Title Foundation Game Type Management Sim Players 1 Compatibility AGA + CD Submission Michael Christie Review Foundation is a recent release in the "god-game" genre begun by Populous. It's a real-time strategy game with an isometric viewpoint where the player must build and manage a settlement of assorted inhabitants (Peasants, Maidens, Scientists, Wizards, Knights, and the legendary Black Knights), monitoring their production and consumption of resources. There are over twenty different types of buildings to utilise (from Armoury to Warehouse), and the sheer diversity of them allows the player a lot of scope in choosing how to manage the settlement. There is a great deal of interdependence between buildings - for instance, the Miners don't mine if they don't get a delivery of food from the Farmhouse regularly, and the Refinery doesn't produce the most useful resource - Gold - if it doesn't have raw materials from the Mine. This also highlights the circular nature of the resource management in the game - even death is a resource, as the remains of your recently departed population can be converted into Magic, which is used by the Wizards to (primarily) create buildings. Then, once you've got the hang of getting your people to lead happy, healthy and productive lives, you have to deal with the enemy. Up to 3 computer opponents can be competing for the territory you're on, and they know where you live. Fortunately, you can train your peasants to become Guards, who can defend your buildings from enemy invaders, and once they've got some experience they can become Knights or black Knights. Alternatively, if you're confident, you can send a formidable fighting force into enemy territory to lay waste to your opponents' settlements. Technological developments allow more means of destruction - peasants can be taught arson, and can then burn buildings down, or the Gun Tower can be developed to shoot enemy passers-by. As you can see by now, there is a LOT of depth and attention to detail within the gameplay. Foundation can be played in conquest mode with forty missions to complete, or in custom mode where you can choose your own objectives and landscape. So there's a lot to the game already, but something should be said of how it looks and sounds. It looks superb. The buildings are very nicely drawn and easily identifiable (the Mason's Hut has picks and hammers beside the door, etc). The landscapes include water, sand, assorted trees and plants, rocks, and mountains. There are four different landscape themes - Summer, Winter, Lava and Gloomy. Many of the peasant workers have their own animation - Foresters will wander around and chop down trees, Fishermen will go down to the water and cast their line in. It gets even better when the attention to detail and lovely graphics combine with the Amiga community spirit - clicking on a random peasant will bring up information on the peasant including his age, health, morale, and a digitised mugshot of an Amiga user who sent their photo to the designer. Foundation also makes good use of sound effects. Most buildings have a unique sound for when they produce resources, such as the Refinery's metallic "Ka-chunk!" for producing Gold & Steel. The peasants have several sampled responses to orders you give them. Additionally it's possible to create your own sets of samples. And then there's the music. Being a CD release, it has half a dozen CD audio tracks on it. They are very much suited to the game, being excellent mellow classical & ambient pieces which don't get too intrusive with everything else that's going on in the game. But the greatest aspect of Foundation would have to be the after-sales support. There have been plenty of updates for it, fixing bugs and implementing popular features by request, and Paul plans to still be devoting time to improving the game six months after its release. Multiplayer modes (split-screen & Internet play) are the next major features planned, and their implementation would make Foundation easily the best Amiga-only strategy game ever, if it isn't already!