PRE-20TH CENTURY (PART I OF IV)

INDEX

A B C

Select the first letter of the title from the list above to jump to the appropriate section of the glossary.

Click Here to return to Table of Contents


- A -

ADVANCED CIVILIZATION
(I-95 CD) Avalon Hill; Norv Brooks; 1995; **
Int/Land/Str
1-8; M

Based on Avalon Hill's board game and bearing no relation whatsoever to MicroProse's CIVILIZATION, this was a semi-abstracted game of the beginnings of civilization. The game appeared to run in real-time -- i.e., it seemed to take centuries for the computer to take its turn. Recommended for those for whom time (and life) lacks meaning.

ADMIRAL: ANCIENT SHIPS
(I-95 CD) MegaMedia/Merdian 93; xxx; 1997/CANCELLED
Int/Nav/Op
1-4; M

The sequel to ADMIRAL: SEA BATTLES, it covered naval operations of Greece, Egypt and Rome with mythical sea monsters added for flavor.  Based upon the success of its predecessor, it was never released.

ADMIRAL: SEA BATTLES
(I-95 CD) MegaMedia/Merdian 93; xxx; 1996; ***
Int/Nav/Op
1-2; M

An ahistorical simulation of naval sail, this game offered decent graphics and gameplay. However, there was no attempt to reflect historical reality and there were only a limited number of missions. In many ways, it resembled an updated version of ANCIENT WAR AT SEA.   Interestingly enough, both the program and the manual omitted any mention of designer credits.

AFRICANUS
(see HANNIBAL AT THE GATES)

AGE OF EMPIRES
(I-95 CD) MicroSoft; Bruce Shelley; 1997; ****+
Int/Land/Op-Str
1-multi; M

The blockbuster game for Christmas 1997, it was a real-time CIVILIZATION.  Twelve civilizations (e.g., Assyrian, Egyptian) and a plethora of scenarios and campaigns yielded a highly-recommended package of entertainment.  Although the graphics were superb, the "lessons learned" have no relation to history, the time scale was ludicrous, and time spent on this was wasted.  So why do I keep returning to it?  Answer -- it is simply addictive! 

AGE OF EMPIRES: RISE OF ROME EXPANSION
(I-95 CD) MicroSoft; Sandy Peterson; 1998; ****+
Int/Land/Op-Str
1-multi; M

A sequel to AGE OF EMPIRES, it added the Roman Empire (together with Carthage, Palmyra and Macedonia).  As before, history takes a back seat to entertainment, but the entertainment is top-notch!   Highly recommended.

AGE OF EMPIRES II
(I-95 CD) MicroSoft; Bruce Shelley; 1999; *****
Int/Land/Op-Str
1-multi; M

A guilty pleasure -- yes, the historical model was ridiculous; yes, the attrition warfare could become tedious ... and yet, the program was simply addictive.  Superb graphics coupled with superb gameplay made this even better than its predecessor.  However, next time, hopefully they will make the farms self-generating.  A warning:  beware of the official guidebooks -- generally, the solutions were for unfinished scenarios and the hints are misleading at best.  The only valid history consisted of the introductions to each scenario but gameplay is so creative (if frustrating at times) that it was immaterial.

AGE OF EMPIRES II EXPANSION:  CONQUERORS
(I-95 CD) MicroSoft; Bruce Shelley; 2000; *****
Int/Land/Op-Str
1-multi; M

The fun continued -- more and better.  This time, they allowed queuing up the farms so one did not have to spend as much time in pastoral activities.  Again, not real history, but superb fun and gameplay.

AGE OF IRONCLADS
(I-95 CD) TalonSoft; Jim Rose; 2000/CANCELLED
Int/Nav/Op
1-2; M

Second in the NAVAL Series, this was to cover ironclad/riverine warfare between 1862 and 1875. Although the ironclads were a "sea-change" in the evolution of naval warfare, their tenure in the pantheon of history was a short-lived one.

AGE OF OARS
(I-95 CD) TalonSoft; Jim Rose; 2000/CANCELLED
Int/Nav/Op
1-2; M

Third in the NAVAL Series, this was to cover naval warfare from ancient times to c. 1100 (thereby omitting the Battle of Lepanto, . one of the decisive battles history and the last major oared battle in history (1571)).

AGE OF RIFLES
(I CD) Strategic Simulations, Inc.; Norm Koger; 1996; ***+
Int/Land/Tac
1-2; M

A detailed examination of tactical warfare from the Mexican War (1846) to the Russo-Japanese War (1905), this allowed the gamer to "dervishly" beat up on Fuzzy-Wuzzies to his heart's content. With a scenario editor that was relatively easy to use, a plethora of scenarios have become available over the Internet covering the obscure and not-so-obscure battles of the 19th Century. Remember, a repeating rifle generally beats a bow and arrow, unless one grows too ambitious ... My personal feeling is that the scenarios were in fact too generic, and I was never able to discern in game terms the basic advantage of the needle-gun in the Franco-Prussian War or why certain rifle advances occurred in certain times. But if the history was a little weak, the game value was pretty strong.

AGE OF SAIL
(I-95 CD) TalonSoft; Jim Rose; 1996; ****+
Int/Nav/Tac
1-2; M

First in the NAVAL Series, this was the "class act" of contemporary sailing simulations, offering over a hundred scenarios as well as a design editor. While the campaign and victory conditions were somewhat weak and boarding actions were covered in absentia, the overall tenor of this game made it a "must have" for anyone interested in the period.  While not a commercial success, it was the "best of breed".

AGE OF SAIL II
(I-95 CD) Take 2/TalonSoft; Jim Rose; 2001; ***
Int/Nav/Tac
1-multi; M

The sequel, with more and better ... Now it included scenarios close to shore (e.g., Battle of the Nile, Battle of Copenhagen).  However, it definitely could have been improved by more development time.  Like a lesson in economics, one quickly learns to save early and save often.  Make sure to download the latest patches; the game as initially released is close to unplayable.

AGE OF WONDERS
(I-95 CD) G.O.D./Triumph; Lennart Sas; 1999; UNRATED
Int/Land/Tac-Op
1-12; M

A real-time strategy game of gods, fantasy and combat.

ALEXANDER, GREAT BATTLES OF
(I-95 CD) Interactive Magic/Erudite Software; Mark Herman, Gene Billingsley and Ken Meads; 1997; ***+
Adv/Land/Tac-Op
1-2; M

A faithful computer conversion of the best paper Macedonian battle simulation ever done, this was grognard grist. Covering Alexander's most famous battles, a campaign version allowed the player to emulate the Macedonian glory days. Detailed graphics and gameplay offered a fascinating insight into ancient battle tactics and maneuver; an "UNDO" key would have been appreciated. WARNING: in the campaign, the Battle of Pelium is the second scenario; this is difficult to win and may require multiple replays. Remember, use the strategic offensive coupled with a tactical defensive. Released anew with a scenario editor and coupled with GREAT BATTLES OF HANNIBAL and GREAT BATTLES OF CAESAR as GREAT BATTLES (COLLECTOR'S EDITION).

AMERICA
(I-95 CD) Data Becker/Related Designs; Thomas Pottkamper, Andreas Liebeskind and Stefan Binder; 2001; UNRATED
Int/Land/Op
1-8; M

A quasi-AGE OF EMPIRES clone, but representing four "tribes" -- Native Americans, Settlers, Mexicans, Outlaws.

AMERICAN CIVIL WAR: FROM SUMTER TO APPOMATTOX
(I-95 CD) Interactive Magic; Frank Hunter; 1996; ***+
Adv/Land/Op-Str
1-2; M

The third iteration of ROAD FROM SUMTER TO APPOMATTOX,, this version has been "cleaned up" for general distribution. The manual could well stand improvement and the game itself required a serious commitment. There was no tactical module, but the scenarios and options with their emphasis on economic, military and diplomatic aspects cannot be faulted. Overall, there was no question that it is the best simulation of the American Civil War ever released, but playability is not among its strong points.

AMERICAN CIVIL WAR SOLDIER
(Mac) Design, Inc.; xxx; 2000; UNRATED
Int/Land/Tac
1-2; M

Elements of various Civil War battles at a tactical level.  Turn-based, commands were issued through officers and NCOs (with the higher ranking officer having the ability to control a greater number of troops.

AMERICAN REVOLUTION
{cf. CAMPAIGN 1776: THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION}

ANCIENT ART OF WAR
(Ap/I/M) Broderbund; Dave and Barry Murray; 1984; ***+
Beg/Land/Tac
1-2

A tactical rendition of various "battles", this product was an enjoyable game, but any relation to history was purely coincidental. Many of the scenarios were unbalanced, although the game was easy to learn and one of the first to have its own scenario editor.

ANCIENT ART OF WAR AT SEA
(Ap/I/M) Broderbund/Evryware; Dave and Barry Murray; 1987; ***
Beg/Nav/Tac
1-2

Using a system similar to ANCIENT ART OF WAR, it played well as a game, but not as a serious study. In fact, optimal game tactics encouraged the use of single ships to defeat enemy fleets as opposed to fleet actions.

ANCIENT BATTLES
(I) CCS; R.T. Smith; 1989; ***+
Int/Land/Op
1-2

One of the more serious simulations, this covered the Battles of Hydaspes (326 BC), Zama (202 BC), Cynocephalae (197 BC), Pharsalus (44 BC), and Chalons (451 AD). The graphics were not inspiring when released, but they were functional; a scenario generator allowed user expansion. Much of its rating success was due to the fact that it faced no competition; ancient warfare was simply ignored by the game designers and publishers at this time.

ANNALS OF ROME
(C/ST/Am/I) Electronic Arts/PSS; A.D. Boyse and J.D. Langdale-Brown; 1988; ****
Int/Land/Str
1

A grand strategic view of the Roman Republic and Empire, this simulation offered many innovative concepts. However, it was graphically dull and suffered from a lack of completeness. Despite its flaws, it succeeded on many levels. (Note that the 16-bit versions were much more playable than the 8-bit ones)

ANTIETAM
(At/Ap/C/I) Strategic Simulations, Inc.; Chuck Kroegel and David Landrey; 1985; ***+
Adv/Land/Tac-Op
1-2

A detailed simulation of the Civil War battle, it was detailed and relatively accurate (although the map was reversed, with north being portrayed at the bottom of the map). McClellan's "slows" were depicted in a frustrating lack of command control which reveals just how golden was the Union's opportunity to destroy the Army of Northern Virginia in a set-piece battle.

ANTIETAM
(I) SJ Games; John Steely; 1992; UNRATED
Int/Land/Op
2

The Civil War battle; no other information available.

ANTIETAM (BATTLEGROUND 5)
(I-95 CD) TalonSoft; Jim Rose and John Tiller; 1996; ***+
Int/Land/Op
1-2; M

The best simulation of the Civil War battle currently available. Graphically pleasing, with a smooth interface and challenging gameplay.

ANTIETAM, SID MEIER'S
(I-95 CD) Firaxis; Sid Meier and Joe Balkowski; 1999; ***+
Int/Land/Op
1-2; M

The sequel to SID MEIER'S GETTYSBURG, utilizing the same system.  Actually, the game design worked somewhat better for this battle, since its real-time mode almost forced the user into McClellanesque decision-making.

ARMADA
(I/ST) PSS; Peter Turcan; 1990; ***
Adv/Nav/Op
1

A British product, this covered the defeat of the Spanish Armada (1588) by a motley crew of English adventurers, opportunists and patriots. Using a "commander viewpoint" and typed-in commands, it was somewhat difficult to learn the basic system, but it presented a unique perspective. cf. also WATERLOO, BORODINO.

AUSTERLITZ
(C/Am/ST/I/) Cornerstone; Stephen Beckett and Steven Krenek; 1989; **+
Int/Land/Op
0-2

The Napoleonic Battle of Three Emperors, it was a logical successor to Krentek's earlier products (NAPOLEON AT WATERLOO and BORODINO: 1812). Incremental improvements did not disguise the fact that the graphics and play value were obsolete when released.

AUSTERLITZ
(M) By Design; Owen Gwynne; 1996; UNRATED
Int/Land/Op
1-2

Part of the MusketFire Series (cf. also BORODINO, WATERLOO), this was an operational wargame. A newer and upgraded version is planned shortly.

AZTEC: EMPIRE OF BLOOD
(I) MicroProse/Discovery Games; Laszlo Tilli; 1995/CANCELLED
Int/Land/Op-Str
1-2

An interesting concept, this product was a simulation of the last years of the Aztec Empire. While the clan formations of the Aztecs often were more democratic institutions than the Spanish monarchy, any opportunity to determine one's place in the sun was doomed -- the project was sacrificed upon the altar of business sense.  Later, renamed and released as THEOCRACY by a different publisher.

Back to Top

- B -

BANDIT KINGS OF ANCIENT CHINA
(Am/M/I) Koei; Kou Shibusawa; 1989; ***
Adv/Land/Op-Str
1-5

A "simulation" of 12th century China, the game utilized magic as well as Chinese medieval strategic play. One of the more esoteric computer games ever designed insofar as subject matter is concerned.

BATTLES IN TIME
(I CD) QQP; Bruce Williams; 1996; *
Int/Land/Op
1-2; M

Taking a page from numerous TV dramas (e.g., TIME TUNNEL, QUANTUM LEAP), science fiction (LORD KALVAN, TIME PATROL) and Jim Dunnigan's hex-based paper wargame TIME TRIPPER, this product betrayed its ancestors. Poor graphics, poor gameplay and a suspicious sameness in historical weapons lethality (e.g., a flying dinosaur had the same effect as a modern bomber) betrayed this as a poor swan song for QQP.

BATTLES OF NAPOLEON
(Ap/C/I) Strategic Simulations, Inc.; Chuck Kroegel; 1988; ****+
Adv/Land/Tac
1-2

A detailed tactical study of the Napoleonic Wars, this product lacked the graphic flash of more popular designs, but its play value and historical accuracy mandated its acquisition for anyone interested in the period. Included scenarios were portions of the Battles of Borodino, Auerstadt, Quatre Bras, and Waterloo plus a scenario editor. Later packaged as part of the DEFINITIVE WARGAME COLLECTION.

BATTLES OF NAPOLEON SCENARIO PACK
(I) Novastar Games; David Landrey, Chuck Kroegel and Michael Merritt; 1993; ***+
Adv/Land/Tac
1-2

Wargamers love scenario editors, but few gamers are capable of designing a truly interesting scenario. Here, the hard work has been done; the scenarios (Napoleonic and American Revolution) were ready to play.

BETRAYAL
(C/Am/ST/I) Rainbird; Harvey Stroud; 1991; UNRATED
Int/Land/Op-Str
1-4

An economic, military and political game of the medieval era; produced in Britain and not available in the United States.

BLACKBEARD
(I) Avalon Hill; Lawrence Bernstein and Ronda Linyard; 1995/CANCELLED
Int/Nav/Tac-Op
1

A conversion of the boardgame, this was supposed to be a PIRATES-plus simulation of the Golden Age of Piracy. Instead, it "walked the plank."

BLUE & GRAY, EDWARD GRABOWSKI'S
(I CD) Impressions; Edward Grabowski; 1993; **
Int/Land-Nav/Op-Str
1-2

The American Civil War, with all the wrong lessons. The strategic conceptualization was simply wrong, and the tactical battles seemed to have little reference to history. As a game, it could be fun; as history, it was a disaster. Individual battles could be "zoomed", although the accuracy of such play brought the very concept into question. Admirable for what it tried to do, the problem was that it failed to reflect its subject matter.

BLUE POWDER/GRAY SMOKE
(Ap/C/I) Garde; Ralph Bosson; 1987; ***
Int/Land/Tac-Op
1-2

A Civil War tactical game covering portions of the Battles of Sharpsburg, Gettysburg, and Chickamauga. It utilized an interesting graphical approach, but one which became tedious and distracting. An ambitious design, but one which did not meet with critical or consumer success. The designer disappeared from the computer scene shortly after its release.

BORODINO: 1812
(A/C/I) Krentek; Steve Krenek and Stephen Beckett; 1987; ***
Int/Land/Tac-Op
1-2

The Napoleonic battle covered in an operational approach; the game was playable, although the graphics were not state-of-the-art even in 1987.

BORODINO
(I/ST) PSS; Peter Turcan; 1990; ***
Adv/Land/Op
1

A British simulation of the Napoleonic battle utilizing the "commander's eye" approach (cf. WATERLOO, ARMADA). Never released in the United States.

BORODINO
(M) By Design; Owen Gwynne; 1996; UNRATED
Int/Land/Op
1-2

Part of the MusketFire Series (cf. also AUSTERLITZ, WATERLOO), this was an operational wargame. A newer and upgraded version is planned shortly.

BORODINO (BATTLEGROUND 6)
{released as NAPOLEON IN RUSSIA}

BRAVEHEART
(I-95 CD) Eidos/Red Lemon; Darren Hedges; 1999; **
Int/Land/Op-Str
1-4; M

Movie tie-ins are rarely successful when translated into computer games.  This simulation of William Wallace and the battle for Scottish Independence appeared to have utilized most of its resources for the title and Mel Gibson.  The game itself was strategically weak and required an exorbitant amount of disk space for what was minimal enjoyment.  After playing the game, one could understand why "drawing and quartering" was used as a punishment.

BROADSIDES
(At/Ap/C) Strategic Simulations, Inc.; Wayne Garris; 1983; *****
Beg/Nav/Tac
1

The first successful ship-to-ship simulation of Napoleonic warfare, it had good entertainment value. While some maneuvers are over-simplified (e.g., tacking), it remained the standard for several years -- despite a depressingly lengthy loading time for each engagement.

BUCCANEER
(I-95 CD) Strategic Simulations, Inc.; Roy Gibson; 1997; **+
Int/Nav/Tac-Op
1-4; M

Role-playing in the mode of PIRATES, but lacking the historical background, the variable missions, the life experience.   In summation, a design boasting good graphics but lesser game design mechanics; it simply lacked a life of its own.

BULL RUN
(I) SJ Games; John Steely; 1992; UNRATED
Int/Land/Op
2

The Civil War battle; no other information available.

BULL RUN (BATTLEGROUND 7)
(I-95 CD) TalonSoft; Jim Rose and John Tiller; 1997; ***
Int/Land/Op
1-2; M

A continuation of TalonSoft's BATTLEGROUND-series, this had all the strengths and weaknesses attributable thereto. Overall, its play value and historical accuracy were high, although the manual did appear rather weak on historical background, and the game itself often appeared too generic.

BY FIRE & SWORD
(I) Avalon Hill; Steve Estvanik; 1985; **
Int/Land/Op
1-6

A semi-historical abstraction of medieval warfare, this game lived down to Avalon Hill's early standards in computer gaming.

Back to Top

- C -

CAESAR
(Am/I) Impressions; David Lester; 1993; ***
Int/Land/Op-Str
1

SIM CITY in Rome; begin as a low ranking Roman bureaucrat and work up to "The Purple". More of a game than a simulation, but it was be fun. Interlocked with COHORT 2 for tactical combat, although why bother?

CAESAR II
(I CD) Impressions; David Lester & Chris Foster; 1995; ***+
Int/Land/Op-Str
1

The sequel, this Roman SIM CITY succeeded on many levels. Again, gaming was stressed more than simulation, but its enhanced environment, graphics and entertainment values made Rome the place to be.

CAESAR III
(I-95 CD) Sierra/Impressions; David Lester; 1998; ****
Int/Land/Op-Str
1

The new and improved version, with a multitude of improvements.   Overall, the game has become much more SIM-like, and terrain and urban design have become much more important. 

CAESAR, GREAT BATTLES OF
(I-95 CD) Interactive Magic/Erudite Software; Mark Herman, Gene Billingsley and Dan Masterson; 1998; ***+
Adv/Land/Tac-Op
1-2; M

Third in the GREAT BATTLE series, this was based on the GMT boardgame by Mark Herman and Richard Berg. It covered the battles of the waning days of the Roman Republic with emphasis on the campaigns of Julius Caesar.   While one of the better games on ancient warfare, it was disappointing that a scenario editor was not included.  Released anew with a scenario editor and coupled with GREAT BATTLES OF ALEXANDER and GREAT BATTLES OF HANNIBAL as GREAT BATTLES (COLLECTOR'S EDITION).

CAMPAIGN 1776: THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION
(I-95 CD) HPS; John Tiller; 2000; UNRATED
Int/Land/Op-Str
1-2; M

Initially, a  saga of woe and disillusion which was to be played out by the lawyers.  Designed as a game using a modified BATTLEGROUND-type engine, the question was whether it was too close to TalonSoft's proprietary designs.  Cancelled in 1999, it was resurrected the following year. 

CAMPAIGN 1776:  EXPANSION PACK 1
(I-95 CD) HPS; Andrew Wagenhoffer; 2000; UNRATED
Int/Land/Op-Str
1-2; M

An expansion set, which included the Saratoga Campaign.

CAMPAIGN ECKMUHL
(I-95 CD) HPS; John Tiller; 2001; UNRATED
Adv/Land/Op-Str
1-2; M

An operational study of one of Napoleon's lesser-known battles.

CASTLES
(Am/I) Interplay; Brian Fargo; 1991; ***
Int/Land/Tac
1

Construction and defense of Middle Ages upscale residential housing; graphically well-done and initially fascinating to watch, it quickly became tedious. Was there a game in here, or was it a software toy?

CASTLES: THE NORTHERN CAMPAIGN
(I) Interplay; Brian Fargo; 1992; **+
Int/Land/Tac
1

An expansion to CASTLES, with additional scenarios, but no real change to gameplay.

CASTLES II: SIEGE AND CONQUEST
(I) Interplay; Vince DeNardo; 1992; ***+
Int/Land/Op
1

The sequel to CASTLES, only emphasizing gameplay at a higher level. Much more of a wargame than the former, and worthy of examination by anyone interested in the period.

CEDAR MOUNTAIN
(I) SJ Games; John Steely; 1989; UNRATED
Int/Land/Op
2

The Civil War battle; no other information available.

CENTURION: DEFENDER OF ROME
(Am/I) Electronic Arts; Kellyn Beck; 1990; ***
Int/Land/Op-Str
1

A graphical tour de force, a historic tour de farce. Chariot racing, gladiatorial combats, and detailed military battles would seem to be the answer to an Emperor's dream. However, any resemblance to history was purely coincidental. At the time, its graphics buttressed its rating; in terms of gameplay, it deserved only two stars.

CHAMPION OF THE RAJ
(Am/ST/I) Level 9; xxx; 1991; UNRATED
Int/Land/Str
1-6

A strategic struggle to achieve British control and dominion over the Indian sub-continent in the heyday of Imperialism. A British import, it was never released in the United States.

CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE, THE
(Am/ST/I) Impressions; Edward Grabowski; 1991; UNRATED
Int/Land/Tac
1

A recreation of one of the most idiotic military "battles" ever fought. Mediocre graphics and poor user interface; never released in the U.S. (available in Britain only).

CHICKAMAUGA
(A) GDW/Worlds to Conquer; Frank Chadwick; 1985; *+
Int/Land/Tac-Op
1-2

A board game company's foray into the computer simulation market, this Civil War battle game was marred by poor graphics and slow play.

CHICKAMAUGA
(I) SJ Games; John Steely; 1992; UNRATED
Int/Land/Op
2

The Civil War battle; no other information available.

CHICKAMAUGA
(M) By Design; Owen Gwynne; 1997; UNRATED
Int/Land/Op
1-2

Part of the CannonFire Series (cf. also GETTYSBURG, SHILOH), this was an operational wargame.

CHICKAMAUGA (BATTLEGROUND 9)
(I-95 CD) TalonSoft; Jim Rose and John Tiller; 1999; ****
Int/Op
0-2; M

The final BATTLEGROUND, this offered a detailed treatment of the battles of Chickamauga and Murfreesboro. 

CHICKAMAUGA, REBEL CHARGE AT
(At/Ap/C/Am/I) Strategic Simulations, Inc.; Chuck Kroegel; 1987; ***+
Int/Land/Op
1-2

Another of SSI's Civil War battles, this covered the subject quite well, although the battle itself degenerated into a confused slugfest through the ubiquitous heavily-wooded terrain. Often resembling a World War I battle of attrition, only the title divulged the period.

CIVILIZATION
(Am/M/I) MicroProse; Sid Meier; 1991; *****
Int/Land/Str
1

A "Sid Meier classic"; civilization from 4000 BC to 2100 AD. More addictive than crack, it should have come with its own warning label. The only deficiency was that it was so rich and textured that the documentation was incomplete, thereby almost necessitating the purchase of the strategy guide.

CIVILIZATION II
(I-95) MicroProse; Sid Meier; 1996; ****+
Int/Land/Str
1

The sequel, and an even richer and more textured experience. There was no question that this was a "must-have", yet as a sequel, it did lack some of the joie de vivre and novelty that its predecessor possessed. Still, it did more and has replaced its antecedent as the "One Game to Have" when you're having only one.

CIVILIZATION II: SCENARIOS
(I-95 CD) MicroProse; Mick Uhl; 1996; ***+
Int/Land/Str
1

A series of scenarios for CIVILIZATION II ranging from Alexander the Great to the Third World War. Although interesting, the game system was not really constructed for historical simulation. Thus, the scenarios were interesting for graphics and units, but contributed only marginal value to game enjoyment.

CIV II: FANTASTIC WORLDS
(I-95 CD) MicroProse; Mick Uhl; 1997; ****
Int/Land/Str
1

A series of scenarios for CIVILIZATION II ranging from reptilian worlds to science fiction conflict.  However, a scenario editor was included which allowed the user to create his own worlds.

CIVILIZATION II: TEST OF TIME
(I-95 CD) MicroProse; Sid Meier and Mick Uhl; 1999; ***
Int/Land/Str
1-multi; M

Quasi-"shovelware", this consisted of CIVILIZATION II plus two add-ons:  UNIVERSE OF LALANDE 21185 and WORLD OF MIDGARD (futuristic and fantasy scenarios, respectively).  While certain minor problems were corrected, a major defect was added -- the character set was now semi-obscured so that the "improvement" in graphics was actually a defect.

CIVILIZATION: CALL TO POWER
(I-95 CD) Activision; Cecilia Barajas, Mark Lamia and Steve Mariotti; 1999; **+
Int/Land/Str
1-8; M

Was it CIV 2-AND-A-HALF or CIV-TWO-AND-THREE-QUARTERS?  But this game was a Voltairean delight -- "the best of all possible worlds".  Of course, we know that means that it was less than optimal.  The interface was changed into something that only the designer's mother could love, and anyone familiar with prior versions had to spend hours unlearning past "lessons learned".  Additional chrome and expansions ostensibly led to greater play value, although the complete revision of "Wonders of the World" left one wondering what a wonder game design really was.  Overall, this was an adequate game with moderate gameplay which suffered by comparison to the pure addictiveness of its ancestors.  In effect, this was CIVILIZATION without the Sid Meier touch ...

CIVILIZATION: CALL TO POWER II
(I-95 CD) Activision; David White; 2000; ***
Int/Land/Str
1-8; M

 The sequel ...Interesting concepts still could not overcome a clumsy interface.

CIVILIZATION III
(I-95 CD) Infogrames/Firaxis; Sid Meier and Jeff Briggs; 2001; ***+/*****
Int/Land/Str
1; M

Although the franchise had taken an off-shoot direction, this was the true lineal descendant, which accounts for the rating.  While there have been several tweaks and whistles which substantially (although subtly) change the gameplay, the overall effect is not that different from its ancestors.  Thus, the game is a mandatory acquisition for those who have never played the game (or those who want to play it on the XP operating system)., but it is not all that necessary for experienced CIVers.  With CALL TO POWER showing the different roads that could have been taken, this road was the safest.

CIVIL WAR
(I) Avalon Hill; Steve Estvanik; 1988; 0
Adv/Land/Op-Str
1-2

Based on the Victory Games boardgame of the same title, this product covered the American Civil War (1861-1865). It showed how one can take a highly playable boardgame and turn it into an unplayable computer "product". Marred by incomplete rules, incomplete graphics and incomplete programming, CIVIL WAR stands out clearly in any "Crowd of Losers". Caveat emptor. Besides disappearing corps, the program had an annoying tendency to overwrite hard drives. My personal choice for "WORST COMPUTER GAME OF ALL TIME".

CIVIL WAR
(I) MicroProse; Sid Meier; 1995/CANCELLED
Int/Land-Nav/Op-Str
1-2

On again-off again; maven game designer Sid Meier was expected to produce the Gone with the Wind of computer wargaming. Only the Eastern Theater was to be covered; historically, the East was a stalemate, while the theater of decision proved to be the West. Victory was to be determined by whether or not Lincoln can manage to win reelection in 1864. The Holy Grail of wargaming, and just as elusive. Portions of this seem to have eventually surfaced as GETTYSBURG, SID MEIER'S.

CIVIL WAR
(I CD) Empire Interactive/Dagger Interactive; Adrian Earle; 1995; *+
Int/Land/Op-Str
1-2; M

A sequel to FIELDS OF GLORY, this was a strategic simulation of the Civil War in real time. Spotty documentation and a poor AI marred an intensive effort -- one which would often infuriate the player until the learning curve was overcome. My initial reaction was more positive than the game deserved; I was lulled into a sense of expectation given the options and historical background options.

CIVIL WAR, THE MASTER'S EDITION
(I CD) Empire Interactive/Dagger Interactive; Steve Honeywell; 1996; *
Int/Land/Op-Str
1-2; M

Yes, they continued to "improve" it. The end result was less documentation, more glitz, and an end state of nothing.

CIVIL WAR, CAMPAIGNS OF THE
(I-95 CD) TalonSoft; Jim Rose; 2001/CANCELLED
Int/Op-Str
1-2; M

A cancelled strategic simulation of the American Civil War.

CIVIL WAR GENERALS II
(I-95 CD) Sierra; Steve Grammont and Doug Gonya; 1997; ****
Int/Land/Op-Str
1-2; M

A sequel to ROBERT E. LEE: CIVIL WAR GENERAL, this product included campaigns in both Eastern and Western Theaters, a number of individual battle scenarios and a scenario editor.  Although some criticized the graphics, the gameplay more than made up for it.  And there was an innovative design concept -- victory was determined by seizing key terrain as determined by how hard the particular hexes were fought over. 

CIVIL WAR GENERALS III
(I-95 CD) Sierra; Jeffrey Fiske and Steve Serafino; 2000/[CANCELLED]
Int/Land/Op-Str
1-2; M

The next iteration in Sierra's Civil War system, this was supposed to add more economic and strategic decision-making.  However, the design team decided that the franchise had been fully marketed and that a further sequel was unnecessary.  

CIVNET
(I CD) MicroProse; Sid Meier; 1995; ***
Int/Land/Str
1-Multi; M

Multi-player CIVILIZATION on the Internet. Bug-ridden, one should be sure to access the Web for the latest patch, but if you want to experience a multi-player experience, this should fulfill expectations.

CLEAR FOR ACTION
(At) Avalon Hill; xxx; 1984; 0+
Int/Nav/Tac
1-2

Napoleonic naval warfare, this "Age of Sail" simulation was overpriced at any price. Marred by poor graphics, poor interface and marginal entertainment value.

CLEOPATRA
(I-95 CD) Sierra/Impressions; Chris Beatrice; 2000; ***
Int-Adv/Land/Op-Str
1

An expansion set to PHARAOH; actually in some ways more interesting than the basic engine.  Still ponderous and slow, its depth has a certain attractiveness, although its graphics requirements are somewhat steep.

COHORT
{released in the United States as FIGHTING FOR ROME}

COHORT II
(I) Impressions; Edward Grabowski; 1993; ***
Int/Land/Tac
1-2

An upgrade of COHORT; aside from an upgrade of graphics and gameplay, this version is part of an interlocking game system module with CAESAR, allowing the user to "drop down" and play out the tactical battles. But the actual implementation of tactics have little relation to history.

COLONIAL CONQUEST
(At/Ap/C/S) Strategic Simulations, Inc.; Dan Cermak; 1985; **+
Beg/Land-Nav/Op-St
1-6

A strategic simulation of 19th Century Europe attempting to dominate the globe, this was a very playable, albeit ahistorical, game. Supply and logistics are non-existent, and some strange results occurred (e.g., Japan invading Africa with 1,000,000 troops), but as a light diversion, it could be fun.

COLONIZATION
(I) MicroProse; Sid Meier; 1994; ***
Int/Land/Str
1

The follow-on to CIVILIZATION, it covered the colonization of the new World (1492-1800). Not quite as sweeping as CIVILIZATION, and historically suspect -- while slavery was not mentioned, Indian genocide was de rigeur, and the Golden Economic Triangle of Rum/Sugar/Slaves was omitted. Finally, the victory conditions mandate independence as the basis of success -- what does this say of Canada? Still an entertaining product, it was recently re-released as part of a "shovelware" package -- CONQUER THE WORLD.

COMPUTER NAPOLEONICS: THE BATTLE OF WATERLOO
(Ap) Strategic Simulations, Inc.; John Lyon and Joel Billings; 1980; UNRATED
Adv/Land/Op
1

The first computer simulation of Napoleon's most famous battle; clearly obsolescent. Notable for its appearance as a computer game and not as a gaming experience.

CONQUERED KINGDOMS
(I) QQP; Bruce Zaccagnino and Thurston Searfoss; 1993; **+
Int/Land/Op-Str
1-2; M

Medieval flavor with a touch of wizardry. Somewhat interesting for the "Swords & Sorcery" clique, but WARLORDS II is the game of choice for this market.

CONQUERED KINGDOMS SCENARIO DISK #1
(I) QQP; Bruce Zaccagnino and Thurston Searfoss; 1993; **+
Int/Land/Op-Str
1-2; M

Fourteen additional scenarios for CONQUERED KINGDOMS, no more, no less.

CONQUEROR: AD 1086
(I CD) Sierra/Time Warner; James R. Jones and Catherine Jones; 1995; **+
Int/Land/Tac-Op-Str
1

A game involving the consolidation of William the Conqueror's victories, it mixed role playing, strategic decision-making and tactical wargaming. While graphically intense, it was moderately barren in terms of history; a worthy successor to DEFENDER OF THE CROWN, which suffered from the same flaws. Like CENTURION, its rating owes more to graphics than gameplay.

CONQUER THE WORLD
(I CD) MicroProse; Sid Meier; 1997; **
Int/Land-Nav/Op-Str
1-2

"Shovelware", containing COLONIZATION, PIRATES' GOLD, RAILROAD TYCOON DELUXE and TRANSPORT TYCOON. Although the price was right, the games were pre-Windows 95, often difficult to run on a current system, and most damaging of all, the manuals were on-line and had to be printed by the user.

CONQUEST OF JAPAN
(Am/I) Impressions; Edward Grabowski; 1992; **+
Int/Land/Tac-Op
1

A pseudo-historical game of medieval Japan, it was marred by a user interface that was difficult to use and a random setup which made any pretense to history purely coincidental. Later packaged as part of the DEFINITIVE WARGAMES COLLECTION.

CONQUEST OF THE NEW WORLD
(I-95 CD) Interplay; Vince DeNardo; 1996; **+
Int/Land-Nav/Op
1-6; M

COLONIZATION through another viewpoint. However, it was superseded by the DELUXE version almost immediately; most gamers thought that the later release should have been offered as a patch to prior owners instead of an additional cost.

CONQUEST OF THE NEW WORLD DELUXE
(I-95 CD) Interplay; Vince DeNardo; 1996; ***+
Int/Land-Nav/Op
1-6; M

This substantially corrected the flaws of its ancestor (particularly with regard to diplomatic overtures), but it should have been marketed as an upgrade/patch rather than a separate program. Play value was present, it is just that the marketing concept of "screwing the consumer" left a sour taste.

CORINTH
(I-95 CD) HPS; John Tiller; 2002; UNRATED
Adv/Land/Tac-Op
1-2; M

A simulation of the Civil War battle.

CORSAIRS
(I-95 CD) Microids; xxx; 1999; UNRATED
Int/Land-Nav/Op
1-2; M

A real-time strategy game of piracy and the Spanish Main.

COSSACKS: EUROPEAN WARS
(I-95) StrategyFirst/CDV; Dirk Weber; 2001; UNRATED
Int/Land-Nav/Tac-Op
1-7; M

A real-time strategy game of Europe in the period of 1700-1900.

COSSACKS: ART OF WAR
(I-95) StrategyFirst/CDV; Dirk Weber; 2001; UNRATED
Int/Land-Nav/Tac-Op
1-7; M

The sequel ...

COSSACKS GOLD
(I-95) CDV/GSC; Dirk Weber; 2002; ***+
Int/Land-Nav/Tac-Op
1-7; M

COSSACKS: EUROPEAN WARS and COSSACKS: ART OF WAR published together.

CUSTER'S LAST COMMAND
(I) Incredible Simulations, Inc.; Jeff Lapkoff; 1995; ***
Beg-Int/Land/Tac-Op
1

Garry Owen! Join Colonel George Armstrong Custer in a race for premature hair loss. These are not the kinder gentler Indians from Dances with Wolves ... However, even with a number of scenario options, there was a certain ennui to the simulation.

CUSTER'S LAST COMMAND 2.0
(I-95 CD) Incredible Simulations, Inc.; Jeff Lapkoff; 2001; UNRATED
Beg-Int/Land/Tac-Op
1

A revised version of CUSTER'S LAST COMMAND.

CUTTHROATS
(I-95 CD) Eidos/Hothouse; Andrew Rilstone; 1999; **+
Int/Land-Nav/Tac-Op
1

Since MicroProse's PIRATES, the genre of "plunder and loot" has been a recurring one, although the successors have never been able to surpass the original.  This simulation of piracy was more of a land-based combat system than a naval game, and its interface was somewhat obtuse.  Then again, any product "respectfully dedicated" to a "mass-murderer" was somewhat suspect.

Back to Top

Back to Anthology Table of Contents
Back to HomePage Table of Contents
Revised: November 17, 2002.
Copyright 2001 by M. Evan Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
All trademarks or product names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.