall and PSS had steered clear of the subject. Still, everybody makes money out of war.
In 1945, US Marines fought a costly and bloody battle with the Japanese to capture the Pacific island of Iwo Jima. The death toll and casualty statistics on both sides were shocking. About 7,000 Americans died and more than 17,000 were wounded in 36 days of fighting. Of the 22,000 Japanese troops defending the island, just 216 survived.
Iwo Jima is a simulation of that battle in which you control the American forces and the computer the Japanese. You take it in turns with the computer to give orders, move units around and attack.
The screen display is a map of the island showing airfields, mountains, villages, minefields and scrubland. Various windows display specific information about the state of play.
To be honest I found reading the author's notes about the game more interesting than playing it.