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Chaos Overlords is played out on an 8x8 grid, said grid representing city blocks. Each block contains three locations of varying significance (hospitals, research centres, etc) which are randomised for each new game. In fixed positions throughout the city are the headquarters of six organised crime syndicates. As the game begins, the player is in control of one of these HQ buildings, and have one gang of 'Right Hand Men' under player control. The aim of the game varies, from eliminating all rival gangs to capturing all HQ buildings, or merely competing for the highest bank balance or prestige (popularity).

Gameplay is very like a board game. Each turn, a selection of three gangs is made available to the player. From this pool the player may hire or dismiss one of the gangs. An extensive range of gangs is included, from Disgruntled Postal Workers to Renegade Nuns. Once hired, gangs are dispensed throughout the city with instructions to seize control of the aforementioned locations (obtaining research bonuses from research centres, accelerated healing from hospitals, etc.), shakedown the public for cash, research new weapons and technology or attack enemy installations.

Each gang may be outfitted with a weapon (ranged or melee) an item of protective gear and one miscellaneous item (performance-enhancing drugs, smoke bombs and 'cool shades' are a few examples). Getting the right gang and researching the perfect accessories for them is where much of the fun lies.

Combat, when it occurs (which is often) is automated, this is a strategy game, not a tactical simulation. Action is simultaneous turn-based with an optional time-limit to keep things moving. Multiplayer is supported through hotseat, modem, LAN or internet (TCP/IP) and is more stable than some current releases (possibly due to low average system specs when it was released).


Chaos Overlords Windows ... and with a few turns left to go
Chaos Overlords Windows Selecting an un-influenced site
Chaos Overlords Windows Equipment detail. This armor improves the gang's defense at the cost of stealth as it is rather difficult to sneak around in such armor.
Chaos Overlords Windows ... or shotgun. My gang was literally blown off their feet ...

Promo Images

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Alternate Titles

  • "Chaos Overlords: Strategic Gang Warfare" -- Tag-lined title
  • "Chaos Overlords: Beherrscher des Chaos" -- German title

User Reviews

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Critic Reviews

GameSpot Windows Aug 15, 1996 9.2 out of 10 92
IGN Windows Nov 01, 2000 8.5 out of 10 85
All Game Guide Windows 1997 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Pelit Windows May, 1996 70 out of 100 70
Computer Gaming World (CGW) Windows Aug, 1996 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars 70
PC Games (Germany) Windows Jun, 1996 61 out of 100 61
High Score Windows Sep, 1996 3 out of 5 60
PC Action Windows Jun, 1996 58 out of 100 58
PC Joker Windows Jun, 1996 54 out of 100 54 Windows 1996 50 out of 100 50


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Contributed to by Brian Robinson (83) and Kabushi (250670)