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 PC visuals are quite good, depicting all the details found on the Amiga (original) and ST versions. The game runs on 4 different graphics modes: EGA (16 colors), Tandy (16 colors), CGA (4 colors) and Hercules (2 colors). On the pics below, I have put a few shots running on EGA and some on the Hercules graphics hardware. The sprites move pretty fast and the overall action runs smooth. The sound is basic though, featuring most of the original sounds FX but they are not digitized (as on the Amiga and ST versions) which unfortunately makes the game less funny! Still, there are a few short tunes during gameplay!
CPU: Various processors from Intel,AMD, Cyrix, varying from 4.77Mhz (Intel 8088) to 200Mhz (Pentium MMX) and up to 1995 (available on this site) MEMORY: 640Kb to 32MB RAM (typical up to 1996) GRAPHICS: VGA standard palette has 256 colors and supports: 640x480 (16 colors or monochrome), 640x350 in 16 colors (EGA compatability mode), 320x200 (16 or 256 colors). Later models (SVGA) featured 18bit color palette (262,144-color) or 24bit (16Milion colors), various graphics chips supporting hardware acceleration mainly for 3D-based graphics routines. SOUND: 8 to 16 bit sound cards: Ad-Lib featuring Yamaha YMF262 supporting FM synthesis and (OPL3) and 12-bit digital PCM stereo, Sound Blaster and compatibles supporting Dynamic Wavetable Synthesis, 16-bit CD-quality digital audio sampling, internal memory up to 4MB audio channels varying from 8 to 64! etc. Other notable sound hardware is the release of Gravis Ultrasound with outstanding features!