Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Vote for Game of the Month August 2014

This month's topic is strategy games! 

Since the guys usually have to choose games that don't eat up too much time for the regular show, and Alex seems to have gotten a taste for the genre after Dune, I thought it might be fun to through another game into the mix (and yes, I have one I'm REALLY rooting for).  :)

Civilization (SNES): This console port of the hugely successful turn based game by Sid Meier has the same feel as the PC/Amiga/ST original.  In this game you control a fledging group of prehistoric settlers as you build a first city, develop technologies, fight off invaders (or become the invaders), engage in diplomacy and become a great civilization. Graphics have been "console-ified" a bit but it is otherwise a faithful port by strategy game giant Koei.  It even supports the SNES mouse!

M.U.L.E. (NES): Originally a turn based strategy game on the Atari 8 bit computers and C64, MULE has you trading through outer space.  A fun and involving game that you probably want to read the manual for before giving a go. (totally worth it though)

Pirates Gold! (Genesis): Another Sid Meier classic brought to the living room.  This classic, originally released on the C64, has you as a young man sold into servitude, only to oust the captain of the ship you have been assigned to, and turn it into a pirate ship in the caribean.  Historical settings, diplomacy, treasure hunting, real time naval battles (with wind and reloading adjustments), resource management, economic simulation and the ticking away of time, making the decision of when to retire the actual end of the game.  This is the first true sandbox game and the Gold update simplifies many of the menu systems, so there is less boring looking text and more graphical splendor.

Populous (SNES): Peter Molyneaux's original real time god game.  You are an olympian god, your energy comes from your followers, so not only are you busy making the world habitable for them (flattening mountains, and eliminating hazards) but also busy raining fiery death and disease on the followers of your rivals.  The SNES version includes the scenary disk add ons released for the home computer versions.  (I would have chosen Populous II but that was only released in Japan apparently).

Syndicate (Jaguar): Peter Molyneaux's cyber punk squad based action-strategy game gets an almost perfect port on the Jaguar.  As the head of an evil corporation in a dark future, you abduct citizens, enhance their physiology with custom hardware, and then send them out as drones to attack rival facilities, abduct key personnel, etc.  The lack of a mouse is made up for by using the complete complement of 17 keys on the Jaguar controller, so some serious learning curve action is needed, but the effort pays for itself with a deep and atmospheric game experience.

So head on over to the Retro Game Squad forums and cast your votes now!


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