Game-related ramblings.

Tag: Simtex

On Learning

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I haven’t played Paradox Interactive’s grand spacefaring strategy game Stellaris, but I have enjoyed reading about it. It’s great at generating stories, like the one recently chronicled over at Rock, Paper, Shotgun. They’ve written a lot about the game, in fact. Writer John Walker, intrigued by comrade Adam Smith’s enthusiastic assessment of the game, decided to try it, despite his general dislike of and inexperience with strategy games. He wrote about his frustrations with its user interface and general obfuscation, concluding that “Stellaris, it turns out, doesn’t want new people. It wants people that already understand how to play Stellaris.”

After reading his account, however, I had a different conclusion: “Ah, so it’s like Dwarf Fortress, then?”

History Lessons: Master Of Magic

New readers may wish to read my History Lessons Introduction first. Previous History Lesson posts can be found here.

I couldn’t stay away. At first I thought I’d just take a break from games while my wrist healed, but soon I gave in and started looking for games I could play with one hand. Fast-paced action games were out of the question, unless I could play them entirely with the mouse, so I started looking at turn-based options. Roguelikes would work, of course, but I wanted something with a longer playtime. Eventually I settled on Master of Magic, the 1994 fantasy-themed strategy game by Simtex. While Simtex are perhaps more famous for creating the first two Master of Orion games, Master of Magic garnered a loyal community of fans, many of whom are still playing it today.

Most players describe Master of Magic as a fantasy version of Sid Meier’s classic Civilization series, and while Master of Magic certainly has its differences, the description is fairly accurate. Much like Civilization, players in Master of Magic start off with a single city and must expand their empire by managing production of buildings and armies, exploring the world map, founding or conquering new cities, and eventually encountering other empires controlled by computer players. But this all takes place in a fantasy world, where the players are powerful wizards and there are all manner of monstrous creatures to encounter or recruit as they vie for supremacy. And best of all, it can be played entirely with the mouse, and it’s all turn-based so I have as much time as I need to make decisions. Perfect!

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