ROM Computer Magazine Archive ROM MAGAZINE ISSUE 1 — AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 1983 / PAGE 4

The Raving Reviewer
By Tim Reekie
Tigers In The Snow
Strategic Simulations Inc.
465 Fairchild Drive,Suite 108,
Mountain View,Califormia
$39.95 Diskette or cassete;40K

    SSI is a leader in computer strategic gaming. With Tigers in the Snow, have given us Hitler's last desperate attack on the Allies in World War II(affectionately known as, "The Battle of the Bulge"). For those unfamiliar with the battle, Hitler mounted a last ditch offensive through the Ardenne forest in Belgium which caught the Allies relatively weak and unprepared. The German Panzer units and infantry met some resistance but overall they advanced. But with the Allied reinforcements and airstikes, and the Germans rapidly running out of fuel, the offensive was stalled and the rest is history.
The Game
    There are four ways to play Tigers in the Snow:
    1)Computer Vs. Itself
    2)(a)Computer, as the Allies Vs. you, or the Germans.
    (b)Computer, as the Germans Vs. you, as the Allies.
    3)You Vs, a friend(or even better;an enemy).
    For each of the above scenarios, there is a difficulty scale for each side from 1 to 9 which makes this an excellent game for beginners as well as the advanced. It always feels good for amateur wargamers, such as myself, to set the computer on 1 and myself on 9 and rip its defenses to shreds.
    The basic idea of this game is for the Germans to do their patented blitz across country picking up various amounts of points for holding certain towns and generally killing the Allied armies. The Allies recieve points mainly for holding the Germans.
    At the beginning of the game, and indeed for over half the game, it seems that the Germans have an unbelievable advantage. This is merely an illusion, as you can well see if you remember who won the war!! It is, in fact, very difficult to achieve a German Strategic Victory(as opposed to the lesser marginal and operational victories). Both armies have Movement Points which are linked to the fuel received, which, as I said before, the Germans were in short supply of.
    Both sides have several different terrains to travel over(clear,rough,forest,town,river) which take a certain number of movement points. Combat scenes are fought with, you guessed it, Combat Points.
    As with all excellent games, I could fill three pages just mentioning the historically accurate details.(For example, the part that weather played in the battle), but I have no more room. On to the ratings.

    These ratings will be used for all the games that will be reviewed in this magazine. It is obvious that on overall description of the game is not enough. I have decided to break down my opinions of this game into the following categories:
    Playability:How easy, or difficult, the game is to understand and play.
    Challenge:How challenging the game is and if it doesn't become to easy to play.
    Graphics:Notes the overall quality mainly, but also takes into account speed and originality in design.
    Sound:Includes the amount, type and especially the quality of sound in a game. I will also be giving marks for the fullest possible usage of the excellent sound potential of the Atari.
    Documentation:This mainly will be the instruction booklet, but helpful hints, player aids and the like will be taken into consideration.
    Overall:This will usually be the average of the first five, but would also includes factors such as originality of the program, and the "lastingness" of the program will you still be playing the game 6 months from ???).
    I will usually give explantions for our numeric decisions, unless we feel the number is self explanatory or I have run out of room in this column.
    The game is very playable, in that, once you have read the instructions, you can begin playing with an overall strategy. Just remember, Germans Blitz, Allies hold.
    When playing the computer, the decision time tends to be too slow. Other than that the graphics are very good.
    Before I get a nasty letter form SSI, I just want to say that I understand that it is extremely difficult to incorporate sound into strategy games and I really do sympathize, but I do want to make it clear to prospective buyers that if you wanted fantastic sound effects, then you're looking at the wrong program.
    One area that was superbly done, was the instructions. The game and all the variables affecting play are laid out in a wonderful step-by-step guide. There is also a handy quick-look player aid as well as a map of the affected area. If you read between the lines of the "History of the Battle" you will find some helpful hints in playing the game.
    My overall rating is: Turn up the stereo, sit back and enjoy another fine game from SSI.
Tigers in the Snow
Ratings Scale
(1-Poor 10-Excellent)
Overall Rating-8.5

    If you have any special requests or suggestions concerning my column, please address your letters to this magazine c/o The Raving Reviewer. Please keep the suggestions clean, I blush easily.