Gangwars (Peaster review)

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Review Description
Score Thumb Title Decription Reviewer Designer Map Timespan
22/30 2Darthveda gangwars.gif Gangwars Run a major gang in SimCity-ish Civille, and fight the population, other gangs, the mob, and the Police. Can you take control of the city? Peaster DarthVeda Medium 400 turns; probably 15-20 gaming hours.

Playability: 7/10

After looking over the author's helpful strategy guide, I played the Bloods on Godfather level, and this review is based mainly on that choice. Playing the Police instead was less interesting - they mainly defend themselves and quell unrest for a long time.

The novelty of playing a gang keeps the game fun for several hours. Almost everything in civ2 has been dramaticly changed. Some concepts, especially the terrain, are derived from Sim-City, such as Suburbs, Police Stations, Commerce, Corporate, etc. The usual civ2 text messages have been replaced with fresh lines like:

Do you really want to quit?

-Hell no! We won't go!

-Well, we all gotta go sometime.

The pace seemed pretty fast at first, with lots of weak civilian targets nearby. But it slowed down as the border got further away and good roads got scarce. My cities prodcued a flood of identical units (Driveby's) maybe because the terrain has huge production values. Also, new tech comes slowly, because of the 1000/10 tech rate and the hoodism (fundamentalist) government. I eventually also got another unit, the Gun Trucks, but the real fighting was over before I ever got to bazooka dudes, planes, ships, etc. The Police advance faster, and their SWAT units posed a nice challenge for a while. But eventually I wanted a more strategically demanding game (eg greater variety of units in play, fewer/stronger units, happiness/diplomacy issues, or maybe more midgame events).

The scoring is objective-based, with the Police as fairly hopeless protagonists (if AI-controlled). So, in effect, this is a conquer-the-city scenario. Maybe the author could suggest other challenging winning conditions.

One minor gameplay problem was the random arrival of Godzilla, twice in my game. If he shows up before you get major weaponry or diplo-units, expect to quit and reload. This is supposed to happen only 1/300 turns, but I don't see the point of such a disastrous event. If included at all, this should occur in a specific year, late in the game. The tornadoes are probably a better way to break things up. Both of these concepts are from SimCity.

Level of General Care: 8/10

This is the ninth version of the scenario. If it ever had obvious errors, they are gone now. The civs are different, but balanced. The tech tree seems functional and interesting. The offbeat text messages and sounds add to the mood. Most of the details seem right, and I won't list them all and spoil the surprise. Pretty impressive for an ambitious concept like this.

An HTML strategy guide replaces the usual readme.txt. It is well-done and quite helpful. One drawback is that it requires loading a browser each time you want to read it, which can be a little slow.

A few concepts were lost on me, but they certainly didn't ruin the game. For example, "Looters" is an odd choice for units that mainly build roads (maybe "Recruits" ?). Building roads in an established city also seems odd, but maybe this fits the SimCity theme. As in most scenarios, some improvements have rather odd functions... how does a Money Laundering Wonder increase science output? I gradually realized that "science" has been replaced by some other concept ("politics" or "bribery" ?) but this isn't quite clear.

Maybe more care could be given to Turn 1. As Police/Godfather (maybe a bad choice to play), the stations begin in revolt, and the very first screen requires an important tech decision, before you know what you're doing.

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