First rate strategy experience
Power hungry gamers who want to take on the world would be well advised to check out Imperialism, as it offers plenty of Civilization-style empire building and strategy in a near perfect package. Inspired by the real-world period of global expansion in the 18th and 19th centuries, the game places players in the shoes of the ruler of a major country and charges them with becoming the most powerful nation on Earth. However, this being a complex and detailed sim, this can be achieved by a variety of means, from diplomacy and cunning where you manipulate lesser countries to suit your needs, to all-out military conquest where you crush your enemies into dust on the battlefield. A combination of approaches is really required, as of course your rivals won't just stand aside and let you have your own way and it is this open-ended and varied nature which is at the core of Imperialism's success. The game plays out in turn-based fashion, with players managing their resources, engaging in battle or exploration and trading and negotiating with other powers and the depth and variety of options on display here means that this is a highly challenging but never less than compelling game. Imperialism really is a classic example of the genre and is the perfect place to start if you are a newcomer to this style or game but which also provides much to entertain the veteran. The game impresses with its presentation and interface which are atmospheric and intuitive respectively, while the graphics are straightforward but effective and do a good job of replicating the mood of the period. However, it is the gameplay itself which is the star and which is complex but thrilling and thoughtful in equal measure and which is immensely satisfying. Really, if you want a new strategy game after having completed Civilization, Homeworld or Total War, or are keen to enter the genre, then this is what you want.