A small desire for greatness? You find that Palpatine is an amateur? This game is made for you 😀
Title : Master of Orion 2 : Battle at Antares.
Genre : Strategy (4X).
Date : 1996.
Developpers : Simtex, Microprose.
Master of Orion 2 is a game of strategy in turn by turn of 4X type (for ” eXplore, eXpand, eXploit and eXterminate”, a whole program 😉 ). Among the games of economic and technological development, he proposes a wealth and a very particular style, science fiction directed.
Master of Orion 2 places the player at the head of an empire which he is going to lead to the conquest of stars. The party begins after a great war between two advanced races: Orions and Antariens. The first ones having exiled the second in a parallel dimension, they are in their turn going to disappear and to make way so for the emergent races.
The party begins with the choice of the race. There we already find numerous pre-created races each resuming a different stereotype (warrior, scientist, spy, diplomat, etc.). We can again personalize her own race by means of a multitude of choices… From the racial feature to the political system.
After that, it remains to configure the party… Difficulty, size of the galaxy, the random events, the quantity of resources, number of empires…
The main screen represents the galaxy map. We can see the various stars, the fastest roads there between these, the black holes, the fleets in travel, etc.
And when we look in detail at a star, we can see the various planets, the gaseous giants and the belts of asteroids. For planets, there’s a big diversity: size, wealth, gravity, climate, etc.
To extend the empire, it is necessary to establish new colonies. It’s a delicate stage because a new colony is not autonomous. The food must be often forwarded since the rest of the empire (cargo boats), its maintenance depends on the climate (the more the climate is hostile, the more the maintenance cost is raised). Finally, certain political systems need in specific buildings…
Once developed, a colony can continue to build and to participate in the global effort (research, economy, polution cleanup, etc.), to produce vessels or spies, or simply to produce wealth.
The way towards stars is made as much by the economy as the research. Good technological choices are necessary to develop his empire because we cannot look for everything. At every technological level it is necessary to choose the only one in a given domain. The unknown technologies can be later acquired by other means…
From time to time, the news announces random events arising in one of the empires (treasure, resource, accident).
During his exploration, the player (or an other one) will discover Orion, the former capital of the eponym empire, and will face his guard. If he gains a victory, besides discovering a very rich planet, he will put the hand on advanced technologies.
The ship design to build different type of vessels of various sizes and various utilities. There is for all the tastes and the more we have of technologies, the more we have the choice… Of the small vessel of exploration to the Death Star 😀
Once produced, vessels are grouped in fleets. We can then move them from system to system, where the need is smelt.
The diplomatic relations are opened from the moment two races got closer enough geographically. The exchanges are then possible (provided that they are not restrained by a racial feature). Treated, pacts of non-aggression, technological exchanges, alliances, etc. There are many possibilities.
The spies are a counterpart of the diplomacy… Left in defense, they serve to counter the enemy spies. Moved in a nearby empire, it can sabotage installations or steal technologies…
Sometimes (often), it will be necessary to come to weapons there. Against a spatial monster or a nearby empire, to invade or self defense. We enter a local view where every vessel is used in turn by turn movements, shootings, missiles launching, torpedoes or shuttles, collisions…
When the invader win the battle in orbit around a colonized world, a ground combat took place (after a potential bombardment).
In this occasion, he can arrive that the soldiers capture a technology. Defy soldiers 😉
In the course of the game, it will be possible to recruit or to discover heroes, characters with special capacities, being able to be placed to the commands of a colony or a spaceship. It brings a small not insignificant advantage… Besides a small particular touch.
Antariens is always in aguêts… Regularly, they come to attack a colony at random… To stop them is often very complicated, even impossible in view of their technological advance… And until an advanced level of the game.
Nice graphs allow the player to compare his progress compared with the other empires, it is always good to know where we are there 😉
There are several manners to win a party: domination by elimination of the competitors, the eradication of the Antarienne threat or further to a vote of the council (diplomatic victory thus). Everything depends on the style of the player!
Another very detailed, very fascinating game, of a big depth and endowed with an enormous re-playability… The whole for a correct graphic quality in the time 😉 Of what to spend hours there only or several during multiplayers prties on the same computer (hot seat).
A game in the interplanetary scale which in spite of a certain complexity (mastered enough) can of “personal” aspects which put you in the skin of an emperor and not on the place of an abstract entity (heroes, ambassadors, interlocutors for various aspects of the management) 😀
The 90s were rich in cult games!
See you soon for new adventures!
For once, we could play the evil 😉
Title : Dungeon Keeper.
Genre : Strategy.
Date : 1997.
In 1997 Peter Molyneux ( Populous) brings out an UFO… In opposite of the period when the average player saved regularly the world, we passed on the side of the naughty boy, the donjon master (in reference to Donjon and Dragon), to trap brave adventurers, not without a certain humor.
The introduction does not deceive… A knight penetrates into a donjon, gets rid of some monsters and tries to seize a treasure. But the naughty boys stay up and here is the hero put on the ground.
The objective of the campaign (succession of parties) is very simple: put in fire and blood all the attractive provinces and their cute and frivolous tribes. The performance of your assistant is on the whole funny: the still free description of provinces depresses him… Conquered time, he paints cheerfully a dark picture. It adds to the charm of the game 😀
A party begins with the heart of the donjon (it is the representation of the power of the player on the map), an entrance and some sprites. The first task is to build the first rooms and to connect the set with a door so that monsters come to settle down at your home.
The arrangement of caves is very important… The arrangement attracts more easily such or such monster, certain types of monsters fight between them, others need peace, halls, etc. It is also necessary to watch to feed all this small world. An unfortunate monster will go away…
It is necessary, to be the best, to entrainer its monsters, to make look for spells to the magicians, make work the trolls in workshops, etc. So all this small world progresses and you (thanks to the spells) become more powerful. Every monster has its speciality which it is necessary to know how to exploit.
But the sinews of war, it is the gold. And the gold, that gets back by digging golden veins with sprites. They never dig rather fast and it is often necessary to stimulate them with small friendly slaps 😀 The gold is then stored in treasure rooms… Never fast enough (slaps). And when arrives the fateful ” it’s pay day! “, your monsters stop on the field any activity and are going to recover them of.
During the party, you develop a donjon by making dig your sprites (slaps), by making them strengthen walls so that the opponent does not drill them (slaps) then by building various rooms (library, workshop, cave, keeps) food, treasure room, the staff room, the prison, the room of training, etc.). You can put traps, doors, etc. At times, you result in natural galleries…
At some point, you meet an opponent. Either it is a group of adventurers or a kind hero that attacks your donjon, or it is a rival donjon master, according to the level. And there… Dropping of monsters, spells, fight! It is a little bit vague, that leaves in all directions, it is good draft and very difficult to follow. This phase of fight draft is certainly one of only defect of the game, with a little bit whimsical IA. At the end of the fight, with the appropriate rooms, it is possible “to convert” your opponents so that they join your camp, a whole program 😉
Optional, you have the possibility of taking the control of one of your monsters (spell of ownership). You can then dig, fight, investigate your donjon by seeing through the eyes of your creature (seen to the first person, with the distortion which is well according to the type of creature). The interest is quite relative, even trivial, but it remains pleasant 😉
That to say another cult game 😀 A well built bestiary, certain charismatic monsters (black Mistress, Big horned, Dragon). Original, rich, with a small weakness level legibility of the fights and IA, but the pleasure to be a naughty donjon master is there… Enhanced by the deep voice of your assistant, as well as a crowd of small funny details.
Even better if you appreciate the Donjon of Naheulbeuk (French) 😀
See you soon for new adventures!
There are games which mark you.
Title : X-COM : Ufo Defense (or Ufo : Enemy Unknown in europe).
Genre : Strategy.
Date : 1993.
Editor : Microprose.
This one landed at my home in 1995, a little time after my first PC. It was an enormous shock. The invasion of the small grey men coincided with a television series which we followed regularly with my group of friends: “X Files”. The theme was fashionable 😀
Being in student residence the week, I spent my weekend almost complete there. I also remember it because we played with friends (in “hot seat” mode), around “drinks of cola”, small cakes, even pizzas! Lots of good memories 🙂
To part be the reference quoted by almost all the amateurs of turn by turn games of this period… What X-COM?
On the basis it’s a strategy game designed by the Gollop brothers. The player is put at the head of a multinational organization, X-COM (eXtraterrestrial COMbat unit), to counter an extraterrestrial invasion. This one is financed by the various states depending on the results.
The game associates a phase of real time (Geoscape), a phase of management (Base) and a phase of tactical intervention in turn by turn mode (Battlescape). The management of the soldiers have a back taste of role playing game (statistics and progress).
The Geoscape part allows essentially to advance the time between two actions which consist of the arrival of staff and equipment in one of the bases, the outcome of a research or a production, even the detection of an UFO!
Bases are the nerve centers of the fight against the invaders. They serve as center of detection (radars to spot vessels), of operational bases (sheds for interceptors or transport), of training centers (soldiers), research and production. Additionally, they can be attacked 😉
The research is one of the sinews of war. The main thread of the game is to study and to assimilate the extraterrestrial technology, to learn to use it and to develop solutions to put an end to the invasion. To assimilate in next to no time a superior technology… They are too strong these human beings 😉
Once an UFO was detected, it’s necessary to intercept it. Sometimes a formality, sometimes impossible… Everything depends on the size of the UFO, the interceptors models and the available eapon technology. We attend then a track race on the globe…
When a UFO is shot down, or if one landed to accomplish a mission, it’s necessary to send a carrier with an intervention team to get back of the equipment, the technology, the extraterrestrials or still protect the population (Terror). The landing is always a delicate moment because you never see the surrounding ground…
Gone down from the carrier, it is necessary to deploy, find the extraterrestrials and neutralize them before they can respond. The tactical part takes place in turn by turn mode. The player moves his troops according to a principle of action points. Then it’s the turn of extraterrestrials… And so on.
The lines of sight (orientation of the soldiers) play an essential role. Exploration, shooting, explosions… It’s necessary to reach the goal: protect the civilians (Terror) or neutralize all the extraterrestrials. Folds is possible almost always…
One of the big strengths of this game are the destructible grounds… Almost everything can be destroyed, burnt… It is practical to get free of lines of sight towards a target. On the other hand, you are never really shielded from an explosion…
When it comes to capture an UFO, a delicate moment is the entrance to the vessel… It is very often the ideal opportunity for an ambush 😉
Altogether, the game consists of a multitude of balances: incomes (monthly balance assessment of efficiency) in front of maintenance cost, radar cover with regard to the target zones of the invaders, the level of research with regard to the level of the extraterrestrials (over time they become more and more powerful, bigger and bigger UFO), management of the space of storage and the supply, capacity of the carriers, etc.
The big strength of the game is in the Tactical part. Even with a good equipment, an intervention can turn to the disaster (ha the blaster blow or the inconvenient mental control). The tactical possibilities are infinite: choice of the equipment, the destruction of the ground, the lines of sights, mutual covers, explosives with delay… The tension is always present.
The game is not without weaknesses: it is necessary to re-configure the equipment of his soldiers in every mission, the configuration of planes X-COM would have been able to be more detailed, is lacking intermediate equipment between the equipment of departure, that of the extraterrestrials and the ultimate armament…
But globally, all the old players have anecdotes to be told on their games… As an isolated extraterrestrial chased away only having completely shaved a floor of a building… “Failed” shootings which hit the bull’s eye on another not visible target (the importance of certain noises in this game)… Or a shooting of the last chance made a success on a target at the other end of the map 😀
X-COM is a fascinating game, globally balanced well (except toward the end, and still), by the kind which captivates you until the next event: another last research… Another last UFO… Who allows you to move forward… And another last one… To find you to go to sleep at two or three o’clock in the morning 😉
Fortunately, I had no PC in the student residence 😀
See you soon for new adventures!