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March CGM

January 26th, 2007 by Troy Goodfellow · 8 Comments · CGM

Already? My magazine never comes this early…

This is the Awards Issue – that annual attempt to sum up a year of gaming in a few blurbs and screenshots. The mag’s writers show their roots by giving seven of the top ten places to strategy games, two to turn based strategy. Buy the issue for the full list.

My meager monthly contributions are my Alt.Games column (Egyptian Addiciton, Putt Mania and Harmotion) and my mostly positive review of Heroes of Annihilated Empires.

Heroes is one of those games that will be easy to hate. It’s not especially beautiful or innovative. And it doesn’t even feel oldschool in the right ways. In fact, it has a lot in common with the GSC monstrosity Alexander. But it still charms. I called the campaign “so bad it’s good” and that’s not a bad summary of the title altogether. There’s something pleasantly ridiculous about it, and, since it passed the Great Reviewer Litmus Test (“Do I want to keep going?”) I would have been a damn liar not to recommend it. It’s a game of subtle charms, if not subtle gameplay.

If you want to go old school, though, check Bruce Geryk’s Revisionist History on Imperialism. His theme is how Imperialism is a monument to gaming ideas that would never pass muster today. It remains one of my favorite games of all time. I liked the first better than the second, which puts me in a minority I think. And Steve Bauman gives 500 words to a casual game about killing things with spelling. Only in Computer Games Magazine…


8 Comments so far ↓

  • Michael A.

    Ah – wish I could get hold of CGM here, in order to read that Geyrk piece. I’m with you on the first being better than the second, too.

  • JonathanStrange

    Well, I’d mentally put this game in my “Not necessary to investigate further,” but I’ll download the demo and will try to appreciate it with an open mind. I believe I’m relatively easy-going and I don’t mind a derivative “been there” game – if something strikes me as amusing or entertaining, I can be very tolerant about virtually all else. I’m not seeking the perfect game for months of play, just the “perfect game for right now.”

  • Troy

    Jonathan: Heroes is a mild recommendation, and I wonder if the demo can capture the fun little absurdities of it. There are jet planes littering the campaign’s landscape in a nod to future games that might never get made. The opening campaign movie has an elven princess with very hard nipples poking through her leather armor, but the rest of the “cutscenes” are Tolkien by way of Marvel comics. And the gameplay is an old fashioned production race. Counter units are really important, flying units have a lot of power if you can keep them away from arrows, and the hero unit can become immensely difficult to kill if you manage him right. It’s a guilty pleasure, but a pleasure nonetheless.

    Michael: Bruce’s Imperialism article is great, because it hits me where it hurts – alluding to the lack of patience in today’s gamers and game makers. I’m much less patient than I used to be, and I wonder if I would appreciate Imperialism if it came out today.

    You can get CGM digitally now, but only on a subscription basis. You can’t buy a single issue, IIRC. (Not that you’d want to. That’s the expensive way to do it.)

  • Michael A.

    You should just have reminded me that CGW is Computer Games for Windows these days. That I can get, even if the name is well… :-)

  • steve

    You can buy single copies of CGM from zinio.com for $5.

    The March issue isn’t available yet, however.

  • Troy

    Thanks for the clarification, Steve.

    Michael: You can double your Imperialism fun with the new Games For Windows since the Tom vs Bruce head-to-head match is played with Imperilaism 2.

  • Michael A.

    Colour me confused. I thought you were writing about CGW (which of course is now Games for Windows); not CGM (which I now realize is yet another mag). The former I can get, the latter doesn’t seem available. Ah well.

  • Troy

    Zinio digital Michael. It’s available. Go to http://www.cgonline.com or http://www.zinio.com if you are really interested.

    The only good thing about CGW’s name switch to GFW is that it will make the confusion a thousand times less frequent.