Annals of Rome
Description official descriptions
Annals of Rome begins in 273BC and sets you as a Roman senator, with the ultimate aim of colonizing as much of the known world as possible, and retaining that power against Carthaginians, Vandals, Parthians, Persians and all the other world forces. You have a strong army at your disposal, and can direct your generals as to which countries they attempt to invade.
The game is turn-based, and these turns operate in phases, beginning with the economic circumstances of population and tax income being decided - it's recommended to keep taxation taxing low unless things become desperate. The game then updates you on the statuses of your generals, and give you the chance to redistribute them to other parts of your kingdom.
Officers may rebel and cause a civil war - fortunately this can usually be pre-empted. More serious are attempts to take land from other civilizations, which take place in order and include conflicts between other groups. These, like every element of the game, are accurately historically modeled and variable in time-span as a result.
Credits (Commodore 64 version)
Average score: 73% (based on 9 ratings)
Average score: 3.1 out of 5 (based on 21 ratings with 2 reviews)
I played this at least 15 years ago on an Atari 520ST and although even then I probably thought the graphics were crude, I got caught up in it.
One review suggested it was flawed because it allowed play to continue indefinitely. Each turn in the game represents 25 years in real time. You start during the early years of the republic. With a bit of luck and skill you end up in the era of the empire.
In my final game and longest lasting I still had a Roman Empire in the 17th century. It was a shadow of what it had been but that made it all the more fascinating to me. I ended up managing to hold onto territories like Cappodocia (Turkey or Asian Minor) but only turn by turn. It almost seemed as if the game logic was stuck historically at about the time Constantinople fell to the Turks and the last vestiges of the empire were wiped off the map.
I no longer recall if eventually I was vanquished or after several hundred game turns I realized the jog was up. I could not conquer or hold any territories for longer than a turn at a time, and so I may have quit.
All I can say is that for the $20 I probably paid for it, I enjoyed double that in hours spent playing.
There is nothing actually that I would remark on critically. For the time it was already unsophisticated in many ways. But the elements of play that engaged me made up for it.
The Bottom Line
Atari ST · by stan howard (2) · 2006
This game is much more than a military conquest game. It is an economical, political and social game as well. There are so many variables taken into account when you move through each phase of the game that it makes it significantly more complex and engaging than the monotonous, repetitive games we've all played. Unlike many other games, all of these variables work behind the scenes and controlling the empire DOES NOT become an exercise in tedium like newer games. These factors make it a simple yet deeply engrossing game. A must try!
The graphics may not be pretty and CGA graphics can be a little annoying after a while but they serve the game's purpose well.
Conquer the Roman world and defend the Empire from the teeming hordes of barbarian tribes like the Marcomanni, the Alemanni, Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Vandals, Huns, Dacians, Turks, Arabs, etc. Continue your defence of the empire with up to 13 enemy nations at any one time. There are no political tricks to be played, no alliances or trickery. You must protect the Empire through legions and gaining political support for the Republic. If you don't, you run the risk of civil war and frequent changes of emperor.
Manage and plan the political, social, economical and military goals for the Roman Empire. You decide how long it will last, not the history books. I kept the empire alive in Italia until the 23rd century AD.
Utterly destroy your enemies. Watch as they wither away with the passage of time as your forces establish Roman provinces in their domain, spreading the Pax Romana throughout the Roman world.
Troubleshooting information would really help when trying to run this game on new computers. It works on some but not others. It would be great if someone could tell us how to run it when you get the display adaptor message at the beginning that ends the program.
I recommend playing this game with an old Pentium-MMX computer as the older video cards were more compatible with old games than newer computers.
There really isn't anything negative about this game. It was superbly done and in my opinion, stood the test of time.
The Bottom Line
If you want to defy history and set right what the Romans did wrong with their empire than this is the game for you. This is not a tactical game, it is purely strategy on a grand, engrossing scale where you must plan and anticipate the economics, social, military and political issues that will plague your encircled empire.
The game starts out with you controlling Italia in 273 BC during the time of the Republic. You will be attacked from all sides throughout the game regardless of the size of the Roman Empire. The only way to prevent the fall of Rome is to expand and defend the Empire and keep the people happy by making wise decisions and keeping a LOW TAX RATE.
Annals of Rome gives you, the gamer, the opportunity to create the Roman Empire and surpass its glories and stand the test of time longer than 476 AD when the West Roman Empire finally fell. I succeeded in maintaining the Empire's far-flung boundaries until the Arab conquests of the 7th century AD.
How long can you maintain the Pax Romana?
DOS · by bb bb (25) · 2005
- Computer and Video Games
- May 1988 (Issue #79) - Golden Joystick 1988 Award: Third in category Strategy Game of the Year
Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history!
Contributors to this Entry
Game added by Old man gamer.
Game added June 18th, 2000. Last modified September 19th, 2023.