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Games Strategy Powermonger

Powermonger Hot

Editor rating
8.8 User rating
0.0 (0)


License:  Commercial
Year:  1990
A500 (OCS)
Number of disks
Harddrive Installable
Number of Players
1 only
Game Developer's Credits
Publisher:  Electronic Arts
Developer:  Bullfrog Productions
Coder:  Peter MolyneuxGlenn CorpesKevin Donkin
Graphics:  Gary CarrSimon Hunter
Musician:  Timothy Brian WrightCharles Callet
Sound Effects:  Charles Callet
Game Notes and Information

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Member's Reviews

Editor review

War has never been so much fun

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Growing up as a kid, I was obsessed with strategy wargames. I remember playing the single-level demo of Supremacy 'til the game disk wore out. When I got hold of a copy of Centurion, I played THAT to death. Leading massive amounts of soldiers into battle against foul-smelling barbarian hordes, wresting their lands and possessions from them, then forcing ridiculous taxes on them just to piss them off - the mega-lo-maniac in me had a blast, and I remember myself thinking: "War has never been so much fun!"

Of course, in real life, there's nothing 'fun' about war. When you think about it, how dumb is it to kill each other off with sticks, stones, guns, bombs and laser beams? It's the epitome of dumb, I can tell you, especially since most conflicts can easily be solved through dialogue. Luckily, playing wargames on the Amiga, I never had to worry about the senseless loss of life. All I had to do after slaughtering a level full of virtual men, women and sheep, was to press the 'retry' button, and the level would be instantly refilled with fresh virtual men, women and sheep.

In Powermonger, Bullfrog Software's classic strategy wargame, it's all about slaughtering little virtual men, women and sheep. In essence, the objective of the game is really simple. After an atmospheric introduction sequence, where an army (presumably, yours) is seen marching off to war, the player is presented with a rather massive world map. The map is divided into hundreds of rectangular sections, each of which represents a level. Selecting one takes you to the 'meat' of the game: the real time strategy part, which is presented in isometric 3D. The graphics engine used to draw the terrain is quite impressive. The viewing area can be scrolled in all directions, zoomed in or out or rotated at will. Despite the excellent detail of the visuals, the game runs very smoothly.

The starting conditions of each level can vary, but most of the time, you begin with the command of a single officer who has a number of soldiers serving under him. The goal, then, is simple: figure out a way to conquer the map, and thus add it to your territory. The most straightforward way of doing this would be to defeat all the enemy officers roaming the land. This is easier said than done, however: the opponents' armies are more often than not larger (and better armed) than yours, so jumping right in would be the quickest road to failure. Luckily, there are ways to turn the tide of battle in your favour, and this can be achieved through careful tactics. By first conquering smaller settlements and convincing the villagers to join your cause, you can bolster your ranks, as well as maintaining a level of food production that is required to keep your forces fed. Then, with the additional troops and resources, you can start raiding the larger settlements. With larger towns in your possession, you can begin manufacturing weapons - swords, pikes, bows and sometimes even catapults - which will then hopefully give you enough of a boost to confront the enemy troops in direct combat.

A novelty in Powermonger is the ability to have multiple officers under your command. Some towns have a commanding officer, and if you choose to let him live (rather than slaughtering him and his villagers mercilessly, which is also an option), he can be persuaded to join you. Additional officers (up to a maximum of 7-8) can basically do the same things that your starting officer can. He can be instructed to manufacture weapons and tools. He can conquer settlements on the other side of the map while you're fighting a hostile troop elsewhere. Having multiple officers, each leading a contingent of armed men, marching around the map wreaking havoc is really a sight to behold, and of course, they can be used to carry out some neat strategies, such as performing a fake raid to lure an enemy army out, then crushing it with your main force.

There are also other ways to play the game: instead of focusing on conquest solely, you can actually try to develop your towns by, for instance, making ploughs for them to improve their food production, or building boats so they can go out to sea to fish. You can go around the map slaughtering stray sheep for food, donating it to settlements that need it. You can make alliances with opposing forces and watch them weaken each other, jumping ship when the opportune moment arrives. No map is ever the same, and there's multiple ways to play them, so there's basically never a dull moment. And because there are so many maps - there's even a random map generator - you can expect the game to last you a long, long time.

All in all, Powermonger is a hugely enjoyable wargame that is sure to delight fans of the genre. Sporting superb graphics, good sound effects, a VERY long single-player campaign (plus the option to play against a friend by network connection), and supremely compelling gameplay, it's a game you can sink your teeth into for obscene amounts of time. Even if you normally don't dig strategy games, Powermonger is easy enough to pick up and just play for an hour or two. Bullfrog gets two thumbs up from me for making this fantastic game; rarely have I seen a game that is so well-rounded in almost every area.
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