Zoo Tycoon is King of the Jungle

Been dreaming of building and managing the most spectacular zoo in the world? Dream no more! Microsoft and Blue Fang Games have brought you Zoo Tycoon. In Zoo Tycoon your job is to build exhibits, adopt animals and hire employees to keep up on the maintenance, while keeping the animals and your guests happy. The key to success in Zoo Tycoon is to keep the guests happy and spending their money in your zoo. This means constructing exciting exhibits that resemble each animal’s natural habitat. This keeps the animals happy and playful. Since nobody wants to look at depressed, lifeless … Continue reading Zoo Tycoon is King of the Jungle

Divided Ground Brings Tabletop to the Desktop

Divided Ground is the latest iteration of Talonsoft’s long-running East Front/West Front series. It covers the Arab-Israeli wars from 1948 through 1973, focusing on the forces of Israel, Jordan, Syria and Egypt. Like its predecessors, it is, in essence, a tabletop miniatures game adapted for the computer. It plays much like an advanced version of Command Decision or Spearhead with a scale of 200 meters per hex and 5-10 minute turns. If you’ve ever played the old Avalon Hill PanzerBlitz derivative Arab-Israeli Wars, you will feel right at home with this game. In general DG plays much like the previous … Continue reading Divided Ground Brings Tabletop to the Desktop

Stronghold is Strategy and Structure Amid Medieval

A man’s home may be his castle, but if you want to keep your Middle Ages home safe, then it better be a stronghold. Fans of the old Castles series will be overjoyed to discover a new realtime castle building sim for their PC. Players become the chief architect for wooden Motte and Bailey castles, advanced stone concentric designs or even fortresses never before seen. Of course you also have train archers, crossbow men, pike men, knights and others to man your defenses against armies that would like nothing better than to fill in your moats, climb over or bash … Continue reading Stronghold is Strategy and Structure Amid Medieval

It’s a Diablo II redo

Hey all you Diablo II fans out there! Your wait is over. The Diablo II expansion set is finally out. Well, it’s been out for a few months but I have been too busy playing it to write this review. In order to install the Diablo II expansion set, you must already have the original Diablo II installed on your system. So for all of you who have been chomping-at-the-bit for the expansion set, here are some of the new features and enhancements that you’ll find. The first thing you will notice are the two new character classes: the Druid … Continue reading It’s a Diablo II redo

Baldur’s Gate II Rocks RPGs

There are two ways you can spend the holiday season. The first involves dinner with the family, huge lipstick-smeared kisses from aunts you barely know and riveting conversation about how in the old days people walked to school in the snow and it was uphill both ways. And then there is the fun way: Baldur’s Gate II. It was almost a given that the sequel to the winner of the GiN RPG of the Year would be awesome. About the worst thing that could have happened is that nothing at all would have changed, and even then Baldur’s Gate II … Continue reading Baldur’s Gate II Rocks RPGs

The Incredible Machine is Ridiculous, Frustrating

The Incredible Machine: Even More Contraptions is incredible. It’s incredible how much of your time it can suck away. Like a really good book with really short chapters, you just keep telling yourself that you will complete one more quick contraption and then take a break. Hours later you emerge from your computer, bleary-eyed with your mind spinning and wondering why on earth you just had to break three more fish tanks just to get that darn Mel off to work. Breaking fish tanks is a common sub-goal of this game. What kind of sick mind thought that up? There … Continue reading The Incredible Machine is Ridiculous, Frustrating

Flashpoint Explodes Standard War Games

Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis is one of the most realistic war simulations I have ever played. At times this can be both wonderful and frustrating at the same time. You start out in the campaign mode as a single infantry soldier. You are confused as to what is happening and so are the rest of the men, as evidenced by the different cut scenes where you and your buddies get to talk. You get to do everything from being part of a massive infantry attack on a town, to running in full retreat when you are obviously overwhelmed, to … Continue reading Flashpoint Explodes Standard War Games

102 Dalmatians is Disney at its Best

Disney software has produced a winner. I wish all their games were this good. 102 Dalmatians: Puppies to the Rescue is fun for the entire family and completely playable for children eight and up. If you have an easy to use joystick, younger children might enjoy it as well. The premise for the game is simple and straightforward. Cruella De Vil and her minions are back and up to no good. They’ve started a toy company with lousy robot toys and they are blaming their lack of sales on pets. Their evil plan: If children don’t have pets to spend … Continue reading 102 Dalmatians is Disney at its Best

Patrician II is in a League of its Own

Through all the to-do around the new console platforms and who’s got the hottest sports games and so forth, it’s good to see certain types of games that I thrive on enjoying some popularity on the PC. In particular, the economic/military strategy games are really starting to come out. Maybe it’s because of Civilization III coming out in November or maybe something else entirely. But I don’t care, I am just enjoying the influx. One game that I had the privilege of previewing was Patrician II. Patrician II takes you to northern Europe in the 14th century, during the time … Continue reading Patrician II is in a League of its Own

Blue Shift is half-baked Half-Life

It’s not a special edition or add-on: Blue Shift is the official sequel to Half-Life, the awesome first-person shooter series from Sierra. But is it as good as the original? Is it even worth buying for $50? I guess the answers depend on how much you enjoyed the first one. Although in this sequel players do not necessarily have to know about the original story, it helps. In Blue Shift, players you’re no longer a competent scientist who probably makes enough money to drive home in a luxury car, but rather security guard, Barney Calhoun. Barney is 0a rather incompetent … Continue reading Blue Shift is half-baked Half-Life

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