Pax Romana

Strategy 2003 Windows 1C Company Historical Board games

For Rome!

Following closely in the footsteps of strategy games like Europa Universalis, this is an unfortunately ropy bit of historical gaming that is probably best avoided. It's main issues are a lack of polish, some poorly thought out mechanics and an awkward and frustrating interface. It's a shame really, as there's the makings of a good strategy game here, but ultimately it's just too irritating to be enjoyable. As you might expect, this is a real time strategy game set in the glory days of Rome, and you're basically in charge of keeping this mighty empire running. There are two main gameplay modes here, the strategic mode, where you concentrate on trade, getting resources, expanding your borders, and of course declaring war if things go pear-shaped, and the political mode where you're in control of one of six historical factions, each of which has their own specific goals. There's also a scenario editor, so you can come up with your own situations, but the game does feature a number of real world ones to play through, including the Punic Wars and the rise of Caesar. On paper, this sounds like a fine strategy title. It's got most of the elements for a great entry in the genre, with lots of opportunities for depth and tactics, while the real world setting is also highly appealing. However, the game muffs pretty much everything, from the clumsy interface which is just a pain to use, to the uninteresting visuals and the punishing difficulty level. Throw in some baffling gameplay mechanics and you're left with a game which is simply not fun.

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