All Features


  PlayStation 3
  PlayStation 4
  Wii U
  Xbox 360
  Xbox One


Poseidon: Zeus Official Expansion

Score: 85%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Sierra
Developer: Impressions Games
Media: CD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Miscellaneous/ Strategy

Graphics & Sound:

For the most part, Poseidon looks a whole lot like Zeus, which makes sense--this is, after all, an expansion pack. There are a number of new buildings, as the game centres around Atlantis, which runs on a different cultural level than Greece did. You'll see Bibliothekes instead of Gymnasiums, and Observatories instead of Theatres, as the Atlanteans are a terribly studious bunch. The other major new building that you'll see is more of a track; the Hippodrome lets you design a racetrack for people to bet at. But most of the buildings are the same between the two titles, and you'll find a lot of the same vibrant graphics and colourful sprites as you did in the original game.

The same goes for the sound. The various new character types all have new voice acting, but the old ones still have the same humourous lines. The music is solid, as are the sound effects, which is once again because they come wholesale from the original title. I've never been disappointed with the sounds of this game, and Poseidon keeps it up.


Poseidon keeps up the solid gameplay of the original release of Zeus as well. Having played both the Diablo II and the Baldur's Gate II expansion packs recently, Poseidon seems a little shallower--there are no sweeping changes in the game--but in the end Poseidon delivers precisely what it set out to deliver: a few little tweaks to the gameplay and many, many more hours of campaigning.

We've covered the core concepts of Impressions' line of city-building games before, and Poseidon is simply a refinement of the game mechanics you saw in Zeus, so everything I said in that review applies here. There are some changes in the game, though, which I'll touch on here.

First of all, there are a few new resources. You can now mine orichalc, which is used for some of the new structures. The same goes for black marble, which requires its own quarry. That seemed a little odd to me, but eh. Along with that, the various recreational methods that were used in Zeus have been replaced basically wholesale with scientific pursuits. They work identically, however, so they may as well be 'skins' for the game instead of any real gameplay change.

There are a number of other additions. You can now grow oranges and sell those or trade them to people, and you can build a Hippodrome and let people bet on the races there. There are a couple of new heroes--Bellepheron and Atalanta--and a couple of new gods and monsters to go along with them all. I'm glad that Hera's finally able to show Her face in the game; she's also the only deity able to stop Zeus from rampaging through your cities, as is appropriate. Some of the extant heroes have changed their tune slightly; Hercules now wants to be educated instead of entertained. And so on. You may also now build pyramids, which greatly increase the aesthetics of a place along with other undoubted advantages. New structures often require orichalc and black marble, making use of the new resources available.

Despite all of these changes, the core gameplay is the same. Poseidon comes with a number of new campaigns out of the box, ranging from easy to hard, and it comes with a level editor as well so you can make your own adventures. And that's the real draw of the expansion pack: many more hours spent clicking away at your cities. Fortunately, battles have been almost completely eliminated; since combat is unequivocally the weakest part of the original game, the de-emphasis in Poseidon is appreciated.


Depending on the campaign and scenario, the challenges can range from trivial to damned near impossible. Keeping your city running smoothly is a fine art, and once you think you've perfected it there's always something else you can do to make it run better. Make sure that you've played plenty of Zeus before you take on Poseidon, as the expansion pack definitely expects full knowledge of the basic mechanics of the original game.

Game Mechanics:

For the most part, Poseidon plays identically to Zeus. Sure, there are new structures to build, but those only take you a few minutes to figure out, and then things will be running as smoothly as they were before. The new structures and such do change around the optimal city layout, but any city-building oldschooler should have no problem with controlling Poseidon. The load times are minimal, the menus are easy to navigate, and the game plays without any major detectable problems.

Poseidon, despite the few added trappings that the game provides, basically adds on some extra stuff to the experience of Zeus. If you liked the original, you'll love the things that Poseidon adds to your experience, and the low price point makes it more than worth the investment. Those who didn't find much to like in the city-building experience of Zeus would do well to stay away from Poseidon, as the game's almost undistinguishable unless you've put in many hours of play.

-Sunfall to-Ennien, GameVortex Communications
AKA Phil Bordelon

Minimum System Requirements:

P166, 32MB RAM, 4x CD-ROM, 2MB video card, 775MB HD Space (includes original Zeus install)

Test System:

Athlon 1.1GHz running Win98 SE, 512MB RAM, GeForce 2 GTS w/ 32MB RAM, SoundBlaster Live!, 8x DVD-ROM

Windows Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor Sony PlayStation 2 Armored Core 2: Another Age

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated