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(c) 2000 James Burrows

Review by
Robin Hogg


Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!
Halls of Montezuma
1987 Strategic Studies Group
Programmed by Roger Keating, Ian Trout, A. Taubman,
M. Power & G. Whiley
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the fifty first issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: June 15th, 1989).

SSG, C64, 18.95 (disk only)

Following such titles as Carriers at War, Battlefront and the magnificent Europe Ablaze, Halls of Montezuma brings us nearer the present day with an incredibly extensive battle history of the United States Marines Corps.

Based around the Battlefront/Battles in Normandy game system, Halls deals in units of roughly battalion size with three divisions available. Like Storm Across Europe, this size naturally dictates the scale of the battle but also allows for a mid-level of command with both high level strategy and low-level tactical operations needing to be taken into account throughout.

Halls contains eight scenarios, tracing the Marine Corps' battle-scarred history -- this includes the 1847 assault on Mexico City, Belleau Wood in 1918, Iwo Jima in 1945, right through to the battle for the city of Hue in South Vietnam.

With SSG games, at least the presentation is there to start with, and the menu system is easy enough to use. Play is smooth-flowing and a lot faster than in Typhoon. The ground features may lack detail but it's all very clear, precisely laid out with fluid scrolling. The map is most welcome (take note SSI!).

Strategic play is stronger in the earlier scenarios -- after the Second World War, technology moved ahead dramatically. The time of the Korean War proves the best era, with the weapons of post-war and beyond (including the first widespread use of jet fighters).


The clash of technology from different generations is the most interesting of matches, but using the Warpaint and Warplan construction set utilities new scenarios can be born from the imagination or the pages of SSG's own magazine, 'RUN 5'.

If you're expecting a Typhoon of Steel-type level of play you'll be disappointed. The action is placed at regimental and battalion level and can be regarded as a lot simpler than the comparable SSI title. Fortunately Halls provides a better insight into the battle as a whole (the higher strategic level) -- the eight scenarios providing more depth, although the involvement in each battle is marginally less than in Typhoon. A solid, well-structured and presented wargame, covering multiple eras with competence.


Presentation 82%

The manual covers the Marine Corps history in considerable detail and instructs in a readable anough manner.

Challenge 75%
A moderate challenge increasing in difficulty the more modern the scenario. The scenarios may be similar in structure but provide enough variety.

Authenticity 78%
The implementation of the game scenarios and order of play is as faithful as could be imagined.

Overall 78%
A good computerised account of the Marines Corps and its star-spangled history.



Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (27 Oct 2007)
Only the first of the above screenshots existed in the original review.

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