North & South: Les Tuniques Bleues is a hilarious, action strategy game, developed and published by Infogrames in 1989, for almost all home computers of this era.
STORY / GAMEPLAY
The game takes you to the American Civil War (1861-1864) and you can choose either the United States (the North) or the Confederate State (the South) armies. The game's interface is a map of North America, where you can move your armies and take over enemy states, forts or even harbors (in a 2D horizontally scrolling race against the clock!) Troop movements and most of the other strategic plans, take place on a single screen map that shows the American states of the time, with the objective to vanish the opposition from sight. Your priority is to occupy enough territory to establish a rail supply line and subsequently fill your safe and buy new troops. Of course, the occupation of a territory already inhabited by enemy forces, means war! Each battle scenery includes wide terrains like canyons, rivers or forests that will make troop formations harder, but can also work to the enemy's (or your) advantage. With doses of humor, you battle against your opponents by using infantry, cavalry or artillery units (which you can switch at any time). Reinforcements can be completed via ships or by gaining money through trains. During each battle, the terrains are seen from above and the game offers beautiful views with lots of colors, while the armies look so tiny and the sound is so funny! In some quests, such as taking over a fort, the game's perspective changes to side scrolling (as I said above), where you control a single soldier and try to kick and stab the enemies in order to reach the flag and take over the fort before the time runs out. The same happens when you chase a train, aiming to loot supplies that will help you in your battles. Overall, North 'N South is a greatly done, funny and very amusing game, suitable for everyone (from kids to adults), no matter what style of games you prefer! Absolutely recommended!
GRAPHICS / SOUND The CPC version has nice colors and good sound effects (but unfortunately not sampled like the ones on the C64). But the visuals have more appealing colors on the CPC and the sprites look awesome (the infantry, cavalry and the cannons). Also, the terrain has more details. The nice original intro music theme is also included.
CPU: ZiLOG Z80 4MHZ MEMORY: 64 KB or 128 KB of RAM depending on the model (capable of being expanded to 512k using memory extension boards) GRAPHICS: Motorola 6845 address generator, Mode 0: 160x200 / 16 colors, Mode 1: 320x200 / 4 colors, Mode 2: 640x200 / 2 colors, A colour palette of 27 colors was supported SOUND: The CPC used the General Instrument AY-3-8912 sound chip, providing 3 channels Mono Sound (via internal speaker) but capable to offer Stereo Sound provided through a 3.5 mm headphones jack (with pretty impressive outcome!). Also, it is possible to play back digital sound samples at a resolution of approximately 5bit. This technique is very processor-intensive though.