Title Colonial Conquest II Game Type Strategy Author Christian Mumenthaler (PD) Players 1 or 2 HD Installable Yes Compatibillity All Submission Joachim Froholt Profiled Reviewer Review Recently, a friend of mine and I began trying out the good old games we used to play back when we were younger and could spend entire days playing strategy games. This was mostly for nostalgic reasons, and we didn't really expect to begin playing any of the games seriously. That's why we're so surprised, now that we've stopped playing pretty much everything but one of these games, namely Colonial Conquest II. So, then, what is Colonial Conquest II? Simply put, it's a turn based strategy game, set in space. The goal is to wipe out the other player, be it the computer controlled robots or a player controlled empire. The main screen of the game is a planet map where you can see 25 planets. You start out with a colony on one of these planets. If you click on this planet, you will come to the planet screen, which looks a lot like the city screen in Civilization. You have a view of the planet surface, in which you can select where you want your colonists to work. As in Civ, different terrain types yield different amounts of resources. There are two types of resource: Food and materials. A surplus of food will allow your population to increase (if you've got room for them), and a surplus of materials will make you able to build stuff. You can build a good number of structures (all of which need to be placed on the planet surface). Some of these will improve the particular terrain they're placed on, while others are general planet improvements, such as granaries, city complexes, ground defence cannons, etc. If you've built a Star Port, you will be able to build space ships, which will let you travel to other planets. There are a number of different military ship types, ranging from the poor but cheap Fighter to the mighty Battlestar. You can also build colony ships, which will enable you to build bases on other planets, providing that you place 1-4 colonists aboard the ship. You will also be able to build Transport Ships, Troop Transporters and Exploration Ships. The final ship is the Stargate Ship which will construct a hyperspace gate near a selected planet - travelling through space takes a lot of time, and you can cut back on this time by employing hyperspace gates. You can also change your colonists into scientists. Each scientist generates one (or two, if he has access to a university) science points per turn. When you have amassed a certain amount of science points, you will reach another technology level, which will provide you with more construction options. Needless to say, it will be handy with some of the later technologies when it is time to consider war. Speaking of war, if you've built a barracks on the planet, you can also change your colonists into soldiers. One very important resource is energy. There are three different power plants available, plus a cheaper energy collector which will amass a small amount of energy (the amount depends on the terrain it's on). More complex structures require energy to function, and there's also a number of other uses for this resource. As I said, you're not alone in the universe. This is where the neat range of intelligence options come into play. Spy satelites can be used to view the various installations on an enemy planet, but can be disposed of with the appropriate counter measures. Short and Long Range Scans are immensely useful as they show all ship movement within a certain radius (the scanner must, obviously, be placed on one of your worlds, and needs a lot of energy to operate), something which is very helpful for getting an idea of where your enemy centers his efforts, and extremely helpful if you happen to spot a bunch of ships headed your way. You can't tell what type of ships he's sending, though. The great thing with these options is that they can tell you a lot about your opponent - but not too much. Even though you have a good general idea about where his colonies are, even their sizes, you will always feel the need to know more. What's his strategy, what about his technology level, how many and what types of ship does he own... This is what makes this game such an excellent two player game. There are so many questions that you want to ask your opponent, but how do you ask without letting him know something about you? Trading (or, rather, trying to lure out) information when you're not actually sitting in front of the computer can be terribly exciting, and it really adds to the gameplaying experience. Colonial Conquest II can also be played against the computer, but this is less satisfying since the computer will never use the full range of options available. Also, you can't discuss the game with him when you're not playing, but it is certainly enough fun to keep you occupied for a good while, and the game is well worth getting, even if you don't plan to play against a fellow human being. The presentation is quite good. The graphics are functional - certainly nothing spectacular, but not too bad for a PD game. The music deserves special mention, because it is pretty good, and manage to loop and loop and never get tiresome, much like the tune from The Settlers. There's few ingame sound effects, but this isn't so bad, because you wouldn't want noises to give away your actions if your opponent is in the same room. The user interface is very intuitive, and if you need help, you can consult the in-game manual at any time. This manual could have been easier to read, though. All in all, I can find few things to hold against this game. The computer AI could have been better, and it would have been neat if it was possible to play a game with, say, two human players and one computer player, but not really neccessary. More advanced trading options would have been cool, too. I personally don't like the long range cannons or planet destroyers very much, but the computer doesn't use these against you, and you can always have some rules if you play against a friend. To conclude this review, then, Colonial Conquest II is a fantastic little game. If you like two player strategy games, you can't go far wrong with this one. As a one player game it struggles when compared to Civilization (which it borrows a lot of elements from), but quite frankly, so do most other strategy games... Download now! Note: The author (Christian Mumenthaler) used to sell a map editor for this game. I doubt he still does this, but there's a free alternative available if you're not satisfied with the maps you get with CCII. Fellow AGDB reviewer, Joona I Palaste, has created an editor which is available from the Aminet.