Vietnam '65, review

Who I am
Valery Aloyants
Author and references

Vietnam represents a dark page in history but its controversies have generated a boundless imaginary, a real mine of emotions that between a film and a book has also given life to many video games. One of these is Vietnam '65, a turn-based strategy that takes us in the middle of the massive offensive devised by the United States to give a decisive turn to the conflict. At the time, the Americans underestimated the pitfalls of the territory and did not understand the importance of relations with the population and ended up suffering a dramatic defeat. The Every Single Soldier title does not allow us to make the same mistake by transforming it into a key mechanic of your gameplay.

Vietnam '65 is definitely different from the usual turn-based strategists

Heroes at all costs

Vietnam '65 is a turn-based strategy characterized by the fearsome board divided into hexagons. Simple animations and modest graphics complete a picture that might scare more than one player but don't need to be alarmed. In practice, the title of Every Single Soldier, designed to be usable also on a tablet, is satisfied with a few units and a handful of commands that are accessible through convenient radial menus. In a few clicks, in essence, it is possible to call supplies or bombings, deploy reinforcements, carry out sequences of orders and ensure that all the units deployed carry them out. But the simplicity of the interface doesn't translate into trivial gameplay. The curtain opens on the strategic map of a procedurally generated map.

We are in South Vietnam and take on the role of an American general determined to defeat the Communist rebels. Once in the game we find ourselves in charge of an operational base, three helicopters, a cannon, a bulldozer and some infantry units. In the upper left there is a number that indicates the opinion of civilians towards our army while in the upper right another value indicates our political influence that can be spent on calling for reinforcements. To win, which is far from easy, it is necessary to keep an eye on both figures with the first which must be above 50 points, or the starting value, at the stroke of the forty-fifth round of play. The empathy of the people towards us grows by clearing mines and keeping enemies away from the villages as it descends if the Viet Cong reach population centers or kill our soldiers. Killing enemies, on the other hand, grants political support that can be spent on reinforcements and supplies. The problem is that this resource drops in case of leaks and is also consumed by supplies and fuel that play a central role in the gameplay. Each unit, in fact, has a limited number of resources that drop each turn. To supply the troops, transport helicopters are required, which in turn have to spend a turn to refuel when they pass through a base. The first thing to do, in essence, is to plan each movement in order to ensure supplies and to do so it can be useful to send our engineers to the front line who can build outposts, create roads and open roads in the jungle. The terrain, on the other hand, is a decisive element that alters the advancement speed of the troops and the chances of engagement. The jungle also completely hides the Viet Cong that depend on mechanics very different from those to which the player must undergo.

PC System Requirements

Test Setup

  • Processore: Intel Core i5 4440 3.10GHz
  • Video card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 780
  • Memory: 16 GB RAM
  • Operating system: Windows 7

Minimum requirements

  • Processor: Intel Pentium 4 or equivalent
  • Scheda video: DirectX 9.0c (Shader Model 2+)
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Operating system: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8
  • Disk space: 200 MB

War of position

The rebels can ambush, place mines and carry out missions against our bases, they have no outposts and do not depend on resources but they emerge from the Ho Chi Minh path, well hidden by the vegetation, whose position changes with every game. If we add to this that an attack can instantly eliminate one of our infantry units, the vegetation becomes the real enemy to beat. On the other hand we can only attack visible enemies and since we do not have the possibility to ambush we can do it exclusively in our turn of movement. Basically the Viet Cong can emerge from the vegetation and eliminate an infantry unit that is at a useful distance and they can do it without running any risk. Considering that soldiers are vital to winning due to the ability to retrieve information on villages and occupy them, it is good to proceed with caution, clearing the jungle around the villages to avoid ambushes.

But it is not possible to take it too calmly because of those fateful forty-five rounds at the end of which the game ends. And here are the helicopters that make it possible to move troops in relative safety, move the Howitzer cannon, transport the wounded to the base and transport the Green Berets which are stronger than the infantry and, very importantly, can hide from the enemy. Movement is vital, just as it was in Vietnam, especially as the number of units, all essential to winning, is limited by a rather refined regulatory mechanism. The price of reinforcements, in fact, increases in proportion to the number of units of that type already deployed and this makes it impossible to cover the screen with guns or attack helicopters. Ultimately Vietnam '65 fielded some good ideas and effectively recreates the dynamics of the Vietnamese conflict but also stands out for some rather evident shortcomings. First of all, the campaign, if so called promotions and medals that have no influence on the gameplay, consists of a single map which, despite being procedurally generated, is composed of a handful of assets that do not guarantee sufficient variety. The position of the Ho Chi Minh path, the area from which the Viet Cong gangs emerge, changes with each game but this is not enough to significantly vary a gameplay that after a few games, thanks to the continuous coming and going linked to supplies, risks being repetitive. Furthermore, the interface of the PC version is not flawless with the radial menu that sometimes works badly and the left mouse button is used both to select and to move the units. Making a mistake by a few millimeters in the selection of a new unit can lead us to move the previously selected unit and this in a turn-based strategy can have negative effects on the gameplay. Finally, the technical sector is decidedly modest and does not look, in full board game style, at the proportions between the units. Yet, somehow, it all holds thanks to the acceptable animations and the excellent quality of the samples that does its part in creating the right atmosphere. But this is not enough to compensate for an offer that from the point of view of contents is decidedly poor and can only stand up thanks to a decidedly attractive price.


Tested version PC Windows Digital Delivery Steam, App Store Price 9,99 €


Readers (4)


Your vote

Vietnam '65 manages to be relatively complex without being complicated and for this reason it could meet the favor of those who do not easily digest turn-based strategy. The flaws, mind you, are not lacking but the developers are already working on a patch that will make significant changes to the interface and add climatic effects as well as new modifiers for combat. The only real problem, in essence, seems to be that of the offer which from a content point of view is rather meager although partially justified by an affordable price.


  • An interesting and fresh approach
  • Effective reproduction of the dynamics of the Vietnamese war
  • The developers are already working on a major patch
  • Interface still to be refined
  • Forgettable technical compartment
  • The overall offer is decidedly limited
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