Genesia (Second Review)


Title		Genesia  (Second Review)
Publisher	Mindscape
Developer	Microids, 1993
Game Type	Management Sim
Players		1-3
HD Installable	Yes
Compatibility	All Amigas (enhanced gfx/sfx on AGA machines)
Submission	John Burns (john@jgb.abelgratis.co.uk) Profiled Reviewer

Review
This was a game I had been after for quite some time but always seemed to get
pipped at the post when I heard of a copy for sale. Thanks to a tip off
from Angus though, I at last managed to get my grubby hands on it. So it
was with eager anticipation that I loaded it up and prepared to play.

First off let me point out that I had some problems installing this game.
Not because of the supplied non standard installer routine but mainly I
discovered incompatibilities with my system; namely my hard drive. I had
been trying to install to a partition residing above the 4Gb mark.
Frustrating few hours aside I eventually installed it on a lower partition
without any problems. So be aware.

A first look at the game reminds one of Populous, not least because of the
icon driven menu system laid out around the 3D isometric viewed central
map/play area. In addition to using these icons you click on buildings to
access their inhabitants, if applicable, and issue orders. This system is
well considered and makes control both easy and intuitive with little
reference to the manual (huh? who reads them anyway). One point to note is
that you are given a set amount of time in which to make and issue your
orders before control is given to your opponents. This time limit in
general is more than sufficient though if you have a very large territory
to control things can get tight.

The main play area looks reminiscent of The Settlers with your people, 4
to begin with, happily going about their assigned tasks. At the start of
the game you will have to juggle the people around to ensure that you have
everything you need to survive and expand. This survival part can be quite
daunting to begin with and my first few attempts ended in frustration as
my meagre populace suffered from disease after disease (randomly generated
by the computer) and ultimately death. Okay so you get a new settler but
this doesn't help when your overall number remains the same. Get past
these initial difficulties and as your population starts to increase your
problems decrease. More people=less worry, and of course more money in
taxes.

Your objective is of course to win and this can be done in two ways; by
destroying the rival populations or by collecting gems which are randomly
hidden around the landscape. I must admit that I've never won using the
latter method due to the fact that I preferred to wipe out the enemy - it
just seems so much more satisfying. To aid you in your task you can
recruit an army, make treaties and trade with your rivals but most
importantly research inventions which give you access to items such as
ships and cannon not forgetting cures for those dreaded diseases.

The graphics are good and sound is of a reasonably high standard and as
with The Settlers appropriate to the action being viewed  Carpenters make
carpentry sounds etc. Combat is handled in a turn basis with your hit
score being deducted from the enemy and vice versa which invariably means
might is right and the larger/stronger army will come out victorious
albeit weakened.

Overall I enjoyed this game but somehow it is missing something, though if
pressed I couldn't name it. When I think of each aspect of the gameplay it
seems right and logical but when all is said and done I'm left with a
slightly empty feeling as if I've missed out somewhere. Maybe it is just
the residue of anticipation but whilst a competent and enjoyable enough
game it certainly isn't a classic. Don't misunderstand me, I'll continue
to play this game from time to time but it's doubtful I'll lose track of
time, as one sometimes does, while doing so.

My Summary:  Get yourself a copy, enjoy it but don't expect a classic.



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