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Medieval Conquest

Score: 80%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Gathering
Developer: Cat Daddy Games
Media: CD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Real-Time Strategy/ Simulation

Graphics & Sound:

Iíll give Cat Daddy Games credit, Medieval Conquest is a fun little game that puts some interesting new spins on the RTS genre. If this were a game with top production value, rather than a budget title, it probably would have been a huge hit. As it stands, the lack of multiplayer and a few other polish issues keep it from reaching its full potential.

All things considered Medieval Conquest looks pretty darn good. Itís not very realistic, but this is a fantasy game with lots of humor in it so the exaggerated art style is probably far more appropriate. Being a strategy game more than an RPG, youíll also spend more time in a zoomed out view than the box-art would suggest. The variety of monsters is also very engaging. There are also lots of little special effects going on as well, especially with mages.

Since the game is filled to the brim with humor, the sound is generally pretty entertaining. The really strong British accents can get a little irritating, jokes or not, and while you donít get anything quite as good as the one-liners in Warcraft III, the gameís audio as a whole is probably built more around humor than any RTS Iíve ever seen.


Gameplay:

The basic idea in Medieval Conquest is that you hire, i.e. build, adventurers to kill monsters. There are no resources to collect other than gold, which you get primarily from adventurerís killing monsters. You can choose from three adventurer types: warrior, ranger, and mage. Hereís the rub though, you donít control them -- at least not directly. You can put them into groups and point to a spot on the map saying ďhunt hereĒ, but that is the extent of your control.

At this point, the game becomes a little like a sim game. Your adventurers level up over time and have needs such as rest, entertainment, new equipment and healing. They will leave their given hunting area to satisfy these needs. If the infrastructure youíve built canít satisfy their needs, they get pissy and will eventually leave.

Speaking of infrastructure, thatís the stuff you build; things like inns, trading posts, gambling dens, and even weapon and armor shops. Buildings are placed automatically when you build them and they usually have upgrades which cost money and time to finish. Some of the higher level buildings can get pretty pricey indeed.


Difficulty:

At first this is all relatively easy, but after you have a few separate settlements to worry about defending, and guys fighting monsters all over the place, you begin to run into problems. Aside from having enough money to do whatever you need to, the primary difficulty in the game comes from the fact that you only have secondary control over your adventurers. If you forget to build a certain type of building near some of your men, youíll get guys who start walking halfway across the map. As you can imagine, they donít accomplish very much while doing this.

Youíll also encounter fun situations where there will be some monsters beating down one of your buildings three inches from a group of adventurers and your men will insist on walking away to go kill something else, even if theyíre hunting area is set right on top of the building. So, there are a few minor AI issues here and there that can make things a little more frustrating than they should be.


Game Mechanics:

Without any multiplayer options and only 12 single player missions, Medieval Conquest can seem like a pretty small game. Another reason it doesn't seem quite as diverse as its older cousins is that there are only 4 maps in the game. To be fair, these are some pretty big maps and the infrastructure you built in the last mission will frequently carry over into the next. So if you just barely finished a mission by the seat of your pants with monsters razing your cities to the ground, you might be in big trouble during the next one.

If youíre a big RTS fan and think you might find a funny little game like this entertaining, then by all means go check Medieval Conquest out. If your primary fun from games like Age of Empires and Warcraft comes from the multiplayer aspect, then this may not be the game for you.


-Alucard, GameVortex Communications
AKA Stephen Triche

Minimum System Requirements:



Windows 98/Me/2000/XP; Pentium III 800mhz; 128MB of RAM; 900MB hard drive space; DirectX 9.0 compatible video card with 32MB RAM (64MB recommended)
 

Test System:



Windows XP; Pentium IV 2.8 ghz; 1024 MB of RAM; Radeon 9800 Pro with 256MB of memory; Sound Blaster Audigy 2

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