Complex and addictive strategy gaming
A military strategy game from the mind of RT Smith (a big name in the field back in the eighties who developed games like Desert Rats
), Vulcan is as detailed and authentic as his previous games but one can't help wishing it were a bit different, such are the similarities between this and his previous work. As the title suggests, this one is set during the Tunisian campaign of WWII, perhaps one of the lesser known periods but which is nevertheless rich in strategy game potential. The usual selection of options is on offer here, with the main attraction being a fairly hefty campaign which should take even hardened veterans some time to complete. A variety of units are available to control, each historically accurate and it is here that the game really scores, for it truly creates a sense of realism that is impressive (especially given its age). Combat plays out on an appropriately set of maps and is for the most part fairly easy to get the hang of, even for newcomers, although there are the occasional moments of confusion as you grapple with the sheer complexity of it all. As far as old-school strategy games go, this is top notch stuff, being detailed and offering immense amounts of tactical play for the armchair general. Visually, it's simple enough but it works well as there is little in the way of clutter, while sounds are minimal but highly effective, creating a strong sense of atmosphere. If you have played Arnhem or Desert Rats before, you'll be right at home here and are sure to have a blast if you're after more of the same. Newcomers to the genre should also find this an excellent jumping on point, so really if you're in the market for a historical sim, this is a great bet.