Saturday, 17 July 2010

Why Master of Olympus is awesome

Master of Olympus is probably one of the best games I have ever played.

I first played it a few years ago, in my own home. But sadly it was lost and in some inexplicable way, we have never seen it again. Recently, I was talking about it's awesomeness to my boyfriend and he decided to buy it for me. Now we play it a lot, and we still can't get over how addictive it is.

Master of Olypus is basically a simulation game of ancient greek society. It is a lot like Sim City in that respect, only you are in charge of literally everything. You can conquer other anceint greek cities, make huge sanctuaries to the Gods and even host the Olympian games (otherwise known as the olympics).

I know it doesn't have the best graphics (as it was originally made for Windows 97, I think, but don't quote me on that) and it doesn't have the gameplay that we are used to. However, what it lacks in general aethetics, it makes up for in style.

The whole thing is very carefully thought through. You have tabs on which you control housing, work, food, supplies, hygiene, taxes, culture, mythology and your army. You build your entire city, sometimes from scratch. You make colonies for your main city so they aquire more goods and have a better army.

I think the best part of the game is the mythology, as you can build sanctuaries to all of the 12 olympians and have both gods and monters attack your city. Having built your sanctuary to a god, you can pray to them and they will give you gifts, for example, Dionysus will give you wine and Ares will fight in your army. Both Zeus and Apollo's sanctuaries also have the added bonus of an oracle so you can see into the future.

You can be attacked by various monsters, mostly beset on your city by unfriendly gods. I have so far encountered cyclops, hydra, maenads and talos. To get rid of these monsters, you have to have a hero in the city (Jason, Hercules or Odysseus, in these situations).

Another good thing about the game is that it allows you to play in different modes, like sandbox mode (where you can do anything), but that it also offers you the chance to complete several episodes, like Zeus and Europa or The Trojan War. This means that you have set goals to complete, ranging from easy to hard.

So, as the catchy slogan on the cover says:

Build a city, Challenge the gods, Spawn a Myth.

And maybe have fun in the process.

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