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Bandit Kings of Ancient China (DOS)

100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Adam Tarr (3)
Written on  :  Sep 24, 2006
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars
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Top 5 all-time games

The Good

Gameplay, gameplay, gameplay. That's what I look for in games, and this game is unquestionably one of my five favorite computer games (for reference, others would include: Civ series, Star Control 2, Europa Universalis 2... not sure what the 5th would be).

The main computer opponent starts out much more powerful than you, and you have a limited number of game turns to catch up to him. This combination makes the game a challenge even for an experienced player.

The game can be played multiplayer, and I have had some incredibly satisfying experiences playing this in multiplayer (including games where I lost).

The bottom line is that this game has a great dynamic, and I still love to play it more than 20 years after its release.

The Bad

This game takes a long time to play - a good session (even one-player) takes a bare minimum of a couple hours. This swells to a good half-day for any decent multiplayer experience

The learning curve is not quick - the manual is not the best translation ever and it takes a while to learn the nuances and tricks of playing effectively.

Graphics are typical mid-80s blah. If you need pretty graphics, this game is not for you.

The Bottom Line

A classic turn-based strategy, with classical heroic Chinese folk history backing it. Interesting and unique choices in both developing your provinces, and in the battle sequences.