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PSYGNOSIS £24.99 * Mouse
Carthage T he Phoenician colonies had no luck, they were ravaged and defeated by the Romans on three occasions. These became known as the Punic wars. Now's your chance to put history right and help out these poor victimised souls by taking on the role of Diogenes, a Phoenician hero.

Winning Wars Takes Dosh
Carthage is a strategy game and as Diogenes you have to make sure the Romans are out-flanked, out-gunned and out-thought. To do this you have to buy soldiers, create armies and allocate your resources according to the movements of the Romans. This is done from a sexy, fractal generated, 3D map which shows the position of the cities, your troops and the Romans.
To win the day you'll need dosh and lots of it. Fortunately, the Phoenician trading fleet, the best around, regularly sends back money to its capital, Carthage. You have to make sure this money makes it to the various cities by getting on your chariot and taking it there in person.
The chariot sequences are one of the main arcade sequences. You view your chariot from behind, and see the road scrolling in front of you in Outrun style. To go faster, you give the horses a good crack of the whip and steer them just as you would a Robin Reliant (namely hang on for your life). Hitting the logs and rocks that appear in the road causes money bags to drop off your chariot, they also make your wheels wobble. If they become too wobbly though, they drop off forcing you to hitch back to the city.

Ben Hur Move Over
If you meet another chariot on the road, then a confrontation takes place in true Ben Hur style. The view changes to overhead and you've got to barge the other chariot off the road by ramming the spikes on your wheels into the other chappies, while simultaneously whipping him in a very unsporting fashion.
Succeed and he gets the chance to eat grass verge, but if you lose and then it's your turn for the cowslip and nettle sandwich. Best of luck you'll need it.
In order to out-flank the Romans, you'll need to keep close tabs on their progress. From the 3D map, you can view the entire country, with all the forts and cities shown as flags. To move an army you simply click on its icon (a small helmet) and drag it to the city you want it to march to. To move Diogenes (and therefore money) you drag his helmet onto the city you want him to travel to.
If the Romans catch up with you then a battle will begin. To get an army ready for battle simply click on its general and halt it. Then it's a case of dragging either the cavalry, infantry or elephants to their required destination and watching the battle commence.
Andy Hutchinson

Amiga Format, Issue 19, February 1991, p.86

VERDICT
  • Carthage is a well presented graphical strategy game.
  • Arcade sequences lift what could have been a boring game.
  • Considerable lasting interest, coupled with an interesting historical background.
  • Will only appeal to strategy games fans.
  • Arcade sequences alone won't make the game any more interesting to shoot-em-up fans.
82%


Carthage logo

Schon mal von den Punischen Kriegen gehört? Oder von Hannibal. Der mit einer Elefantenkarawane über die Alpen gezogen ist und den Römern fürchterlich eins auf's Haupt gegeben hat? Nein? Na, dann wißt Ihr ja gar nicht, warum und mit wem Ihr Euch hier rumprügeln dürft...

Carthage Macht aber nichts, denn so wahnsinnig genau hat es Psygnosis mit den historischen Fakten ohnehin nicht genommen. Anders ausgedrückt: Hier darf man (als karthagischer Feldherr) die Geschichte neu schreiben! Beschreiben läßt sich Carthage am besten als Strategiegame mit Actioneinlagen. Gespielt wird überwiegend auf einer dreidimensionalen Darstellung des "Krisengebietes" in Fraktalgrafik. Ähnlich wie bei "Powermonger" kann man einzelne Ausschnitte vergrößern, die Landschaft in verschiedene Richtungen scrollen, den Betrachtungswinkel wechseln, oder sich die Gegend auf einer 2D-Übersichtskarte anschauen. Locker verteilt in der Fraktallandschaft findet man Symbole für die verschiedenen Truppenteile, Garnisonsstädte und Bataillone. Alle Kommandos werden mit Hilfe kleiner Iconfelder eingeleitet: Per Mausklick treibt man Geld für seine Truppen auf, verteilt die Leute auf dem Schlachtfeld oder entläßt sie wieder, sobald keine Kohle mehr für sie da ist.

Treffen zwei feindliche Armeen aufeinander, muß man seine Einheiten (samt Bogenschützen, Katapulten, etc.) möglichst clever im Gelände plazieren. Je schlauer man sich dabei anstellt, umso weniger Stärke- und Loyalitätspunkte verlieren die Truppen dann im Kampf. Damit sich die Jungs für die nächste Auseinandersetzung ausruhen können, sollte man sie nach geschalgener Schlacht in eine Garnisonsstadt führen. Zwischendurch kann man mit dem Streitwagen zu den diversen Städten fahren, um dort den sehnlichst erwarteten Gold abzuliefern. Ist ja klar: Geld macht müde Krieger munter! Aber es ist einiges Geschick beim Umgang mit dem Joystick vonnöten: Mit seinem Wägelchen muß man herumliegenden Felsbrocken und Ästen ausweichen – wer dabei zuviele Unfälle baut, verliert einen Geldsack nach dem anderen! Wird man unterwegs von einem Römer angegriffen, wechselt die Perspektive, und man sieht den jetzt entbrennenden Kampf von oben. Nun gilt es, den Gegner zu rammen oder ihn mit der Peitsche zu verdreschen.

Carthage hat ein durchaus interessantes Konzept, dazu ist das Game auch grafisch ganz ordentlich gelungen, selbst der Sound ist überdurchschnittlich. Hier könnte sich der Strategiespezialist SSI für seine Fließbandproduktionen ruhig mal eine dicke Scheibe abschneiden! Spielerisch ist die digitale Geschichtsstunde allerdings dünn: Die Streitwagensequenz kann zwar mit ganz beachtlichen Animationen aufwarten, ist aber deshalb noch längst kein vollwertiges Actiongame. Und gestandene Strategen werden mit den Armeeverschiebe-aktionen auch nicht übermäßig viel Freude haben. Außerdem stört der häufige Wechsel zwischen Maus (Strategie) und Joystick (Action). Schade, denn mit einem etwas komplexeren Spielablauf hätte Carthage ein echter Renner werden können – so aber ist es im vierversprechenden Ansatz steckengeblieben. (C. Borgmeier)

Amiga Joker, February 1991, p.69

Amiga Joker
Carthage
Grafik: 74%
Sound: 63%
Handhabung: 56%
Spielidee: 70%
Dauerspaß: 55%
Preis/Leistung: 56%

Red. Urteil: 57%
Für Fortgeschrittene
Preis: ca. 79,- DM
Hersteller: Psygnosis
Bezug: Joysoft

Spezialität: Zwei Disks, deutsche Anleitung, Intro, Schlußbild und Highscoreliste sind sehenswert!


Carthage logo

Psygnosis, Amiga £24.99

Carthage Carthage (no - not the bony stuff in your knee) was, in times of yore, a rather wealthy Phoenician city on the Gulf of Tunis. All would have been well and good if the Romans hadn't got the hump and decided that it wanted a piece of the Phoenician pie. Three wars, known throughout history as the Punic Wars, followed.
Now's your chance to get even with the Roman rotters in this game that is promoted as a blend of both strategy and arcade. You play Diogenes, the hero who is going to save Carthage from the rampaging Romans.

The strategic elements of Carthage are played via a top-down map (generated using some very nice 3-D fractal routines, by the way). You also have a bit of god- given sight that can access the enemy's forces and positions. In response you con create armies from the city reserves. Armies normally consist of archers and infantry. However, other tactical weapons can be utilised such as elephants and catapults. The latter cannot be created but must be taken from their scattered positions before the Romans get them. Loyalty, strength and experience increase with combat - although fatigue can also hit. Such a unit must then rest.
To buy these units and pay and maintain their upkeep you'll need a constant supply of gold. Gold is obtained via transactions with merchant ships that visit the main land. Keeping a low stockpile of cash will encourage more trade and more cash to flow in. However, to distribute the dosh to the neighbouring cities will require a bit of legwork (or rather, wheelwork) because you will need to take the gold via chariot to each city.
To visit a city, you drag your character's icon to that city (every unit and army in designated by icons of some description). After that the game shifts to a new view, just behind your chariot, at ground level. This is the arcade bit, a race game, using the joystick. You manoeuvre your chariot around the winding roads, dodging past numerous obstacles that threaten to dislodge a portion of you gold, sending it onto the road. There are also Roman assassins to contend with. These characters are also in chariots. When you catch up with one the view shifts to an overhead view of both chariots. Using a combination of whipping your opponent and spiking his wheels with your wheel spikes you must run the guy off the road. If he wins you lose all of your gold and must hitch a lift back to the city you started from.

Carthage does have its good bits. The graphics are excellent and the sound is pretty good. The basic storyline and the use of this time period is to be commended. Apart from Annals Of Rome I find it difficult to remember any game, worthy of note, that uses this section of history so a pat on the back to Psygnosis for that. The method of viewing the tactical map is well- designed. Basically, the program remembers when you ask for a new angle or zoom level. It then lists it, in the form of a mini-graphic, on a separate screen for your immediate selection later on.

There are a number of problems, though. The arcade section dominates to the detriment of the game because this section is pretty repetitive and becomes boring very quickly. The manual offers little in the way of tactical thought (a brief mention of the advantage of height and that's about it). The game doesn't handle the tactical sequence very well. You do not feel that you are pitting your wits against a wily old general. It's just a matter of throwing in large numbers and hoping for the best. No tactical feedback is present at all in this area (formations, strengths of one unit type over another, etc).
I wish software houses would stop designing these silly strategy/arcade hybrids. They try to make strategy attractive to everyone, but only succeed in wasting everybody's time. While Carthage does have its good points, there are too many design faults to warrant your attention.

Zzap! Issue 70, February 1991, p.47

PRESENTATION
77%
GRAPHICS
88%
SOUND
81%
HOOKABILITY
62%
LASTABILITY
56%
OVERALL
66%