The Drift 1879 PC Game Review

By Jean Marciniak 04 Sep 2013 0

This is the final game in my review series of Jeff Lapkoff Strategic Simulation Games products. The first two games I reviewed were The Alamo! and Custer?s Last Command 2, both of which were good games. Now I take a look at the most recent of Jeff Lapkoff?s games, The Drift 1879.

Here are three videos showing a game in action. Pros, Cons and Conclusion below these ? feel free to skip ahead and read them first if you?d prefer.




Unique & exciting game design - I really like the design of this game. It?s unique and different from the other strategy games that are being made by the big box publishers. This game focuses solely on Rorke?s Drift, putting you in command of the small outpost and all its troops against the 3,000 man Zulu army. Congratulations to Jeff Lapkoff for once again designing an innovative title.

Great looking map - I really love the way the map is drawn and detailed. It?s easy to identify buildings, walls, and units. The only thing I had confusion with is how to get inside a building. It looks like you need to place a squad on the roof rather than the door.

Improved firing system - in The Drift 1879 I noticed it was easier to identify which unit was attacking another compared to Jeff?s earlier games. A red line identified my squad firing on an enemy unit, which was easy to see and understand.

Larger text size - I noticed the text in this game was larger and easier to see than the previous two games I reviewed; The Alamo! and Custer?s Last Command 2. Also The UI was cleaner and more organized.

Lots of game options ? when you start the game you can play the classic historical setup or you can play an alternate version of history. For example you can include The Natal Natives and/or have another British company under your command. On top of all this you can tinker with morale, the number of Zulu troops attacking Rorke?s Drift, all the way down to the ammunition level of the troops.

Intuitive gameplay - it?s so simple to move units in this game and even simpler to have them fire. The learning curve for this game is down to minutes. Again, congratulations to Jeff Lapkoff for this.

Lots of replay values - because of the amount of gameplay options, the possibilities of replay are endless. One day you can play the classic historical scenario and the next you can play something totally different.

Very addictive - a game has to be really good for me to play 4 hours of it, and The Drift 1879 did just that; and now I have just found an option where I can increase the size of the Zulu army. Here comes another 4 hours of gaming ?



Freezing bug ? many times during the game I ran into a bug that would freeze the display. The game went on in the background but I couldn?t see what was happening. I noticed this same bug in Custer?s Last Command 2. It?s a frustrating bug because you can?t see what is happening in the game, and often when the display comes back half your squads are now routed or disrupted. However, unlike Custer?s Last Command 2 where I was about to shut off the game, I wasn?t about to do that with this one it was too enjoyable. I should also note that whilst this bug occurred, I don?t believe it happened as frequently as in Custer?s Last Command 2.

Other bugs - for some reason about an hour into the game my troops in the Hospital couldn?t shoot anymore, however, when I moved them to another building they were able to resume shooting. Very odd. Also, when I tried to evacuate the troops from the hospital they were unable to. Really weird because it took about 6-8 turns (almost 1-2 hrs game time) for the men to make their way out of a burning building. Another bug I discovered was toward the end of the game. I had relocated all my hospital troops to my storehouse mid way through the game as I wanted them in that building to support both the north and west walls. I was going to use them as a emergency reserve just in case I needed men on the line. Unfortunately when it came time for that I couldn?t get them to exit the storehouse. I thought maybe it was because they were low on movement points but no, that wasn?t it. They just wouldn?t come out. I was very low on men and The Zulu?s were about to break my lines and those hospital men were sorely needed.

East wall left untouched - the Zulu?s attacked all my walls except my eastern wall. I can only wonder why this was left untouched.

Battle results - just like with The Alamo! and Custer?s Last Command 2 the battle results of each combat attack are displayed on the bottom of the screen. This becomes a bit frustrating as your eyes have to jump from the map to the bottom of the screen repeatedly. I wish the combat results would display on the map over the affected unit. Although on a positive note I will say that the battle results are displayed a bit longer than the two previous games so as to give you time to see the statistic before disappearing. In the last two games the statistics disappeared within a second or two.


Things I?d like to See

Multiple units able to shoot at the same time - I would love a feature to be added whereby I can select 3 - 4 squads to fire simultaneously on an enemy squad.

Continuation of the game after you beat it - once the game told me I won I still wanted to play out the game. I would love if an option were to be included where I could play until one side was totally destroyed.



Compared to the two other games I reviewed in the series ? The Alamo! and Custer?s Last Command 2 - The Drift 1879 is my favorite. I enjoy nearly every single facet of the game and have only a few issues with it, primarily bug related. I?m a big fan of the original movie Zulu with Michael Caine, and I was looking for a game that would put me in the boots of Lt. Chad tasked with defending the outpost. The game does this perfectly. I can?t think of another game that does this so well; actually you won?t find another game that does this at all as this is the only Rorke?s Drift game I can find, except for an iPad game which isn?t as in-depth or as good as this game. For this I would like to thank Jeff Lapkoff for making an incredible game. This is easily one of my favorite games of the year.

Even though the game has a bug that causes a bit of frustration I?d still recommend it. The fact that this game was so fun that it pushed me to re-watch the movie Zulu! I enjoyed the game immensely and I play to sink another couple hours of it in the coming week.

The game retails for $24.95 and is easily worth the money.

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