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Unexpected Pleasure

March 20th, 2009 by Troy Goodfellow · 2 Comments · Ancients, City Builder

A while back I called into question the quality of the upcoming Tropico 3 because its developer, Haemimont Games, had never really entertained me with one of their games.

So I have to eat a little crow and say that their new Roman city builder, Grand Ages: Rome, is a minor delight. It’s not perfect (there will be a full review sometime soon) but it cribs from larger, better games to good effect. It puts a new spin on the whole campaign by adding factions you can please and the scenario variety is amazing. Crassus wants trade routes, Cicero wants justice, Licinius (Lucullus, I assume) wants you to help him win the war in Asia. They gradually increase in difficulty and give you secondary victory conditions that let you build up your character and make his job easier in the next few missions. If you want to take the military path, you might choose the veteran legions. If you go for the economic scenarios, maybe free farm upgrades are what you want.

It still doesn’t look like a city – and that has always been a problem with Haemimont’s Roman games. They design the maps so that you end up with a bunch of disjointed towns. But it’s better than it was.

Check the demo. You might be pleasantly surprised.


2 Comments so far ↓

  • James Allen

    Seconded. Much better than their previous 2 efforts.

  • Michael A.

    Where was your review for this published? Played around with the demo from Steam, and would like to read a bit more, though I think a couple of the problems will kill it for me – namely the “Build the same City over and over” issue (usually a problem with all of these city builder games) and that the cities don’t – as you point out – look anything like a city.

    One would think that a company that has made so many city builders would realize that part of the fun of city builder games is to make good looking cities.