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1 Player

Game Type


Mem. Card

Review Date

March 1997

Setting the Scene

Allied general is the second of the Five star series to make the transition from PC to PSX, the first being Panzer general way back in the early days of the PlayStation, well twelve months ago actually.

Now I must admit that I have never played Allied General nor Panzer General on the PC, neither did I delve into the latter on the PSX. In fact the nearest type of game to Allied General that I have played, in any format, was a few years ago on a Sunday afternoon when I used to regularly reduce my young son to tears by annihilating him at the board game Risk (I just hope that he doesn't grow up with a chip on his shoulder and reap his revenge one day with a rocket launcher). I have also refrained from playing Command and Conquer because my aim was to provide a completely unbiased review of Allied General without making comparisons.

So there I was, one Friday morning, pen and paper by my side, about to 'do my bit' for my country as I was transported back in time to the early 1940's to challenge the evil bosche in World War II. This particular Friday was to turn out to be a long, long day.


Allied General is a hex-gridded strategic wargame where, rather than directly control the individual units of tanks, infantry or aircraft, you are to issue orders, either to defend a number of cities or to progress across the terrain and engage the enemy head on in combat. The game is turn-based where each of your units may be ordered to advance, retreat, engage or quite simply dig in and wait.

Combat is resolved by the strength, size and type of each unit involved therefore cunning tactics are required before your troops are set into action. Successful progress is rewarded by prestige points which may be traded for supplying, upgrading or increasing your troops after each turn is complete.


The game opens with a black and white FMV showing archive footage of the second World War which is also dispersed throughout a full campaign. The playing area is a top-down view of a map highlighting the region that covers your objectives. The battleground is split into hexagonal sections that relate to the number of moves that each unit is allowed. Your forces are displayed as an easily recognizable graphic that relates to the division that it belongs to, a soldier for infantry, a tank for a tank etc. This is also accompanied by an on-screen statistical rundown of your units strengths and firepower. Below each unit is a number relating to their current strengths and numbers with a background color that denotes whether the unit is Allied or Axis.

Objectives are highlighted by a gold hex while major towns or cities that you must defend are shown as a green hex. A red hex is used is used to outline the unit that you wish to move next.

That's basically it, there are no 3D effects to show various terrains, as each hex when highlighted details a description of the area below it, as to whether the land is mountain, desert, swamp or rough ground. After each units move an animated sequence will show the action on the battlefield between the troops, but this takes so long to load that I would recommend you switch it off or a full campaign will last last longer than the duration of World War II.

Sounds and Effects

Apart from a few speech segments and the bangs and crashes as you launch an attack, the game is played in stony silence. This is fine by me as a great amount of thought is required before moving your troops and it could be a little difficult to concentrate with the soundtrack from Dam Busters or The Great Escape blasting from the speakers.


On loading up the game I was presented by the main menu, offering the choice of playing a single scenario from the thirty five available, or a full blooded campaign. There is also a Glossary that is packed with info on each unit available and a useful Help section that contains tips for tactical warfare.

Selecting a scenario brings up another options screen where you may select the difficulty of the opposition and the choice to play either Allied or Axis, two human players or quite simply sit back and watch two computer forces engage in warfare.

After selecting Sidi Barini you will enter another menu for a scenario description. After studying the briefing I clicked the Okay panel and then, at last., the start button. Finally I arrived on the battle field with my troops in position awaiting my first orders. Now which troops should I move? Will I activate my artillery or should the tanks take out the recon? Hang on a second, I thought, if I am going to do this properly then I had better read the accompanying manual, all forty four pages of it.

Friday morning turned into Friday afternoon as I re-sat my A level history exam in WW2 strategy. The notebook was crammed with tips, hints and maneuvers, battle plans, orders and facts. By late afternoon I decided that the war would wait for me no more, I must be decisive, it's the least my troops could expect.

The controls can be a little fidgety with many buttons having a duel use but they became second nature after one or two skirmishes. A further two in-game menus add to the confusion but I was determined to proceed, after all it was getting dark outside and my troops were becoming restless.

My first scenario was a disaster as I set my men off chasing shadows in the desert instead of concentrating on the main objective of my mission. Friday was a bad day, I heard that high command were discussing the removal of one of my stripes if day two followed a similar pattern.

Saturday was a better day. I was feeling at ease with the controls, I pushed the enemy into a tight corner than flattened them with my tanks. High command were extremely happy, so much so that they gave me a reward. Two weeks paid leave? Not likely, a handful of prestige points and a one way ticket to the Eastern Front for my next mission, bastards.

I now felt the confidence to attempt a full blown campaign which I strolled through the first half dozen objectives quite easily. Each mission proved an individual challenge where a victory rewarded you with the points to increase your forces for the following task. Defeat is also a part of warfare, so you must not become downhearted when your troops take a hiding as there has never been a war fought without casualties or the odd error from the commanding officer. You must get back to your feet, dust yourself down and learn from your mistakes.

Monday I sat back and thought of my victories, I was tired, after all I had just spent four days in the field of battle, trudging across Europe and north Africa. My brain hurts. I wonder if I could put my achievements down on my C.V.

Allied General offers an extensive selection of battle scenarios and long drawn out campaigns. A scenario can last anything from 30 mins to a couple of hours. Campaigns are even bigger as a full campaign could take weeks to complete. As you proceed through a campaign you will hold command over air, land and sea with the introduction of level bombers, submarines, destroyers, tanks, transport, infantry, defence, attack, supplies, budgets and making the coffee.

Each attack is provided with an estimated outcome of casualties therefore the inclusion of the abort move button is an essential addition. Every available option requires an amount of thought and the game can become a little too deep if you play for long periods but scores high points on the lastability, as Allied General should remain playable for many months, if not years.

Value for Money

A worthwhile purchase if you enjoy wargames or have experienced hex type games before. If not, then Allied General is worth a look, not for it's graphical content or animations, but for it's thought provoking gameplay. Strategy games are probably more suited to the PC than the PlayStation from a pricing point of view but I was surprised how well the PSX control pad has been adapted in a user friendly way to make Allied General quite an easy game to play, eventually.





I think the reason that I enjoyed Allied General was that I also enjoy the challenge of chess and this allowed me to offer the game the patience that will reward you with success. However, if you prefer your games to be action packed scraps, then the game also offers an excellent two player option where you can challenge a mate to play the role of the enemy troops and annihilate his forces, reducing him to tears. I wonder what my son is doing next Sunday afternoon?











This is not a game for everyone. If you like your action fast and furious, then give this a miss. Games can take a long time to complete and the fun is derived from outwitting your enemy using superior tactics and brain-power. Well done to Mindscape for having the guts to release this game on our console!








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