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A.P.I Review: KKND Krossfire
Developer: Melbourne House OPTIONS: S.SHOT
No.1   No.2   No.3
Distributor: Infogrames 1-2 Player
Game Type: Strategy Memory Card
Review Date: April 1999 Dual Shock/Analog Compatible

Setting the Scene

It's amazing what forty years can do to resurrect an old itch for a fight. Both sides had spent their time well, discovering new ways to blow one another to hell and back. This was going to be big… Bigger than either side ever bargained on. There's dust on the horizon. There's killing in the air. There's even a storm. It can mean only one thing - the Series 9 Robotic Army (psychotic).

KKND Krossfire is a strategic wargame where gameplay lies somewhere in between Warcraft II and the Command & Conquer series. Construct a base and command your troops across various terrain as you strive to complete the given mission against monstrous mutants and terrifying robots.

Sound & Vision

As far as CG movies are concerned the intro to KKND Krossfire sits proudly at the top of the pile alongside the best of them. It reminded me of that classic opening to the original Terminator movie where human skulls litter the barren and dusty terrain after 100 years of mindless nuclear warfare. The eery peace of this tranquil morgue is suddenly interrupted as a ground hatch opens and a splinter group of human Survivors rise to face the mutant population of the Evolved. The screen bursts into life as jet bikers are hunted down by bombarding giant wasps and deformed slithery beasts are crushed under the wheels of monster tanks. In the distance a third tribe rise from their bunkers and prepare to launch a robotic attack. It's the sort of gripping trailer that would have them cuing outside the cinema on opening night.

Of course pretty wrapping paper is often used to hide a multitude of inner sins. This is not necessarily the case with KKND Krossfire, but I must say that the in game graphics are typical of this type of strategy war game. I usually describe them as 'functional'.

All of the troops, hardware and buildings are constructed from sprites. The troops are quite small in size and it takes quite a few sessions of play before you can confidently determine which of your men are the front line troops and which are the destructive martyrs. The building are also all fairly similar in size and shape but thankfully included is a 'Buildings' menu which highlights each type of structure on command.

The playing area is possibly the most realistic I have ever witnessed in this type of strategy game... far superior to Warcraft II and simply leaves Command & Conquer stranded in the no-fly-zone. The rich green grass is a lush meadow, good enough to graze on... I swear there's a few daisies growing in there. The perennial plants vary in shape, size and age. Freshly planted trees appearing bare of foliage, while aging bushes show visible signs of withering golden leaves. The polluted rivers which divide the land look like thick pea-green soup with occasional islets straining to raise their head above the swampy waters. In fact the entire landscape could almost be an aerial photographs of a futuristic 3D terrain.


KKND Krossfire is a war between three differing factions with each side offering an alternative challenge. Survivors are the humanoids who have hid in underground bunkers for 40 years. The Evolved are those who faced the holocaust from ground level and are hideously deformed beings. Series 9 is a robotic army determined to crush out all human form.

Playing the game will almost become second nature to those who have previously enjoyed the C&C series, however newcomers will require a period of coaching.

Initially a map appears on screen and you must decide which side you wish to control first. Before a mission begins your objective is described by the strangely deformed leader of your chosen clan. Missions vary considerably but usually involve destroying all. or specific enemies in the playing area.

There is quite a good learning curve to the game as you are not thrust straight into the heat of the action with too many confusing options to decipher. A few troops and a ready made camp allows you the time to gain confidence with the control system. Rather than grab and drag individual troops or vehicles KKND Krossfire uses a grouping system. All infantry and vehicles begin life in Group 1. Once the size of Group 1 begins to expand the player can then split it into several smaller groups. By entering the group menu your forces can be split according to infantry, aerial, amphibious, specific types or a blend of each.

To summon up each individual group simply tap the shoulder buttons on the joypad until the desired group appears on screen and then press the action button to select. Then move the cursor to the area on the screen you wish them to move and press the action button once more. The chosen group will then begin advancing to the desired area. To fight an enemy aim the cursor over the target group until the cross-hair turns red and press the action button. Your troops will charge into battle fighting all in their way.

To construct a base camp a mobile drill rig must be positioned over a bubbling oil slick. Oil is then drawn from the ground and taken to your main outpost. A Power Unit supplies electricity to the buildings. Barracks allow infantry to be trained. Machine Shops provide vehicles. A Research Lab is used to advance technology and upgrade buildings to provide guard towers, improved troops, stronger vehicles, more powerful weaponry and eventually aircraft.

At any time the enemy may wage an attack on your base and you won't have a clue when this is about to happen. This is because all of the terrain that has not been crossed by your troops is completely blacked out. This encourages the sending out of small hit squads to see what danger lies up ahead. Once an area has been revealed it will remain visible for the remainder of the game.

On the positive side KKND Krossfire moves along at a fair old pace with game speed being adjustable from grade 1 (very slow) to 10 (lightening speed). Careful strategic thought is required to complete some missions while sometimes the player can charge straight into the enemy camp and win a mission very quickly, similar to C&C. A mission must be completed in it's entirety before a game may be saved.

On the down side many of the playing areas are just too damn small, especially the split-screen two player deathmatch mode. This makes some of the 16 missions incredibly brief. There is also a problem with slowdown when a computer is added to the two player mode.

GRAPHICS: 16/20 Not so much a Command & Conquer clone... more akin to Warcraft II.

Graphically the troops are very small sprites, the vehicles are slightly larger, while the playing area is ultra-realistic. Music and sound effects are satisfactory.

Those who get their kicks out of these type of strategy games will probably enjoy a few days in the company of KKND Krossfire.

Those new to this genre had best try out C&C/ Red Alert/ Retaliation first as these are far superior games.
SOUND: 6/10
VALUE: 15/20


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