Mediocre medieval shenanigans
Something of a little known strategy game from the 1990s, Betrayal is an interesting attempt at adding something to the fantasy market but unfortunately doesn't quite pull it off and comes across as more of a Defender of the Crown wannabe rather than a serious contender. As such, it's worth checking out by serious genre fans, but more casual players will be better off elsewhere. As is common in such games, the player takes control of a lord who seeks to take control of the land and is pitted against 3 opponents, who can be computer or human controlled. There's a nice mix of gameplay styles here, including strategy, diplomacy and a little bit of action and which helps to keep things interesting. There's all the standard elements to keep an eye on, like building villages, making the peasants pay taxes and of course combat, as you invade other towns or defend your own against your rivals, while you can also hire spies and assassins for a sneakier approach to victory. While all this sounds great on paper, unfortunately in practice it doesn't all hang together too well, with the various elements simply not executed well enough to make an overall decent game. Combat sequences for example are extremely easy to win, with poor computer AI that just never puts up a challenge. Visuals fare slightly better, with some nicely atmospheric environments and sprites that do a good job of conveying the grim and dirty period the game is set in but this really isn't enough to save the whole thing from being something of a mediocre experience that is perhaps best skimmed over.