World simulators have been around now on the Amiga for quite some time and have been generally well received. Populous was the first real hit from Electronic Arts and others such as Civilisation and Utopia followed on, also making names for themselves. So with the market swamped by this type of genre do we really need yet another planet simulator? Well, if Global Effect is anything to go by it is apparent that there is a niche, however small.
Global Effect takes the best features from all the renowned 'planet games' and incorporates them into one hell of a game. The idea is to keep your planet environmentally clean and healthy while trying to stop an adversary from doing the opposite. This means that as well as building elements, war is also a definite consideration.
The depth to this game is amazing and it is apparent that Toby Simpson definitely knows exactly what he's talking about - everything you would possibly imagine has been included, oven the trees die eventually and will need replanting. On loading up the game, which is hard disk installable, you will be presented with several options regarding the type of game you wish to play.
THE GLOBAL EFFECT
You can opt to either create a world, rule a world or save a world. Create a world can either be two player, single player or against the computer and requires you to build your own world and keep the environment balanced while the opponent spreads pollution Rule a world basically offers the chance to, once again, create a world but gain total domination. This moans that eventually you will have to go to war with the opponent before he has a chance to nuke you from existence. You can select your terrain type which will determine the types of mineral that you will be able to extract from the land and sea. This is important as it will determine the success of your creation.
I'M OUT OF ENERGY
As mentioned before, you can play against the computer or battle against a friend with the link-up option. Once you are happy with your set-up, you can then continue to the actual play area. When you begin your game you are allocated a power bar, or maner bar. Everything you do in the game will effect the energy bar - even moving around the map will reduce it. To keep the power bar up you will need to create cities and keep the environment healthy. This is quite difficult to achieve, so you'll need to set aside a couple of weeks if you've any intentions of completing your task
Selecting from the construction icons on the right of the screen, you must first find a reliable source of power by performing seismic tests and then build the necessary power stations to harness it. Once the power station has been set up and is running successfully you can then build a small city and plant pylons to power it. The city should then come to life. Next, you must build water supplies and sewage systems as well as farms to provide food for your population. This is the obvious pan of the game and consists of the basic set-up you will need to expand and grow.
Obviously, everything you do will have some effect on the environment and you will need to redress the balance by planting trees, closing down a few power stations which can cause pollution and maybe reducing the size of cities. The energy bar will indicate whether or not you are making the right decisions.
The actual game is controlled by the cursor. By selecting structures from the development icons you can then place them down on the ground energy allowing. Each development takes up a certain amount of energy warfare being the most costly. Sometimes, you may wish to demolish certain structures if they prove useless to your objective. This causes wasteland, so grass and trees will need to be planted which can be built upon once again.
ALL OUT WAR!
Busily creating your world and trying to keep the balance, you may forget about your opponent. If you choose a military set-up then you will need to spend as much time protecting your environment as you will building it. Clicking on the warfare icon will reveal even more icons that will allow you to build missiles, ships, aircraft, HQ centres and airfields; the key to total domination. Before you can attack the enemy, you will need to find out exactly where on the map he is.
The only way to do this is to perform tests on the atmosphere such as looking at the Ozone layer, temperature scans and environmental damage. By picking out the danger zones you will have a better chance of locating the enemy. You can then program your missiles with the co-ordinates of the enemy's location and send them off to their target This causes environmental damage so be prepared to clean up the mess. If you aren't quick enough, the enemy may launch his own strike which could result in your untimely demise.
GOING FOR GREEN
Whatever you decide to do, you must remember that it is the environment you are protecting. If your cities are too large and the pollution too great then the planet will start to die: you will have failed. Each world is random so you'll be starting afresh each time with different data and a new aggressor. Green is clean and if you fail you will only have yourself to blame.
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