It's fighting all the way
Saigon is a Commando/Who Dares Wins II-style game and follows a similar format - one soldier, armed only with a machine gun and a handful of grenades, against almost overwhelming odds.
Like these other games, you start at the bottom of the screen and fight your way to the top. When you get there, the screen scrolls to reveal further dangers.
You begin with three men and five grenades. Extra men are awarded at regular intervals and further caches of grenades are scattered around the battlefield. This is certainly no picnic - you need everything you can get.
You're the commander of a team of US Marines during the Vietnamese war. The object is to rescue a number of your comraders beingheld hostage by the Viet Cong - no mean feat, as even a cursory exploration shows.
From the outset it is obvious that your enemies do not intend to give up their territory or hostages without a fight. Time after time you find yourself caught in an almost hopeless crossfire. However, you soon realise that you stay in the same horizontal position when you move from one sector to the next, so if you reach the top of the screen on the extreme left-hand side, you will start the next sector on that side too.
Once you learn the layouts of the various sectors, and particularly what to expect from the next one, you can exit one in an ideal position for a full-scale assault on the next.
Like Commando. Saigon runs in the four-colour Mode 5 - red, green, black and yellow throughout. However, a lot of thought has been into the design of the background details. Each of the many different features has been very carefully drawn, so that the end result is atmospheric and realistic. Rather than just being drab blobs - which they could so easily have been - the tress, bridges and other various land masses are unmistakable.
I would go so far as to say that it is a better Commando lookalike than the official Commando itself. The characters are large but move smoothly and quickly. One nice touch is that when your opponents turn to face you, their faces have a definite oriental appearance. Although my overall impression of Saigon was of a game that is frustrating enough to keep me going once I'd started, it's not one I'd keep returning to time and again. However, it is certainly fun, and probably the best implementation of this type of game yet seen.