The Wii version of this turn-based strategy game was canned, as the developers thought they wouldnâ€™t be able to get a decent version of the game running on the system. So why they thought that the DS could is a bit of a mystery.
The DS isnâ€™t renowned for being a 3D powerhouse, but it can still produce some nice 2D graphics – take a look at the recent Soul Bubbles for proof. Visuals must have been the last thing on the agenda here though – it looks like an ugly Game Boy Advance game, with dull maps and no flair to speak of. There isnâ€™t any music in game either, which hardly helps the atmosphere side of things. The controls work well though; so much so that there isnâ€™t even the need for a tutorial at the beginning.
At the start of the game youâ€™re asked to pick a leader (Napoleon, Caesar, Lincoln, Edmonds etc) for your civilization, each of whom has their own advantages, such as starting off with the knowledge of writing or a wealth of gold. Itâ€™s your job then to lead your civilization through four eras – ancient, medieval, industrial and modern. How? By sending out your armies and settlers to explore the world, and occasionally having to choose between starting wars with neighbours or bribing them to leave you be. As time passes armies get stronger and bigger, technology improves and as you learn new skills and build new objects your civilizationâ€™s reputation grows.
Sounds good, right? Hereâ€™s the problem – thereâ€™s very little to actually do, other than navigate menus, make a few choices when prompted and send your men into out into the unknown. Battles are done automatically and itâ€™s nigh impossible to play peacefully as neighbouring civilizations turn on you in a flash. I found that the best thing to do was to wipe out any nearby civilizations as soon as possible; when trying to play peacefully the game was usually over within twenty minutes or so.
Itâ€™s by no means a bad game. I just expected it to be a little more involving.