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Minimalist maritime combat thrills
For a rather unusual excursion into history that makes for a pleasant change from the usual strategy games, RAM! is well worth a look. Similar to the developer's own Circus Maximus, this one throws players into visceral (albeit minimal) historical combat and gives them the chance to get behind the wheel of an ancient weapon war. In this case, it's the trireme, the war ships used in Ancient Greece and the game takes place in the time of the Peloponnesian War, when Athens and Sparta faced off against each other. You take control of a fleet of triremes across a series of campaigns (although there's not much difference between them to be honest) and must engage computer-controlled opponents in a series of maritime engagements, using your skill as commander to best them. It's all pretty simple stuff, with the player issuing commands to manoeuver and ram the enemy with their tiny little ships but there's something strangely enjoyable about the whole affair. At first, it can be tricky to figure out what's going on, so the initial engagements tend to descend into utter chaos with alarming ease and frequency but once you've figured it all out, it all becomes a lot more fun and even a little strategic. There's not much to the game beyond the basics but what's here is enjoyable enough, especially if you can drag another human player into things. Don't expect to get excited by the graphics as they are minimalist to the extreme but if you enjoyed the aforementioned Circus Maximus game, then there are similar thrills to be found here.