Nam (Domark) Review | Amiga Power - Everygamegoing

Amiga Power

By Domark
Amiga 500

Published in Amiga Power #1


Heavy on the politics, light on the shooting

Vietnam is a small, quiet banana-shaped country on the bottom right-hand corner of South East Asia that's largely covered in trees. Or at least it was until the Americans dropped defoliant all over it - just part of their strategy in the 1965-1975 Vietnam War, when they went to the aid of South Vietnam which was in danger of being overrun by communists from North Vietnam.

As historians or regular movie-goers will probably know, the war turned into a bit of a fiasco, with the Americans getting a sound thrashing for the first time in history from the supposedly inferior commies. This was largely due to the American strategies being unable to cope with jungle warfare, which meant the reds ran rings around them using guerilla tactics to slowly eat away at the Americans' morale. It was also a war full of tragedies and atrocities which rapidly turned the American public against it, leaving their politicians to try to extract themselves from it without losing too much face (Something they didn't manage).

Nam 1965-1975

All these aspects have been incorporated into a game called 'Nam, which has been designed by a history student at Oxford University and is also (spookily enough) the subject of this review. It's basically a wargame at heart, where you've got to guide units of American and 'Free World' forces around the map against the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong troops.

Your soldiers are divided into four corps which each patrol a section of the country, beating up baddies whenever they bump into any. However there's also quite a complex 'political' aspect where you can choose to play the part of the President and decide expenditure and things while watching your popularity go up and down and reading newspaper reports (which seemingly bear little relation to what's happening on the battlefield - I was getting reports of drug abuse among the chaps on the battlefield when I knew there weren't actually any troops out there).

Apart from a few glitches here and there, which mainly seem to be as a result of dodgy programming and which allowed me to win the war on one occasion without actually sending in any troops at all, 'Nam seems to be a complex and accurate simulation, effectively capturing the hopelessness of the way. I doubt you'll be plagued by flashbacks for the rest of your life though.

The Bottom Line

A well thought out and potentially challenging wargame that's let down a bit on the technical side of things.

Jonathan Davies

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