Genghis Khan

Title		Genghis Khan
Publisher	Infogrames (1988)
Programmer      Kou Shibusawa
Game Type	Strategy
Players		1
HD Installable	Yes
Compatibility	OCS
Submission	John Burns ( Profiled Reviewer

Set in the 12th century, Genghis Khan is a strategy game of two parts,
Mongol Conquest and World Conquest. In the first, your aim, as Temujin,
(the Mongol chief who in real life was to become Genghis Khan) is to
triumph over the other chiefs to achieve the title of Genghis. In the
latter game mode you may play as one of the four nations striving for
domination; the Mongol Empire (Genghis Khan), England (Richard I), the
Byzantine Empire (Alexious III) or Japan (Mimamoto Yoritomo) with the
object here being the unification of the Eurasian Continent.

Gameplay wise there is little between the two modes, just different
leaders and objectives, though with the stakes being higher in World mode,
this is the more difficult of the two to win - In effect it is really a
higher difficulty level rather than a different game. In World Conquest
mode there are some additional factors to be taken into account in your
planning and these are mentioned in the manual. i.e. If you play as
Mimamoto Yoritomo then you are aged 59 at the start of the game, so as you
are nearing the end of your life you must ensure that you have an heir
available otherwise it'll be a short, and lost, game. Mentioning the
manual, it is pretty well laid out and informative and also in addition to
the necessary game stuff contains historical information on both the
period and the characters you can play.

Mouse driven throughout, there are two main screens which you will use, a
map based one on which the individual territories or countries are
displayed and from which you can access various other information windows
and there is a battle screen. Anyone who has played or seen Lords of the
Rising Sun will be immediately at home as that game is almost identical in
its interface and gameplay to this. In battle mode the screen is set up in
a hex based system with your individual units having set points allocated
each turn. As with other games of the type you issue commands to each unit
until their points are used up then end the turn and see the result. The
icons used for the units displaying figures for strength, etc. and a
representation of the type; cavalry, infantry or archers.

The game easily fits into the usual turn based resource management style
of strategy game with your being allowed to issue a set amount (3) of
commands each turn; a turn itself encompassing a season, Spring, Summer,
etc. To issue commands you can choose from various pull down menus which
cover different aspects of your management. These include; Economic (tax,
trading, population, etc.), Military (soldiers, training, recruiting,
etc.), Personnel (governors, self training, marriage, etc.), Admin
(diplomacy, internal policy, view territory, etc.). Turns can be daunting
with only a set amount of commands give-able each time from the many
commands available it really can be a hard choice to make. Do you trade
this turn to get some money in, train your soldiers up a bit or visit one
of your partners (some of whom are not too willing) for a bit of "the
other" in hopes of an heir. Yep, you get to do the dirty in this game
though you won't see anything and rape (captured princesses) and pillage
weren't frowned on then either.

From a difficulty point of view I'd say it isn't the most challenging game
you'll come across but that said initially you may not have much success
either. I certainly on many occasions have been defeated and had to
restart, as each new game has some randomness assigned to the other
leaders and their territories I don't believe that there really is a true
overall strategy or tactic which will work on every occasion. Okay, one
does soon learn that certain commands are very useful if used at the
correct times but that isn't the same thing. I accidentally found out that
a certain use of commands can make the game easier for you in the long run
but as I'd class it as a spoiler you'll have to find the technique for
yourself. Only hint I'll give is that there is a certain logic to why it
works but it's not something you'd immediately consider doing, it seems a
waste, especially at the start of the game.

Overall I'd say it's a good solid game with no real faults. Oh, I know the
menu system could be improved a bit and there could be better graphics and
sound but these would be minor improvements and they wouldn't truly make
much of a difference. Some owners of the aforementioned Lords of the
Rising Sun may find it too "samey" to be worthwhile, whilst others may see
the slight differences as just what they want. For myself at least, I can
happily have both in my collection though granted I'm unlikely to play
them back to back.

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