CHEETAH LACKS SPEED
IN CONQUEST, from newcomer Cheetahsoft you have to conquer a sizeable portion of Europe and the Mediterranean. You start as emperor at the head of one legion and, beginning from your capital city, you set out to triumph, conquering whatever you pass over. As your territory expands it can support more legions and the empire grows apace.
The game has five levels, the first few serving as introductory modes. In the full game barbarians will attack the fringes of the empire, plague may decimate the land, rival empires rise to challenge you, and your subordinate generals may revolt if they become too powerful, plunging your people into civil war.
The representation of the map is very impressive and the structure of the game has been thoughtfully worked out to provide a real challenge, as well as a sense of genuine participation in great events.
The biggest disadvantage to the game is that it is very slow, as much of the program is written in Basic. While that does not affect your moves too much, as you need to think about them carefully, the other operations, such as the action of the plague or the barbarian attacks, are painfully long-winded.
Cheetahsoft appears to recognise there is a problem, as the program instructions exhort the player to persevere and try the full game before making a judgement. It would be better by far to have written the game in full machine code to avoid the possibility altogether.
None of those faults, however, renders the game unplayable. If you succeed in controlling an empire of 100 squares on the map, your performance will be assessed in comparison with great imperialists of the past.
We recommend Conquest to lovers of strategy games with a sympathy for the problems of Attila the Hun or Napoleon but the rating must reflect the fact that many people will be disappointed by the slow response time and fussy graphics.
Memory: 48K Price: £6.95