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Stonkers

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Released: 1983

Genre: Strategy

Format reviewed: ZX Spectrum

Publisher: Imagine

Developer: John Gibson / Paul Lindale

Submitted by: Crispian Driver

I've never been a fan of the strategy genre, i personally like games where i don't have to read the instruction book and can get into them quickly. Stonkers is a strategy game that's very easy to pick up and play.

Your role in the game is to control sixteen military units in a battle against sixteen identical military units controlled by the computer. The first person to defeat all the oppositions military units wins the battle and the game.

Your main game screen is a big map of the whole area, the area where your military units are currently based shows up brighter on the map screen. You can go to any part of the map simply by moving the cursor and pressing the fire button on the part of the map you want to zoom into, this includes viewing where the enemy is currently positioned.

You have four types of army specialists at your disposal, infantry, artillery, tanks and supplies. These four specialists have four seperate units which is the sixteen military units you have to fight your battle. Once you've zoomed into the part of the map where your army units are situated, you can view their statistics by pressing fire button on them. To control them, you select them, then move the cursor to where you want them to go on the map then press fire again, as i said, it's very simple to pick up and play.

You start the game with your military all positioned near the port, a supply ship sails off and it's your job to position your military units ready for battle with the enemy, and keep them supplied. Moving your military units depletes their statistics, but you do have to move them to win the game. A ship does return with more supplies, so you do need to use your supply units.

As soon as your military units meet the enemy ones, battle commences, the battle is usually won by the military unit more statistically stronger, hence the need to keep your units well supplied.

At the bottom of the screen, you get messages informing you of how battles are progressing, and if  a ship is sailing to or from the port.

The game plays really well on keyboard or joystick, is very smooth. The colours are nice, the screenshot does not do the game justice, although this game is not about graphics. The sound is minimal.

The only strategy game i've ever got into, a fantastic game. Command And Conquer (and Gemma Atkinson) can wait a few more years, yes i know they're much prettier, but i've got Stonkers!