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About two years ago the multimedia companies Turner Interactive and Swifte introduced Gettysburg: Multimedia Battle Simulation. An instantly addictive, action-packed video game with colorful graphics, the CD-ROM featured reenactment footage and music from the film Gettysburg and sidebars chronicling events of the actual July 1863 battle. I chose to control the Rebel army and after only a few attempts defeated the computer-controlled Union army simply by sending my troops on a beeline to Taneytown Road and bombarding the arriving Yanks until they surrendered. Robert E. Lee would have wished it tobe so easy.

Now Talon Soft has released a version of the Battle of Gettysburg. Part of its Battleground series of historical strategy games, Talon’s Gettysburg is targeted less at the arcade-game crowd than at the more serious war gamer. Complete with detailed three-dimensional terrain maps covered with the standard war-game hexes, and turns divided into four phases, during which players painstakingly move, offer offensive and defensive fire, and engage in melee, the Talon game is far less intuitive than the Turner/Swifte game. As is the case with traditional war games, the instruction manual is required reading here. But the reward for plodding through it is a game that will remain challenging long after the $50.00 investment is forgotten.

Battleground: Gettysburg, Talon Soft, Forest Hill, Maryland, one CD-ROM disc, $50.00


PC with Windows 3.1 or Windows ’95, 386DX33 CPU (486 recommended), double-speed CD-ROM drive, 4MB RAM (8MB recommended), 256-color SVGA, Windows-compatible sound card

Carl Zebrowski