- Caesar (1989 on Atari ST)
Description official descriptions
The first in the strategy series set in the Roman Empire’s peak era starts off with you as ruler of a small province, although if you’re successful you will get tougher assignments.
You must build the city, placing crucial features such as housing estates, roads, policing, water supply, social events and the like. You’re not restricted to one city – you can build another area, linked by roads, once you’ve got the first one running smoothly. You have slaves at your disposal to build and maintain everything.
All this would be easy if you had an infinite supply of money, the civilians didn’t complain about anything, there was no threat of combat, and you didn’t have to keep the people above you happy. Needless to say, all of these problems crop up.
Via the forums, you will get public opinions, which are affected by how high taxes are, and whether people feel they’re getting value for money. If they don’t they could riot;– what will you tell the Emperor if that happens?
Barbarian threats are commonplace, so you need to maintain an army, and at times send it into battle. If you own Cohort II, you can fight the battles using that, but otherwise you just issue the orders then learn of the result.
- 凯撒大帝 - Simplified Chinese spelling
- 凱撒大帝 - Traditional Chinese spelling
Credits (DOS version)
|Additional Design Assistance|
|Sound & Music|
Average score: 73% (based on 19 ratings)
Average score: 3.1 out of 5 (based on 26 ratings with 1 reviews)
Caesar has a fairly basic premise. You are a Governor of a province of the Roman Empire. Your goal is to develop both the province and its capital city to a sufficient level to enable promotion, where you will be transferred to a new province.
As such the gameplay involves building your city, running the administrative side of things, developing the province's road network and defending it from barbarian invaders.
The idea seems simple but it can be very challenging. One of the good things about Caesar is that all houses begin as tents. If the citizens like the area, the house will grow into huts, then cottages, and eventually giant villas. If they don't like it they will disappear. This means you have to supply the houses with water, employment, entertainment, road access, forums, and many more. Of course the more you build the more money you need, and as your only income is from taxes you will need a thriving city to get anywhere.
Another good design in Caesar is the fact that your city and the province are on two separate screens and you have to switch between the two every so often to see what is going on. Spend too much time building your city and the barbarians will be happily demolishing the provincial roads.
The graphics in Caesar are nothing special but they allow you to see what is going on easily and are fairly pleasant on the eye.
The game also sets a target - unlike SimCity and similar you actually progress through levels to an ultimate goal (become Roman Emperor). You also have specific standards to achieve under specific criteria.
Oh and of course the best thing is - it's now been released as freeware.
Despite the fact that Caesar has been well thought out there are problems with it. My major complaint is that the game is very repetitive. Once you have completed a level the only differences between it and the next are that you start with less money, have to meet higher standards to gain promotion and the actual layout of the province will change. This means that once you have completed a few levels the rest can be completed in almost an identical way. It would hve been nice if new buildings became available as you reached certain ranks.
The battle system also leaves a lot to be desired. The main reason is that Caesar was designed to be linked with Impressions' game Cohort II, but even so it would be nice to have more than four tactics available, one of which is always effective against all the armies in that one province. As it is, once you have built up a large enough army and discovered the tactic to use for that province you win every time and barbarian invasions become nothing but a boring distraction from developing the city.
The sound is also a bit basic and the music very repetitive. Background music is only available while visiting the Forum, and it would have been nice to have it all the time.
The Bottom Line
Caesar is a well-designed if fairly repetitive city-building game set in the Roman Empire. While you probably won't want to play all the way through - I am only on my sixth province and am already fairly bored with it - it will provide amusement for a fair while and as it's free, you have nothing to lose.
DOS · by krammer (254) · 2003
|Rome Wasn't Built in a Day||Infernos (42042)||Jan 6th, 2016|
|Freeware status questions||MrFlibble (17899)||Dec 28th, 2014|
Caesar can be linked with Cohort II, a strategy game focused on battles and also set during the Ancient Roman era. When linked, the battles in Caesar can be played through the Cohort II game. However, because Cohort II was released later then Caesar, this feature is only available in re-releases.
In the late 90s — early 2000s, the full DOS version of Caesar was available as a free download from Impressions Games' website. The download link was removed from the official game page on Sierra's website sometime in late 2002. Vivendi Universal Games later confirmed that Caesar is not redistributable freeware.
Information also contributed by LeChimp
- MobyGames ID: 3146
- GOG.com: caesar
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by William Shawn McDonie.
Game added January 23rd, 2001. Last modified August 22nd, 2023.