Philip José Farmer's Riverworld

Moby ID: 20433

Description official descriptions

Riverworld is a 3D real-time strategy game based on Philip José Farmer's universe of books, where on an earthlike planet, with just one river flowing from pole to pole and back, all of mankind (a figure around 36 billions) is resurrected, from the first homo sapiens to the early 21st century population, as humanity was wiped out shorty after.

Playing as Richard Francis Burton, a British explorer from the 18th century (who has an uncanny resemblance to Welsh actor Timothy Dalton), the player decides to evolve the people from the prehistoric ages to the future. For that, he needs to build new houses to increase the population, conquer new territories (which will allow the player to both expand territory and progress into more advanced ages), meet other notable people from the human history and defend against other characters with the same goal in mind.

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  • River World - Alternate spelling

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Critics

Average score: 60% (based on 11 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 6 ratings with 1 reviews)

Could have been a great turn-based game...

The Good
The concept of the game is great. The map is split between different areas that give access to better technologies, which in turn improves the chance of conquering enemy territory. The idea of speaking to other characters is excellent (and one of Cryo's main creative ideas) and adds a little more depth to the game. While it was one of the first RTS games to use a 3D world, the character and building models are quite good (but read more about them later), and after a while it's interesting to see how the world comes to life.

Music... well, just to say it's composed by Stephane Picq should be enough.

The Bad
Even at the lower speed, the pace is simply too fast when there are more than an handful of workers and buildings. Even worse, the way the camera is stuck with the characters just complicates things even further, as it's hard to get a panoramic view, and even when that happens, the drawing distance is too limited. The interface doesn't help, with larger than life buttons with limited descriptions and a mini map that looks too confusing.

The Bottom Line
The game has a cool concept, great music and acceptable graphics, but fails as an entertaining game. While Cryo liked to pull the envelope in both gameplay and graphics, the attempts to do this on both failed. While the graphics are acceptable (forgetting the camera angles and drawing distance), the gameplay suffers too much from the pace imposed. Had the game been a TBS or a slow paced RTS (not as much as Europa Universalis, 'to), or even a difficulty level slider or the option to play alone or just against one opponent could have made Riverworld one of the greatest all-time.

Remake please?

Windows · by Luis Silva (13443) · 2006

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Luis Silva.

Additional contributors: Sciere.

Game added December 26, 2005. Last modified February 22, 2023.