I expected it to be a facile mishmash of Vietnam myths and shallow gameplay, and instead I got a coherent, original game system that reflects a certain understanding of the Vietnam War with mechanics that fit together as a whole yet are evocative in their own right. It’s far more than I expected, but more importantly, it’s an excellent treatment of something I’ve actually never seen. That doesn’t happen a lot for me these days.
But Vietnam ‘65 is really closer to great board game design than traditional PC wargame design. It’s a single scenario that operates according to very special rules. But it holds up under repeated play.
While it’s a slightly limited experience, Vietnam ’65 impresses with its novel mechanics, interesting setting and entertaining gameplay. True innovation is rare in the wargaming world, but this title has it by the Huey-load. And, with its super-budget price, this is one game that all strategy fans can afford to try.
Vietnam '65 is an interesting video game, but it is unlikely that it will manage to gain a huge audience in its current form, because it is working with a setting that's not particularly attractive and because it makes logistics more important than actual combat.