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Evil Genius
(hx) 10:24 AM CET - Dec,31 2004

Evil Genius is a 1960's style strategy game where you play, what else, an evil genius trying to take over the world. In order to take over the globe, you must build, manage and defend your evil lair, train and send out minions and henchmen to complete daring missions, and simultaneously research a diabolical master plan.

The setting reminds one of the atmosphere in the first No One Lives Forever with 1960-like technology (mainframe computers and a control centre known as Evil Lair with huge world maps), dumber than dumb minions and sleek secret agents trying to infiltrate your headquarters and bypass your countless traps.

The actual gameplay is split neatly between base-construction and something called "world domination mode." At the beginning of the game, you arrive at the "deserted island of unknown location" with a lorry load of cash, a few faithful minions and a henchman or two. Building an efficient and well camouflaged base is one of the first things you have to do. However, base construction is a little tricky, especially at the beginning of the game. Fortunately, you're given a nice tutorial level which smoothly guides you, and makes that all important learning curve less steep. There are so many types of rooms to build for your base which all serve very important purposes. For instance, you need to build a training room to train up your minions, barracks to hold your minions, mess hall for your minions to eat, armories to hold weapons and interrogation devices for agents you capture. Each room will have many objects that come available to you to use like the interrogation chair. You can also place a variety of different traps around the base, and link them to a variety of triggers.

Once the basics are laid out, you will start training up minions and henchmen, get some technicians working in the research lab, and organize a few missions to cause mayhem around the world. Using the World Domination Map, you can send minions and henchmen on special missions such as kidnapping, extorting, murdering and stealing precious items. You can have them all over the world stealing and plotting for you. This earns you money and notoriety - the main resources in the game. Notoriety can also be gained by capturing agents, torturing them and gloating.

Overall, this game is definitely not for everyone. Evil Genius requires patient planning and game play, avoiding the usual click-fests that most real-time strategy games become. There is a very high learning curve to the game, which I guess isn't surprising considering how complex it is. The first few hours of the game consist of learning how to use all the game's features, followed by a few slow hours of amassing cash and waiting for missions to end. But as I mentioned, the game has a very good tutorial that will help you learn the basics and the rest of the game gives you many tips in video form. There's even an encyclopedia that you can use to learn what everything is in the game. While the game does have some small flaws and balance issues overall this game is highly addictive, fun, full of humor and packed with enough gameplay to keep you playing for many hours. If you're a fan of the Dungeon Keeper series or James Bond movies, give Evil Genius a try.

Related links: homepage, demo (204MB), patch 1.01.

System Requirements
Minimum: Pentium III 800 MHz or higher, 128MB RAM, GeForce 2 MX 16MB or equivalent DirectX 9 compatible video card, 300 MB (approx.) free hard drive space (additional space required for Windows swap-file and DirectX 9.0b installation), 16x CD-ROM drive, DirectX 9.0b Compatible Sound Card, MS compatible mouse,Keyboard
Recommended: Pentium 4 1.5 GHz, 256MB RAM, GeForce 3 or equivalent with 64 MB RAM, Sound Blaster Audigy 2, 24x CD-ROM drive

snd: 4/5 - solid, well done sound effects, good voice acting, great soundtrack
gfx: 4/5 - look like a comic, bright and colorful exactly like you would expect from a campy 60's spy theme, animation are top notch, cinematic cutscenes are wonderful, effective 3D top-down isometric viewing perspective
playability: 4/5 - pretty addictive, so you'll get hours and hours of fun from it, well designed interface, unlocking items and traps through research is pretty satisfying, high learning curve, confusing objectives, balancing issues, no multiplayer
genre: strategy
release: September 2004
developer: Elixir Studios
the game is similar to: Dungeon Keeper 1/2, Startopia
publisher: Vivendi Universal Games
Overall: 82%

last 10 comments:

Nosferatu(09:46 PM CET - Jan,01 2005 )
I've got the game. Didn't play through too far, but I can say, that the humour is really great and the game itself is very stylish.

Anonymous(12:40 AM CET - Jan,09 2005 )
I've got a problem with this game. The background is all white. I can see the caracters and I can see the sea and the shadows of the trees. But what is making this problem and how can I solve it?
Anyone else got this problem?

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