The Alamo! Review

By Jean Marciniak 23 Aug 2013 0

OK, so here we go. We?re taking a look at Jeff Lapkoff?s The Alamo! This game came out a few years back but this is the first review of the title. On top of which I?m publishing a 2 Hour gameplay review, which will be split in 2 parts so that you guys don?t lose your minds. I also want to add that this is the first gameplay footage of The Alamo! on YouTube. I hope this helps you discover the game.

 

 

 

Here is my Pros & Cons list of the game.

 

Pros 

1. Great and unique game design

How many developers pump out the same games? It is always WW2, Civil War, Rome, etc. And instead of doing something different they just remake the same Games, just with a different name and some different unit icons. It?s like eating the same soup for years and the only thing changing is the label. I was on the lookout for a developer that wants to do something that hasn?t been done before. Think outside the box. When I came across Jeff Lapkoff Games I was blown away. Finally something UNIQUE! 

2. Intuitive unit movement

So simple. Click the unit and select the spot you want them to go. It?s that easy. 

3. Good design of The Alamo

Simple, neat and clean. Very easy to understand what everything is. And it looks good. 

4. Addictive

Two hours went by in a flash. I was glued to my computer the entire time. 

5. Replay alue

You can play by PBEM (Play By E-Mail) against other players OR continue refighting the AI searching for that elusive victory. 

6. Good zoom level

The default zoom of the game is almost perfect. I have the best overview of The Alamo and Mexican forces outside. I don?t need to zoom out and zoom in every second or run around the screen much. 

7. Statistics

Easy to understand except for firepower (needed to figure out what that meant ?powder or rifle volley strength). It was also kept simple (Troop strength, wounded, killed, broken, % of troops lost) and pretty easy to get to. 

8. General orders

Love being able to tell every soldier to either reload, rally or shoot, instead of having to go squad by squad which would of resulted in me pulling my hair out.

 

Cons 

1. More gameplay options needed

Gameplay only covers the last day of The Alamo. I believe that the Defend The Alamo game covered the full 13 days. Wish the scenario was longer had more options, such as couriers, night time combat, etc., and offered a 13 day battle scenario. 

2. Difficulty moving or shooting cannons

Throughout the battle I was unable to move or shoot the artillery (except for 1, who only moved 1 spot over). I couldn?t figure out the reason for this. 

3. User interface

The user interface needs a facelift. The text is too small. So small in some places that I can?t differentiate letters. This becomes a problem when issuing orders to shoot in a specific direction and the direction being marked only by a letter. Also all the UI commands are clustered in the top right of the screen. Spread them out. Most displays today are 1920 x 1080 which gives lots of screen real estate to work with. 

4. Location of battle results - also it disappears quickly

When your unit fires or is fired upon you definitely want to check out what damage has been done. Problem is the casualty counter shows up all the way on the bottom of the screen. So basically what happens is your eyes are running all over the screen to find out who?s shooting at you and then how many troops were lost. Additionally if you don?t look within a 2-3 second window the text disappears. So if you?re not fast enough you can?t figure out how many troops you just lost. This gets very annoying. 

I would recommend placing the attack results over the units. So if I shoot at a Mexican squad, a number pops up over the unit notifying me I took out 8 of their men. Also let it hang there for 10 - 15 seconds so the player has time to see the information. 

5. Reloading & firing needs work.

I really don?t want to tell units to reload over and over. Once is enough. Also I would like to recommend cutting out the fire button. A system like this ?> Select your squad then click on a enemy squad for your guys to fire on <? would be much more simpler and easier. Cut the middle man out. 

6. Unit movement.

Sometimes my units couldn?t get on the wall. I believe it?s because of movement points, but this gets frustrating when you keep trying turn after turn. 

7. Powder

Biggest problem I had here was wondering why some units couldn?t fire. I had them reload but they still couldn?t fire. I blamed it on powder supply but I couldn?t find this listed anywhere. 

8. Hand to hand combat

When the enemy engages me men in hand to hand combat I can?t figure out which unit they?re attacking. Perhaps adding a red border or indicator to the squads fighting one another would be easier to see what?s going on?

 

Conclusion 

Overall this game is great, although I do feel some bugs and game features need to be addressed. I have yet to find any game on the internet that provides you with a better experience in Defending (or Taking) The Alamo! I give big props to Jeff Lapkoff for thinking outside the box with this game. I wish more developers would think like him and develop something unique.

 

This game retails for $29.95. I would recommend buying it. It will give you hours of enjoyment.

 

Game website: http://www.jlssg.com/alamo.html

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