Lord Monarch

Strategy 1999 Windows Nihon Falcom Empire management Fantasy

Bizarre but enjoyable empire builder

This is a rather excellent slice of strategy wargaming that manages to transcend the usual cliches of the fantasy genre to create an enjoyable and complex little game that combines opportunities for tactics with a compelling storyline to great effect. Players take control of a spoiled 16 year old who is being sent into battle by his father the king in order to prove his worth as a prince. Of course, this being a videogame, this doesn't involve doing charitable deeds or the like, but instead means commanding armies and engaging in combat with your enemies, crushing them into the ground as you go. There are also quite a few opportunities for empire-building, with alliances to be made and a simple diplomacy system, while your peasants must be ordered to carry out engineering duties as well as fulfilling a fighting role. There's treasure to be found while other cities can also be forced into paying taxes to further swell your coffers, while the combat itself is quite strategic and requires some planning and tactical thought. Lord Monarch really is quite the unexpected gem. Its Japanese stylings and approach to the genre are highly appealing and while it may not be instantly appealing thanks to its somewhat bland visuals and initially confusing layout, if you give it time, it soon sucks you into its world. There's a lot of detail on display here and a pleasing amount of complexity in the amount of tasks you are required to perform, so it will keep you firmly on your toes as you attempt to manage your empire successfully. If you're on the lookout for something a bit unusual to sink your teeth into, this should more than fit the bill.

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