A great game made better!
If the idea of The Settlers series, with its blend of empire building, casual strategy and occasional bouts of combat have ever appealed to, then this Gold Edition of the second game in the franchise is a must play. Even if you have played the game, which is arguably the best one in the series, then there is still plenty to interest you as there is bunch of new content to explore and which breathes life in a classic. If you've never played the game, it's basically a strategy sim where you build and develop your city, making use of various workers and their unique skills to construct new buildings, which then opens up even more skills. The game requires plenty of resource management, with things like harvesting and efficient transport networks key to your success, while the other settlers out in the wilderness will also come into your growing empire, which is where the combat comes in. In addition to the base game, which is enjoyable enough by itself, this edition adds in The Mission CD, which was a standalone release that brought in a new campaign story as well as some new maps, as well as a nice bonus in the form of a full world atlas. However, the big draw is the inclusion of over a hundred fan-made custom maps which were the victors in a competition held by the developers and which provide some new clever and inventive ways in which to enjoy the game. Even without the extras, The Settlers 2 is a great little strategy sim, which mixes in elements of SimCity, Civilization and other such releases to create a highly replayable game. However, their addition just makes a good game even better and as such this should definitely be on your list of things to check out.