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J Marv

Evil Genius

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The demo for Sierra's Evil Genius is out and available for download here.

I have been following this game for quite some time now and can't wait to play the demo.

I'll be back with some thoughts later.

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Ok. This game is pretty cool. It seems to rely more on its charm than anything else though.

I'll start with with my gripes:

1. The graphics. They're not any good. And I was using the HIGH texture setting. I shudder to think what low looks like. This wouldn't normally be a big gripe for me, but I'll get to that later.

2. When you queue up an addition to your lair, the construction defaults to pause. It was really annoying to spend 20 minutes laying out the massive addition to my secret lair to realize 5 minutes later that nobody was working on it.

3. It's really hard to tell with the radar and on screen who exactly are your enemies and who are your friends. My base had about 8-10 enemy soldiers in it without me realizing it, and there's little or no indication as to where they are or if you've eliminated the threat once they've entered the base.

Onto the good:

1. I really love the fact that you don't really have direct control over your workers. You have direct control over your henchman, who control the workers. Many people may not be fans of this style of gameplay, but I think it really adds a lot to this game.

2. The game doesn't take itself seriously at all. Your main goal in the demo mission is to capture A.N.V.I.L Super-Agent Jet Chan and gloat over him. You store your dead bodies in huge meat freezers, and when you run out of room on the racks, your workers pile them on the floor. There are a lot more examples of this in the game.

3. The architectural aspect of this game is very important. How easily your minions can eat, sleep, train, and equip themselves may be the most important aspect of the game. It's a very refreshing break from the norm, and a more difficult task to accomplish than at first glance.

If the gameplay was a bit smoother and the learning curve a little lower, then I could forgive the cheesy graphics. It doesn't quite have the charm (or as solid gameplay) the RCT series has though, so I can't give it the leniency I would give to those games in the visuals department.

Basically, if you enjoyed games like RollerCoaster Tycoon and Dungeon Keeper, definitely check out the demo. It's probably worth the download as well for RTS fans and people who think they could be a Bond villain. But if you're not a fan of these sorts of games, I doubt this one will change your mind.

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