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Seven Kingdoms
$9.95 (Win95/98/Me/XP) (Retail) (7KINGDOMPR)

See also Seven Kingdoms: Ancient Adversaries. Note: Owners of Seven Kingdoms can upgrade to Seven Kingdoms Ancient Adversaries by installing a free downloadable patch.

Ratings:

90% from PC Gamer - Editor's Choice

Intrigue, Diplomacy, Trade, Conquest and Espionage

Enter the world of Seven Kingdoms, a world of intrigue and diplomacy, of trade, conquest and espionage. Take control of any of seven emerging civilizations: Greeks, Chinese, Japanese, Persians, Mayans, Normans and Vikings.

Wage war on your rivals or forge alliances with them. Send spies to infiltrate their ranks or hold your spies back to guard against your enemies' prying eyes. Mine ore and manufacture goods, then build trade routes to bring gold flowing into your coffers. Research the science of war machines or turn from science to the mystic arts and seek the ultimate power: the ability to summon the aid of the gods. All these choices are yours to make.

In the beginning, Seven Kingdoms will vie for supremacy. But in the end, one will rule them all. With strength, cunning, and a little luck, you might be the One...

Features

Real-time empire building and conquest with seven unique cultures

Multiplayer options - up to 7 players via modem, LAN, serial, or Internet

Customizable options - set your own goals for preferred style of play

Pre-built scenarios and random map generator for unlimited gameplay

Sophisticated trade and diplomatic options, plus espionage and counter-espionage

Dynamic weather and random events such as fires and earthquakes

Stunning 800x600 SVGA graphics

Fantastic monsters and mighty gods

Battles by land or at sea

Walk-through tutorial with easy-to-use point-and-click interface

Long ago, in a time when the lives of peasants, kings, monsters and gods were intertwined, seven kingdoms vied for supremacy ... the Greeks, Chinese, Japanese, Persians, Mayans, Normans and Vikings.

The tools of conquest were trade, diplomacy, espionage, science and brute force. By strength, cunning and guile, they expanded their burgeoning empires, fighting against the ravages of nature, rival kingdoms and uprisings from within.

The mightiest of these empires could do battle with vile monsters and wrest free from them the jealously guarded secrets for controlling the gods themselves. But even such awesome powers would not guarantee victory for any king without the steadfast loyalty of his subjects. Ultimately, the power of the kingdoms rested on the shoulders of the lowly peasants, and it was a wise king who ruled his subjects fairly and earned their loyal support before dreaming of conquest. For the king who underestimated his subjects, rebellion always threatened.

Journey back to this mythical time and ascend the throne of your own kingdom. Lead your people well, prosper in trade and diplomacy, make good use of your spies and keep those of your enemies at bay, forge and train a great army, then grind your enemies into dust - do all these things and perhaps yours will be the One Kingdom to rule them all.

Requirements: Microsoft Windows 95/98/Me/XP, Intel Pentium 90 or higher processor, 45MB hard drive space for minimum install (110MB for maximum install), 25MB for swap file, 16MB RAM, video card capable of 800 x 600 x 256 colors resolution or higher, 4x or higher speed CD-ROM drive, 32-bit driver, 100% Sound Blaster compatible sound card, DirectX5 compatible video and sound hardware, Microsoft compatible mouse, 28.8 Kbps modem for modem or Internet play.

Tested OK on Windows XP.

Reviews:

PC Gamer, March 1998

"The first thing players need to do is get their usual real-time strategy preconceptions out of their minds. Although 7K can be won just by building big armies and clobbering your opponent, that misses most of the really fun elements. 7K is a full, rich universe where trade, diplomacy, prayer, deceit, racial harmony, monsters, gods, and spies are just as important in the overall equation. The player begins in charge of a village made up of one of seven races - Mayan, Norman, Chinese, Japanese, Persian, Greek, and Viking. As King, your goal is to build a strong and profitable empire by building up your starting city and taking over neutral cities. You can, of course, beat everyone into submission, but your reputation will suffer and your overall rating will decline. Smart players can take over cities through grants, using spies, building a fort nearby to house a strong army, or providing them with jobs and goods. The ultimate goal, of course, is to take over the world.

"Play is handled in the usual real-time strategy fashion, by clicking on units and giving the orders to perform certain tasks. Players will need to provide forts for soldiers to train in, scientific laboratories to research new weapons, factories to build items, and markets and caravans for money. What makes this game different, though, it that each unit has his or her own name, job, and loyalty level. A unit's loyalty and effectiveness at its job is affected by a number of things including living in a village filled with citizens of the same race, being commanded by an effective general (also of the same race), perks offered by you, and the general reputation of your kingdom.

"That means that your subjects aren't mindless drones who'll follow your every whim. If a unit feels ill-used or panicky, it can (and frequently will) betray you and change its allegiance to an enemy player or a neutral village. This can be particularly problematic if the unit is a general, since he can take half your army with him. Other units may switch the allegiance of vital buildings just when you need them. Conversely, a reputation as a just or powerful king means that other players' or neutral units will change their allegiance to you.

"This is further complicated by the presence of spies. 7K's spy units are, frankly, the single best innovation to the real-time strategy genre since the original Command & Conquer, 7K's spies are units that pretend to switch loyalties, infiltrating enemy inns and towns. Once there, an opposing player can use them just like one of his own. However, while in the opposing camp, spies become an incredibly useful unit. They will relay information about whatever they are working on in enemy science labs or factories. They can be used to sabotage enemy projects or decrease enemy loyalty levels. The real bonus, however, comes when one of your spies becomes an enemy general, or even an enemy king. There's nothing like the howl of frustration caused when you suddenly take back your spy and half of your opponent's beautiful army comes with him. That's nothing though, compared to when your spy becomes king and submits a whole kingdom to your rule!"

"All things considered, there are very few areas of complaint, and the few quibbles aren't much more than that - just quibbles. Seven Kingdoms is a deep and satisfying strategy game that's unlikely to get as much attention as it deserves. Memo to I-Magic: Get Trevor Chan a decent artist for his games and start doling out the stock options, because if Seven Kingdoms is an indication of what we can expect from him in the future, he's worth whatever it takes to keep him churning out games."



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