Brilliantly mad strategy sim
If you're looking for a piece of turn-based strategy gaming but like a healthy dose of humour thrown in, then North and South could be what you're looking for. It's actually based on a Belgian comic book series and is set in the time of the American Civil War and while it may not be the most complex sim ever, it provides a deep and rewarding experience. Players get choose which side of the war they play on, but also which year they start the game in. This is an interesting option and it provides different armies and states that the player starts with and which adds to the replay value. Players use a strategic map of the US to plan their moves, with things like the presence of forts and railway stations affecting your choice of battlefield. For example, capturing a fort will cause the state to fall to your side, while controlling railways brings in more money for resources and troops. Battles themselves are fairly straightforward but with a few twists on genre conventions regarding movement and such-like and which help to make the game intriguing for veterans and newcomers alike, with different unit classes which has some unique features that contribute to your strategy. In addition to the main battles, an odd mini-game pops in states with train stations that see you controlling a single soldier as he meets obstacles including dynamite, dogs and other soldiers. North and South is far from your typical serious minded strategy sim like Panzer General or Fantasy General and is full of Belgian madness that really makes the game worth playing. The strategy sections are enjoyable with interesting battle sequences that require some thought, while the humorous touches bring the whole thing to life. If you're after something a little unusual in the strategy genre, check this out.