In memoriam, Donald Sutherland


aka: Caesar I
Moby ID: 3146

[ All ] [ Amiga ] [ Atari ST ] [ DOS ] [ Macintosh ] [ Windows ]

Critic Reviews add missing review

Average score: 73% (based on 19 ratings)

Player Reviews

Average score: 3.1 out of 5 (based on 27 ratings with 1 reviews)

Enjoyable to begin with, but not enjoyable enough to complete

The Good
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.

The Bad
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

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by xPafcio, Jo ST, Picard, LeftHandedMatt, mailmanppa, ti00rki, Patrick Bregger, Tomas Pettersson, Alsy.