Sunday, October 13, 2013

Of All The Lairs In The World...

Evil Genius is a game that stays for you for a very long time - and is bound to find its way to your hard drive every time there is a new Bond film hype. After the deluge of the latest DRM-ruined games, I went looking through my gaming library for older gems to play. This is definitely one of them!

In a classic Ian Flemming's setting, you start in a desert tropical island where you are to design and build your secret lair. In a Sims tradition you do not control your minions directly, instead you control the Evil Mastermind behind everything that is brilliantly nefarious: a stocky Bloomfield-lookalike in a gray Mao/Nehru jacket and an insatiable mood to take over the world (the other choices are the heavy-accented seductress Alexis and efficient Shen Yu - but we all know how chauvinistic the world of self-indulgent espionage can be).

Besides the Evil Genius, you can (partially) control a couple of major Evil Henchmen/women. I said partially because once given an order they will take their sweet time to execute it - if ever. No wonder Bond always won in the end: the Evil nemesis had to do everything himself!

Including making ends meet. Yes, even the most evil of geniuses apparently cannot print money. Hence, the need to built hotel and vacation resorts - not only to hide but also to finance the plans to take over the world. From hotelier to World Dictator - everyone not born with a silver spoon in his mouth has to pay his dues I guess...

Nevertheless, the real fun of the game is designing your lair and setting up the traps! Since there seems to be an endless number of possible combinations this alone multiples the replayability of the game.
Plan carefully ahead and watch the invading Secret Agents be thrown helplessly from one trap directly to the next - and finally out of your lair (or into a body-freezer room). Until the Super Agents that is.

The Super Agents make the game almost impossible to win. Again, in a true Ian Flemming fashion, good should prevail - and should do so easily (funny that concept never seemed to caught on in real life...). Nevertheless, the game is not unbeatable - it just needs a lot of practice. (I needed more than half a dozen tries - and they were all fun!)

In these Middle-Age days of PC gaming, when the industry decided to go to the dark side, it is a good idea to unwind with a brilliant classic.

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