Rome: Pathway to Power is a non-pretentious, humorous adventure with a single main plot. Namely, your character, Hector, a lowly slave who has the fortunes (or misfortunes) to be in the right place at the right time, has his sights set on becoming Emperor of Rome. Featuring a very easy to use point-and-click interface, the game contains a good number of puzzles to solve and unfolds through Hector's adventures in six different scenarios (levels), each unique and liberally salted with grains of historical humor. Quite a bit of strategy is needed to overcome some of your character's obstacles and the witty plotline takes you all over ancient Rome, as well as to places like Britain and Egypt. You'll interact with memorable historical characters as well as fictional composites, such as Cleopatra and the Emperor Gluteus Maximus. Sprinkled throughout with humor and serious survival hurdles, Rome: Pathway to Power mixes easy control through the use of icons or buttons with some very pleasing graphics and funny animations. Hector is the perfect mix of the proverbial good samaritan, johnny-on-the-spot, innocent bystander, reluctant hero-type leading man.
Using mostly an isometric scrolling viewpoint that jumps from screen to screen, game control is a cinch with the fully developed simple interface. A cleverly designed overhead map of the world allows quick movement from location to location so most of your time will be spent helping Hector solve the many dilemmas he'll encounter. Unfortunately, there is one fly in the ointment here. The game's pace is decidedly on the slow side, along with character movement and plot development. Control may be easy but the survival aspect of the game isn't necessarily a walk in the park. You'll run into quite a few moderate to difficult game situations (puzzles) to overcome as well as some priceless historical incidents depicted with facetious amusement, such as the eruption of Mount Vesuvius and Coliseum games. Rome: Pathway to Power is a game filled with surprising twists and twisted (in a good way) characters. You'd be well advised to get a sturdy pair of sandals and a durable toga before you start though. The journey will not be a quick walk to the forum, but --(pause for dramatic effect)-- funny things will happen to you on the way!
Graphics: Artwork creates a game environment commensurate with the time period and the 3-D graphics are well done.
Sound: Sound is on a par with the graphics; both music and sound effects enhance the experience.
Enjoyment: Time well spent in this humorous romp through historical (and hysterical) ancient Rome. Downside is the game speed which seems to be excessively slow at times which does reduce the otherwise enjoyable aspects.
Replay Value: Not much new to do a second time around.
Set in Ancient Rome, you start life as a poor slave in Herculaneum, which along with Pompeii was destroyed by the eruption of Mt. Versuvius. Eventually you travel to Rome and climb the social ladder, becoming a Captain in the army, a Senator and eventually Emperor of Rome. Four of the game's six levels are adventure style romps, while in the other two levels you control an army in an attempt to conquer an enemy of Rome. The game is made all the more interesting by the little details to be seen around the levels; from naked people running around the Baths, to buying slaves to fight in the Gladiatorial games. There are also RPG aspects to the game, especially in the way you have the freedom to choose how to deal with various problems.
You're a Roman slave. Well actually, your character is. You've never seen anything more than the provincial town you're in. You feel prisoned, so logically, you will try to escape. That's your first mission, but it's a long way to Rome and in this game, you will see not all paths lead to Rome actually. Escape from that little town before the lava kills you and you will be saved... In the first mission, that is.
But actually, there's so much to say about this game, that I can only recommend playing it. Its graphics are very good for its time and the gameplay is pretty okay too. You have a lot of freedom to do whatever you like, but you are bound to some storyline restrictions, which makes this game fun and not too hard to play.
So it's definately a game I would recommend, especially if you like to play freeplay adventure games. Anyway, try it and you will see for yourself.
People who downloaded Rome: Pathway to Power (a.k.a. Rome: A.D. 92) have also downloaded:
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