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Average exploration sim
The German Design Group is known for their management/strategy games like Heirs to the Throne and while these later releases were pretty decent, this early example is somewhat lacking in appeal. Although reminiscent of our own Age of Exploration, when the world was full of the unknown and adventure, the game is actually set in a fictional world and charges players with exploring, conquering and trading, while attempting to establish their own new empire. Gameplay is divided into a number of phases with various activities available in each, like building cities and engaging in combat with any enemies you might come across, with both sea and land battles available to enjoy. There are a few good options on display here, like the variety of goods that can be traded or the ships that are available but unfortunately, while the game is initially intriguing, it doesn't take long for its faults to become apparent. While combat is quite interesting, requiring some tactical thinking, strategic use of resources and your troops' experience, other features don't fare so well. The visual presentation is distinctly sub-par, with bland graphics that are lacking in detail, while the main gameplay is also lacking in depth and anything really approaching fun. Spoils of War isn't a disaster, it is simply lacking in good design mechanics, which thus restricts its appeal to the dedicated strategy sim fan. For those after a more rewarding experience, then check out GDG's Heirs to the Throne, Machiavelli the Prince or High Seas Trader.