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PSS have a really excellent game in Annals of Rome. If they took a bit more trouble with it they could have had a world-beater.
There is so much to this game that it will take you a long time to get to grips with it, but it is worth persevering with because the amount of available options make it very involving to play and no two games will ever be exactly the same. For the solo wargamer it's a must but prepare yourself for long involved sessions.
grand strategic view
of the Roman Republic/Empire, this simulation
offers many innovative concepts. However,
it is graphically dull and suffers from a
lack of completeness. Even with its flaws, for
a game which feels only partially done, it succeeds
on many levels. (Note that the 16-bit versions
are much more playable than the 8-bit
The grand sweep of the scenario is inspiring, but there are several odd things wrong with the Commodore version. The lack of sound is a more serious deficiency than I could have imagined, the population breakdown of each region is missing, and so, more seriously, is the phase which explained how many troops ware being recruited from various regions. To my surprise, the result is a piece of software that is even more shoddily presented than its Spectrum counterpart, and so uncongenial that it was unable to recreate the same fascination, or ensnare me with its addictive gameplay. Compared to the high standard of much software available for the Commodore, Annals of Rome makes a poor showing.
It is realistic in the sense that most rulers spent a lot of time looking at the map and worrying, but it can get very dull.
Annals of Rome is a
may not be overly impressive,
playing time yields sufficient reward. The most disappointing
aspect of the simulation is that it appears unfinished. Additional
game development using different scenarios (startpoints),
defined victory conditions, and a better save
mechanism would have yielded a much more polished effort.
Still, with all its defects, Annals of Rome is a pleasant