We are seeing the most obvious outworking of our need to dominate each other in the Persian Gulf at the moment. You can also see it in the computer games that are released over and over again. From the first space invaders to the latest version of some flight simulators, it is all about winning. With a name like Supremacy, you can hardly think that it will be any different.
The overwhelming thought I had as I booted the game was one of class. From the opening sequence the graphics were outstanding and the music was just marvellous. In fact I spent a couple of hours one day just running the opening sequence again and again.
Of course the object of the game is to win supremacy over the star system that you choose. You can choose any of four systems, Hitotsu, Futatsu, Mittsu and Yottsu, or in actuality, one of four opponents. As you are introduced to the game you are asked for the almost obligatory password from the manual. You are also introduced to your opponents with such wonderful names as Wotok, Smine, Krart, and Rorn. To defeat Wotok you are informed that you only need 3% neural capacity, but to defeat Rorn? Well the comment is "We pity you".
After this impressive introduction, you're dumped into the main screen. Again the graphics are beautifully crafted and the interface is all gadget driven. From the main screen you can then go to any of ten subsidiary screens from which you can view the political and economic status of your planets, do business and buy ships and stations, 'format' planets - terraforming them - making them livable to humans, recruit, train, equip and deploy your army, as well as saving the game.
Defeating Wotok was actually relatively easy and took me all of about one hour - though on the way I did have to starve one of my planets. At times the decisions you have to make come so quickly that it overwhelms you a bit, it was not for nothing they added a pause feature. I'm sure the next battle won't be so easy.
The manual is a well written 90 pages with plenty of description and pictures. It is well organised and indexed with a quick start tutorial to get you into the game though they recommend that you read the whole manual first - and so do I! The game really does have a large scope as you juggle the needs of colonisation and conquest. You can't spend too long developing home, because you need the resources and growth that come from colonies - but if you don't develop Starbase enough then you run out of funds loo early and you can't equip. Always a problem being an absolute ruler I suppose.
My main gripe with playing the game, other than my inability to react quickly enough to the changing situation, was that you are restricted as to the number of vessels you can have at any one time. It may sound plenty to have spaces for thirty-two ships but I found that toward the end of the game, I had so many farming and mining plants going to feed and fuel everything that I couldn't transport my troops adequately, and support them properly.
Again, my overall impression of the game is very favourable. It is one of the few games of this type that has actually kept me interested to the end. I will be playing this one again and again, even if it is only to hear that opening music and see the graphic sequences. Just as a teaser, the final sequence is clever, if a bit horrible, but definitely worth seeing. My other major problem is: All this was almost exclusively on one of the two disks. What's in store on the other!?
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