First you choose one out of four different characters to represent you, Scarlet (red army), Oberon (yellow army), Caesar (green army), or Madcap (blue army). The game is split into 10 levels - the first 9 are groups of 3 territories which can be completed in any other, while the final 'Mother of All Battles' has its own surprises.
Land is mostly of sand, grass or ice. You start with 100 men and you can use whatever quantity you find necessary on each island. The rest men left will go to another level with another new 100. In the second half of the game you can freeze men to save them for the Mother of All Battles. Once you select your island and place for your HQ, you must do some research for better weapons and defences. On the roof of your buildings you can put protectors like archers, gunmen, boiling oil men, and later on even laser turrets. If you send a team of unarmed men into an unoccupied square, they will build an additional base there, with larger armies completing this more quickly.
Later on higher levels, you'll also build mines and factories, as you'll need to dig a certain material for higher level weapons, depending on whether the area you're on is rich with a certain material or not. With each next level, you'll start from a higher technology level and be able to progress to one higher level up then the at previous level.
If there is more then just one enemy, you can make an alliance until you crush the other one - three of you can form an alliance against fourth enemy. For what its worth, a certain numeric level of defence is always stronger from the same level of attacker, and men that are not armed (conscripts) can only kill enemy soldiers, not destroy or attack enemy fort.
The main thing as it always is in strategy games is to be the sole survivor and lead your men to victory, experimenting on vicious technologies, equipping your men, making a perfect soldiers out of them, produce shields, weapons, planes... to dominate the world and crush your opponents.
You can do the battling only in a certain quadrant, but don't be long as your men will automatically start building the fort, and it will be at the bottom of age level and you'll need to invent everything for that one again.
This game's name reflects its nature pretty accurately. It is truly megalomaniacal when it comes to addictiveness or the time it requires from the player. It has been ported to all most popular gaming platforms that existed in the early ninetees. These include Amiga, Genesis, Atari ST and PC. Some may argue that the versions differ in quality due to better graphics or more intuitive controls, but I believe its the gameplay that counts the most, and it is the same in all versions.
So, you're probably wondering what is this game is about in the first place. I'm not going to retell the whole introduction sequence here, but I'll give you the basics. You are a god and you have a designated tribe which you control. But you are not alone; there are also 3 other gods controlling their tribes on the same planet, and you are fighting the other gods so that your tribe would become the most powerful one in the world. You will oversee the development of your tribe from the time of the wheel all the way to the discovery of nuclear power.
The game is split into epochs. Each epoch consists of several missions that you must accomplish in order to get a secret word for the next epoch. This basically means that you will have to complete an entire epoch before you can actually "save" your game. This can be pretty frustrating as an epoch can consist of many missions, so I suggest you start playing bigger ones in the morning :) There is another aspect of this game you should be careful about. Each epoch you are granted 100 people, and for each mission you choose a number of people you will start playing with. You should carefully choose this as it is important that you use as little people as possible for easier missions, in order to save them for the harder ones.
In each mission you will have to watch over 5 things. These are research, attack, defence, breeding and mining. The object of the game is to assign the people in the best possible way in order to achieve maximum efficiency. The more people you have working in a certain area, the faster this area develops. So, the more non-workers you have, the faster your population will grow, the more people you have researching, the faster you will get new inventions and so on. This might sound easy, but its extremely challenging. With time, you will gain confidence and try to start the missions with insanely small amounts of people, so you can basically make the game as challenging as you want it to be.
But enough with the spoilers. I suggest you give it a shot and see how you do. This game is very mentally challenging and if you give it some time to get accustomed to, it will keep you hooked for months to come. The concept of Mega Lo Mania is very original and intelligent, and it has been flawlessly executed in form of a game. The only reason why I give it a 4 mark is because I find the mission saving incapability very irritating, but still, who could resist playing god, even for a day!
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MechCommander Gold, Powermonger, Metal Fatigue, Magic: The Gathering, MechCommander 2, Millennium: Return to Earth, Master of Orion, Myth 2: Soulblighter
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