Written by  :  Lee Seitz (722)
Written on  :  Feb 17, 2000
Platform  :  DOS
Rating  :  4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars
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A great update of a classic computer game!

The Good

There are so many good things about Empire Deluxe, it's hard to remember them all. First, you can pick from the three different game types (basic, standard, advanced) to play as complicated or as simple a game as you want. The computer AI is very good (sometimes a little too good) and definitely provides a challenge. The graphics are colorful and easy to make out. And there are so many options for ways to play against others (modem, e-mail, etc.)!

Perhaps the best features are the game editor and map options. You can create your own maps and scenarios. Or, if you don't want to design a map you can have the computer randomly create one for each game. For the games above basic, you can even set the dimensions of the map and whether it wraps east to west, creating an entire planet to conquer.

The Bad

Okay, there are some downsides. Each type of unit has it's own little musical tune. The problem is they're very short and repetitive, so you'll probably end up turning off the music.

This game was made when companies considered copy protection of some sort a must. However, they reached a nice compromise with this game in that you don't have to go to the manual each time you play, just each time you change the options (screen resolution, sound, etc.). So even this minus is a plus for the time it was written.

There is one real problem with the game, however. You can easily cheat during play by (e-)mail games by replaying your turn over and over until you get the results you want and then sending it to your opponent. Keep this in mind if you play such a game and your opponent(s) seem unusually lucky at winning battles.

The Bottom Line

This is perhaps the best version of this classic computer strategy game ever written. You're doing yourself a great disservice and missing out on a lot of fun if you've never played it.