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RIP Ralph Baer (1922-2014) I really, really hate writing obits. I really do. But I take it as a personal honor to be able to say good things about the men and women I respect, whether in this industry or just in my life, and Ralph Baer is the reason all of this exists in the first...

The Rise and Rule of Ancient Empires Review

By:

06/05/04
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE  
PLAYERS 1- 6 
PUBLISHER Sierra Online 
DEVELOPER  
RELEASE DATE  
MINIMUM SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

Is it my turn YET???

Plan on spending countless hours confined to watching a computer make decisions that should, in all honesty, take but a few seconds. This is what will happen while playing Sierra's new game, The Rise and Rule of Ancient Empires. It is surprising that the same company that produced such hits as Kings' Quest, Space Quest, Leisure Suit Larry, and many more, came out with a surprisingly poor product that besmirches the good name of Sierra Online.
Minimum System Requirements
Win 3.1 or Win95
486DX 33MHz
8 Meg RAM
20 Meg Hard Disk Space
2X CD-ROM


You begin the game by choosing one of six ancient cultures (Greek, Egyptian, Indian, Mesopotamian, Chinese, or Celtic) whose ultimate objective is building an empire that will rule the world. After the opening credits (which are not all too impressive), you are left with a screen containing a mostly-darkened map and one lone settler. It is now up to you to direct your settler's path and build the ultimate empire. With the new city built, you have a few choices which gradually increase with your population and intelligence (as if your intelligence could increase while playing this game). From then on you are on your own to explore, build, and hopefully conquer anything in your way. Various archetypes such as military units (which include light to heavy infantry, cavalry, missiles and galleys), merchants, settlers, and philosophers exist in this mind numbing game.

Along with an endless array of characters under your direct control, you also have the opportunity to build and expand your cities in order to develop a nation capable of conquering the world. When you first start out, your city consists of just two buildings, but with time and energy you can slowly build your city to a bustling metropolis (or at least its equivalent in ancient times). Although the box says that it's possible to "complete a full game in one sitting" I don't know anyone quite this bored. Waiting for this game to progress is like waiting in rush hour traffic in Los Angeles. The computer takes far too long to make computations and simple decisions, in fact the average college student would be happy to know that they could easily play this game at the same time as writing a twenty page term paper (and would probably finish the term paper first).

Although Rise and Rule is Sierra's poor attempt to remake the hit game Civilization, it shouldn't be reviled completely. While the game left me wanting more (a LOT more) the video was at least satisfactory. The graphics overall were not very intriguing, particularly after seeing the same ones for several hours. This problem is best described as the same numb-narcosis effect that occurs from looking at the sun too long. The sound, on the other hand, was enjoyable, but that leaves me wondering why Sierra couldn't put as much time into the game itself as they did in the soundtrack. A simple point-and-click interface allows easy control of your army's movements, and also gives you something positive to say about the game, other than the fact that you are able to play head to head via network or modem.

This game is recommended for those who are lonely enough to spend hours dwelling in front of a computer trying to figure out why Sierra would chance losing its reputation for good games. Others who should play this game are those that suffer from insomnia; this may be the cure. Personally, the only reason I found myself playing this game so intently was to find the true meaning behind Sierra's less-than-par attempt at a strategic game.
D- Revolution report card
  • Interesting Idea.
  • Couldn't tell if it was a game or not.
    Reviews by other members
    No member reviews for the game.


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