The objective is the same as the original Balance of Power: use your military, covert, and industrial forces to make your country the most prestigious in the world while avoiding nuclear war. However, it is now 1989, and the Communist Block is crumbling...
Chris Crawford, who rarely ever made a sequel to a computer game, was besieged by mail asking him to update his classic from a few years before to reflect the new state of the world. Russia was falling, the Iron Curtain was shattering, and smaller countries were beginning to assert their own regional power with more freedom from the bipolar world of the Cold War.
The result was the 1990 Edition. This game featured an updated database, but the most significant new features were:
The multipolar level, where small countries could go to war with their neighbors on their own. Of course, you could help them out (or encourage them!) by sending in military aid.
18 more countries, bringing the total to 80.
A "Crisis Advisory Board" of four people, who would give you advice during international crises. The nice thing about being a Superpower is that the little countries do whatever you tell them, but you still have to watch out for your main rivals (USSR or the US)!
Ah, the cold war, probably the closest age in mans history that he was to causing the mutually assured destruction of his fellow man.
Basically, this gem of a game puts you in the shoes of the exact opposite, makign sure that DOESN'T happen. The original game, Balance of Power, was made by Chris Crawford in 1985 for the mac, and ported to Windows in 1986. However, he decided to create a new version due to non-stop emails to him, and the fact that the geo-political scale had altered violently. In 1989 he created Balance of Power: the 1990 edition. It was set in the future basically because he wanted it to be a non-linear sort of scenario. For some extra chips, one might add that this game was quoted, "The best cold war simulation."
Now then, onto the game. The basic point of the game is to raise your country's (either USA or USSR) prestige level and spheres of influence all over the world while at the same time avoiding nuclear war. This is harder then one would expect as the A.I, or other player, is always trying to make sure his views get carried on. One is usually quite lucky yo get past 2 turns in a multiplayer game, specially if he's playing with someone with hardliner ideols.
In the game you have many options or "policies" in which you can enact to one of numerous (i believe 80) countries around the globe in a hope to raise your prestige, and as title goes, alter the "balance of power". These polocies include Military Aid, Economic Aid, Aid to insugents, interveneing for goverment (helping them), intervening for Rebels(helping rebel forces), treaty, trade polocy, destabalizing, and diplomatic preasure. A small note, all these options are available on the new "Moltipolar" level, whereas they are limited on all the other difficulties.
Regarding the above, there is also a new game difficulty. Multipolar gives the player a wider variety of gameplay inwhich he can now go to war, and other neat stuff.
Basically, because I love geopolitical simulations, though am saddened by the short gameplay (if you got to play out each month of a year, from 1989 to 1997, it'd be a different story). I give this game a 4. This is for more 'hard core' political simmers in my opinion cause you actually need to use your head in a hope the AI or your friend, who you could very well hate in the end if you ever finish a game, doesn't screw you over.
All in all, I recommend it to you that are more "individualists" who care about politics.
This update of Chris Crawford's seminal Balance of Power for Windows 1.0 features up-to-date information, 18 new countries (bringing the total to 80), and "multipolar level" in which countries can go to war of their own volition (you could, of course, take advantage of the situation by selling them arms or contribute troops). Perhaps as a response to players' complaint of the steep learning curve of the first version, Chris added the "Crisis Advisory Board" who would give you advice during the crisis. Overall, an excellent update of the best cold war simulation ever made, here compiled and patched beautifully to run under Windows. There's no better geopolitical game on the market, even a decade after its release. If you have even a slight interest in politics, this game is a must-have.
A reworked version of the 1985 release which has now has 82 as opposed to the original 60 countries and you now have 4 advisors. Not the easiest game to get into though persistence will reap rewards. Playing 2 or 3 turns can take an hour or more due to the amount of info you have available to check before making your decisions. The game was designed for the Mac and this shows in the gfx which are virtually the same on the Amiga. So one for the strategy fans, certainly not for those who want flashy gfx or the casual gamer.
People who downloaded Balance of Power (1990 edition) have also downloaded:
Balance of Power (1985 edition), Shadow President, Conflict: Middle East Political Simulator, Balance of The Planet, Capitalism Plus, Crisis in The Kremlin, Battle of Britain (from TalonSoft), Baron: The Real Estate Simulation
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