Platoon logo

Price: £24.95

It was slightly less than a year ago that Platoon first appeared on the 64, to (rightly) good reviews from the media. Although it split the licence into several smaller games, each one owed itself to an event in the film.

Somehow the conversion has sneaked out into the shops before it appeared in our offices, but I reckon you might like a word of warning rather than take a chance.

The game is split into six sections. Section One begins as you guide your platoon through a series of jungle pathways. It all looks the same, as jungles tend to do, and there are VC crawling everywhere, so death is a frequent guide through what is just about the most boring and badly realised part of this conversion. It really is worse than its 64 counterpart. It is also very frustrating.

Blow the bridge and you will appear in the relatively short village section which has the same gameplay and entails collecting a map and a torch so you can enter the tunnel sequence.

Once in the subterranean ratruns of section Three, Platoon begins to come alive as you negotiate your way around the water filled maze in search of a box of flares, a compass and the exit.

Leave the tunnel network and you will find yourself in a bunker during a night raid. Here is where those flares come in handy. Put them on and say "Hey man, give peace a chance". (Did you not make a joke along those lines in the eight bit review? - Dep Ed). Actually, you fire them in the air and kill everything that moves.

Section Five is a Gryzor style battle up the screen until you reach Sergeant Barnes' foxhole - the last section of the game.

Platoon gets progressively better, and no-one can deny that it is a tough and lasting challenge. The thing about the 16 bit version is that it fails to use the extra capacity of the Amiga. "Where is the sampled Tracks of my Tears then?" sniffed Gary Whitta, and I thought, yeah, where is it? Improved graphics and a few samples could have at least tarted this up some.

The first casualty of a conversion is innocence.