Army Moves

by Alfonso Azpiri, Javier Cubedo, Manuel Cubedo, Santiago Morga B., Victor Ruiz Tejedor
Dinamic Software
Crash Issue 41, Jun 1987   page(s) 16

Producer: Ocean
Retail Price: £7.95
Author: Dynamic Software

Derdhal is a member of the Special Operations Corps. His mission is to infiltrate a heavily guarded enemy base and steal information held in a safe.

To achieve this aim he must cross the seven screens of this horizontally scrolling arcade game, passing through swamp, jungle, desert and sea. Each screen must be completed before progress can be made to the next.

At his disposal Derdhal has a jeep, a helicopter and his marching boots. The jeep and helicopter can be accelerated, slowed and made to jump (take off and land) whilst Derdhal himself moves left and right and jumps.

Energy and fuel supplies are limited, with the level remaining shown at the bottom right. Derdhal is armed with weapon systems ranging from missiles to grenades. When opposing forces are destroyed points are awarded, and the total displayed at the bottom of the screen. A bonus life is acquired after 25,000 points.

The first stage sees Derdhal's jeep travelling across a partially destroyed bridge, gaps in which are leaped by using the jeep's turbo boost. Helicopters and trucks attack, and contact with either loses a life. They may be destroyed with ground to ground, or ground to air missiles fired from the jeep. At the end of the bridge an enemy base is reached, from there a helicopter is stolen and used to reach the jungle base. An extra nine lives are now credited to our commando.

Now Derdhal flies over desert, (rich in missile silos and attacking jets), a sea full of submarines, and a jungle (complete with look-out posts). Low flying earns him credits, but is more dangerous. A good landing earns additional points at the jungle heliport.

Derdhal moves on foot towards the jungle headquarters, crossing swamps by leaping from island to island, missing quicksands, avoiding the explosions of enemy grenades (at night their position is shown by lighted eyes) and scaring away or ducking beneath the deadly beaks of Giant Toucans. From now on soldier-boy is equipped only with a machine gun and grenades.

Having survived the jungle ordeal, the next stage involves attacking the enemy's barracks. There the main building is scanned from watch towers, but these can be knocked out using grenades. Shots can be fired from a crouched position and windows crawled beneath in an effort to improve your chances.

Once inside the main building the central bunker is entered and the search for the safe begins. Derdhal hides behind doors and prevents them from being opened, and when on the stairs he cannot be seen by the enemy. Should he throw grenades whilst in the bunker he must take care as they can bounce off walls at dangerous angles. Finding the safe complete's Derdhal's mission.


Control keys: Definable; Up, Down, Left, Right, Fire
Joystick: Kempston
Use of colour: varied through the screens, often brightly coloured
Graphics: large, detailed and well defined
Sound: below average
Skill levels: one
Screens: seven levels with flip screens

Despite the slick presentation and the neat graphics and sonics which Dynamic have incorporated in Army Moves, it still doesn't grab me. A rigorous play-testing will soon show any self-respecting player that there's no fun involved. The first six levels are much too hard, causing increasing frustration so one gets increasingly infuriated. The use of colour throughout is dubious, there are a lot of attribute problems and some of the landscapes are garish. I wouldn't recommend this.

One of the most frustrating games I've seen this month - Army Moves is almost totally impossible, not because playing is difficult, but due to the screen layout and the slipshod collision detection. The sound is also pretty substandard, with no tune and poor spot effects. It might appeal to the Rambo types who like killing anything that moves, but for me there's no real lastability.

Army Moves is extremely difficult to play. Not because it's too complicated or requires lightning-fast reactions (because it doesn't), but because of the bad design of the play area and the inaccurate collision detection. The graphics are well defined, even though the colour used is appalling. Sound is below average with very boring effects, and nothing approaching a decent tune. The controls are sluggish, even with a joystick. I had little fun playing Army Moves - it's very boring, plain and a great disappointment.

Presentation: 61%
Graphics: 56%
Playability: 52%
Addictive Qualities: 51%
Value for Money: 57%
Overall: 54%

Summary: General Rating: Dubious collision detection spoils what otherwise night have been a reasonable, if uninspiring shoot 'em up.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 19, Jul 1987   page(s) 69


Hi there! I'm a rootin' tootin'soldier and I like killing things and eating nails. I'm a member of the Specialist Operations Corps - a crack regiment of nutters, er, I mean commandos, picked for dangerous missions. Today's a real doozy - across broken bridges, jungles, deserts, learn to cope with lots of different modes of transport, enter the enemy HQ, open a safe and get some information. And all before breakfast!

Ahem! Army Moves is a darn hard game. How's this for just the first screen - drive over a bridge, jump the pot holes, fire at the helicopters, fire at the jeeps, and all while firing at an enemy squadron! Not a piece de gateau, I can tell you.

My only gripe with this game is that it's too easy to die! If you don't get bombed by helicopters, fall into holes and hit any jeeps in the first ten seconds, the only thing you can be sure of is that you're bound to do it in the next ten. And while you're keeping an eye out for all these hazards, you've also got to time leaps, dodge bullets and fire back!

It's nothing more than a cross between Green Beret and Moon Buggy, and I reckon it's highly entertaining. For those who enjoy a good shoot 'em up, I'd recommend nothing better. It's a multiloader, so each level is complicated, and lots has been crammed in in the way of action. The graphics are nifty too, being large and well animated, and very detailed - and the multiload means there's lots of 'em.

With this and Arkanoid, Imagine looks to be heading back to its former glory, especially if it keeps up this association with Dinamic Software - the Spanish group that programmed the game. I doubt this'll be the last we hear of the Spanish connection.

If you want a bit of gratuitous violence before tea, but it, 'cos it's the sort of game that'll keep you amused for hours. Me? I'm for another go. Haha! Eat lead Commie...

Graphics: 8/10
Playability: 8/10
Value For Money: 9/10
Addictiveness: 7/10
Overall: 8/10

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Your Sinclair Issue 51, Mar 1990   page(s) 43


Cheaper than a speeding bullet. Leaps small molehills in a single bound. Is it a bird? Is it a small piece of putty? No, it's budget hero Marcus Berkmann with the latest in low-price Spec-fun.

Reviewer: Marcus Berkmann

Regular YS readers will know all about this, as it was on one of our Smash Tapes a number of months back. When it originally came out (released by Dinamic through Ocean) there was much disagreement in the office about its merits - divided broadly into two schools of though, the hey-we're-so-cool-we-can-play-anything hipsters and the I-can't-get-past-the-first-screen sad acts. I fell very much into the second category, as I simply couldn't play it at all, and it was interesting to load it up again a couple of years later and find that although I had improved (a bit) I could still get virtually nowhere in the game. So, let's be controversial about this. People who are really good at the hardest shoot-'em-ups will find this right up their street. I, on the other hand, loathe and detest it. Out of the window it goes!

Overall: 40%

Transcript by Chris Bourne

Sinclair User Issue 63, Jun 1987   page(s) 24,25

Label: Ocean
Author: Dinamic
Price: £7.95
Joystick: various
Memory: 48K/128K
Reviewer: Jim Douglas

Dinamic Software is one of the more talented programming teams to have emerged recently. You've probably not heard of them yet because they originate from Spain. It's only now Dinamic's first title gets a release over here, brought to our shores by way of Ocean (I'm sure there's a completely tragic pun somewhere there). The game's called Army Moves and it is really very good indeed.

It's a down to-earth sort of game which wastes very little time pretending to be anything other than a high-quality killing spree. So, major points on the getting-down-to-business front.

Your mission, as a member of a crack commando team, is to infiltrate enemy headquarters and steal some information of some sort which will aid your side in the conflict. Quite what the nature of the 'conflict' is isn't made clear, which is probably a good thing. With the scale of violence that you will encounter almost instantly, it's safe to assume that negotiations aren't really feasible.

The game is made up of a number (seven) of stages, each bringing you nearer to your goal. The further you get into the game, the tougher things get - as you would expect.

Stage One is quite astonishingly difficult for the first few attempts. None of the 'oh, we'll let them get a little way into the game before hitting them with anything heavy' mentality here. No. You've got to fight for all you're worth right from the beginning. Your mode of transport for this stage is a very tough truck-cum-rocket-launcher which bowls along a heavily shelled and battle-torn iron viaduct construction at what can only really be described as a fair old lick.

The graphics are great. Your truck trundles and bounces and slides along the steel constructions which are equally impressive to look at - all twisted metal and bomb blasts. The enemy helicopters are good to look at too, flying at an aggressive angle and being very uncooperative.

Jumping the large holes is very tricky indeed. You'll have to time it just right and push up the stick, throwing yourself into the air before moving the stick forward again in order to gain distance. It's advisable to lob a couple of your rather unattractive missiles before embarking on the jump, to avoid being unpleasantly surprised by a helicopter or truck or something. Misjudging the size of the hole is a serious mistake, as you'll probably tumble back down into it, even if you think you will reach the other side.

The enemy at this point comprises trucks (which look very similar to your own except they are coming the other way) and helicopters. The trucks drive directly at you, jumping gaps when necessary, and seem not to be particularly concerned if they have to kill themselves in order to take you out. Blow the trucks away by launching one of your ground-ground missiles. Often, as they leap into the air you'll do the same, it may miss your missiles and come crashing down on you. In such situations, it's best to call upon a speedy employment of the deceleration control followed by slinging a couple of ground-to-air rockets into the sky. If you goof on this manoeuvre you'll probably end up being blown into tiny bits by the chopper's rockets.

The further you manage to get in this stage, the more frequent the shell-torn holes in the girder-construction beneath you are. Falling through will smash your truck to pieces and so should be avoided.

Eventually you'll find yourself at the end of Stage One which is no mean feat if you're playing on your own, as the frenetic style of gameplay and the fact that you have to use the keyboard as well as the joystick in order to launch your second form of missiles.

On to the second part and you find yourself in a helicopter gunship playing a very impressive version of Scramble/Penetrator. Here you've got to wipe out enemy missile silos while graphically impressive enemy jets scream back and forth doing their best to hamper your efforts.

You stay in the helicopter during stages three and four, though you get to bomb different sorts of things.

At Stage Five you'll find yourself on foot and things get to get a little surreal as giant bird-things fly overhead being scary while you are battling it out with enemy commandos etc. Stages Six and Seven feature more hairy escapades behind enemy lines, but you'll just have to get that far into the game for yourself, because I'm not going to tell you (and besides I don't know).

Army Moves is a fantastically violent military romp through numerous varied stages which offer a fairly genuine challenge. I can't remember a game since Ghosts 'n' Goblins that was so immediately addictive/infuriating.

Overall: 5/5

Summary: Highly violent and very morally unsound with great graphics and gameplay. Worth keeping an eye on Dinamic.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment) Issue 11, Aug 1988   page(s) 83

Live Ammo Compilation
Amstrad, £9.95cs, £14.95dk
Spectrum, £9.95cs, £14.95dk
C64, £9.95cs, £14.95dk

The worst culprit ever for appalling restart points. Most people probably haven't ever managed to get off the first stage without the aid of a poke or other cheat.

It's not just the restart points either. What makes it SO knee-clenchingly annoying is the fact that it's very demanding on the player as well. You've got to be near-perfect in your jeep as you jump wide chasms in bridges, blast other leaping jeeps and blaze away at helicopters bearing airborne death. After battling through screen after screen of that and eventually succumbing, guess where you'll end up? Back at the $*@#ing start.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

C&VG (Computer & Video Games) Issue 69, Jul 1987   page(s) 46,47

MACHINES: CBM 64/Spectrum/Amstrad/MSX
PRICE: £8.95

Right, lads, chest out, stomach in, you're in the army now. The going's gonna get rough and tough. Only the fit will survive a battle with Army Moves.

C+VG has deployed its resources in force to battle it out with Dinamic Software's game for Imagine.

Brian "Take No Prisoners" Webber became involved with fierce fighting which lasted days on the Commodore 64. Paul "Shoot to kill" Boughton launched a full frontal assault on the Spectrum version.

Here's Brian's report from the war zone.

WOW! This is great! Army Moves is the one game I've played every single day, for at least an hour, since the copy arrived on my desk.

The game is split into seven sections, and comes in two loads, the second, I assume, is after level four because I haven't got passed that yet!

You are a member of the Special Operations Corp, which has been picked to go into the enemy's camp, to retrieve some vital information, that could turn the conflict around. To get there you must negotiate many hazards, such as crossing jungles and deserts.

The first, four sections are basically scrolling shoot 'em ups, in the same vein as Moon Buggy except that you drive jeeps and helicopters. Level five onwards is then on foot, trying to get the plans, and get back to the barracks.

That is basically it. A fairly run of the mill storyline, and in some respects, a fairly run of the mill game, but for some inexplicable reason, I am totally addicted to this. Yes readers, me, the one who hates this type of shoot 'em up.

The graphics, which although are not mega brilliant, do their job well, and from what I've seen of them are well above average.

Soundwise, again, this is above average, with a brilliant rendition of 'Colonel Bogey' that would put the original Monty Mole game to shame.

For the first few games it might tend to be off putting, but I found I couldn't play without it.

When you've completed the first section, you are given a code to enter, that allows you to load the next part. So send your codes to IDEAS Central at the usual address.

Overall, this has to be about the best piece of software I've used in months, and at the price it's a steal. Miss it at your Peril!

Now for Paul's frontline fighting facts.

Brian's filled you all in about the plot of Army Moves so I won't bother. The Spectrum version seems pretty much the same.

The graphics are pretty naff but that doesn't really matter, Army Moves is strangely playable.

It's hellishly difficult to get going. Your jeep approaches a whole in the bridge which it must leap. You can slow the vehicle down but you can't stop it. Just when you're faced with no choice but to jump the gap or plunge into oblivion, you see an enemy jeep heading towards you, or helicopters heading down to zap you.

Army Moves is nothing if not annoyingly addictive. I kept saying "I'll give it one more go." You know how it is? Thirty goes later you're still willing to give it a go.

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Graphics: 7/10
Sound: 6/10
Value: 9/10
Playability: 10/10

Award: C+VG Hit

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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