History: This is the sequel to Serf City: Life is Feudal in the United States and Settlers every where else in the world. The first game was a big hit in Europe. Blue Byte has recently opened an office in the United States and hopes this direct approach will increase sales here. I can personally attest to the aggressiveness of the new marketing group here in the U. S.
Plot: The Tortius, a Roman ship, sets off on a journey with a cargo of settlers on there way to one of the Roman colonies. In the sea of storms the ship falls prey to a vicious storm that transports the crew and passengers to a land far away. With the ship now a wreck from the storm and stranded in a strange and new land far too deep into the unknown to ever find their way home the people leave the ship and colonize the new land.
Now that they have arrived at the new land, a new task awaits the crew with a scripted storyline of 10 chapters and many-sided missions. Explore gigantic, mysterious worlds governed by highly sophisticated economic forces. Control one of four different cultures, including the Romans and the Japanese, each with their own distinct military and architectural differences. Combines exploration, combat, trade, and conquest in one balanced game system.
Game play: Like Populous, PowerMonger, SimCity, and other God games, you play the role of god and indirectly control the lives of little Simulate People, called Sims. These Sims get into a lot of trouble unless you are an attentive god and constantly look after their welfare. You tell the community to produce woodcutters to cut trees, a saw mill to process trees into lumber, mine coal and iron ore, smelt iron ore into iron, create blacksmiths who turn iron into armor, and build barracks to use the armor.
Combat: Fight real-time cataclysmic battles with your armies as you expand your territory. Keep in mind however that the enemy isn't sleeping either. Once the armies are built simply click on enemy structures to attack them. Building military structures on the border of an enemy’s land will expand your borders more quickly. The pace is set slow enough as to give you plenty of time to move even for a real-time game. There is no time compression to speed up or slow down the action when needed.
Interface: The main window is an overhead map of the local area where commands are given by clicking on objects and manipulating them. Clicking on a structure allows you to improve or use it.
Graphics: Lush graphics support 256 colors at 640 x 480, 800 x 600, and 1024 x 768 pixel SVGA resolution.
Animation: Sims chop trees, mill flower, mine ore, hunt game, make war, and any number of other animated activities, which are to a sim, all in a day's work.
Voice actors: ?
Music score: Relatively unremarkable.
Sound effects: Listen to wood choping, grinding, gunfire, and other noises that accompany the sims on their way to complete tasks.
Multi-player mode. Play together or against each other on one computer in split screen mode. There is no multiplayer support for network, null modem, phone modem, or internet play.
Hints: Donkey breeders will speed up activities around the realm.
Barry Bresnel, www.cnet.com/Gamecenter/Reviews/Settlers
Peter Smith, Computer Games Strategy Plus, issue 70, September, 1996, pg. 80-81, 3.5/5 (70%).
Computer Game Review
Strategy Plus, June 1996
PC Power, April 1996
Greg Titus, Happy Puppy, www.happypuppy.com, no rating
Jeff James, Computer Player, volume 3, number 4, September, 1996, pg. 80, 7/10, (70%).