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Supremacy logo  Amiga Format Gold

VIRGIN £29.99 * Mouse

N Supremacy ations have always fought for a place in the sun and, equally, for the ‘glory of empire’. Unfortunately, these imperialistic tendencies are not limited to man: inhabitants of other star systems, supposedly more advanced, also crave the soil of other races and galactic supremacy.

Now you can take the reins of a newly-founded stellar civilisation and turn it from one-planet backwater into an empire where the sun never sets (because you will own the star, too). Four systems are yours for the taking consisting of 8, 16, 32 or (again) 32 planets. In each region you ace up to a different opponent whose own colonial management skill grows with the number of worlds he, she or it controls. As you start from the same position, but at the far end of the system, it is an even-money race for Supremacy.

Total power means concentrating on fifteen different tasks at once. Populations must be fed and taxed, but how little or how much is up to you. Ships and factories must be built and moved, carrying and producing the resources that fuel your drive for empire. Armies have to be trained, equipped and positioned, a process that erodes more of your wealth as the inevitable war looms. Messages must be monitored, as they contain vital information about your enemy’s actions and fate – back room boys develop new star drives and fruitful crops, while comets smash planets and radiation storms erse civilisations.

Via icon-filled screens you monitor the whole process and so control your chattels. The main display outlines the status of each planet, while special screens give more in-depth detail on the economic, military, production and cargo facilities available. All are interlinked to promote speedy access between related stages.

As the colonies spread, your brain is gradually stretched to snapping point trying to keep track of shuttling ships, supplies and troops between stars. Thoroughness is demanded but is impossible to achieve. Ships are left sitting in the docking bays of starving planets, holds groaning with food. Battleships are sent racing towards new war zones entirely bereft of troops, as your mind locks up trying to cope with too much too fast.

When the shooting starts, you know the race for supremacy is the final straight. Are the troops well enough trained? Do they have the kit to see off the invaders? Or will an earlier saving on weapons haunt you? This is the challenge of Supremacy. Total power is yours for the taking and that is a powerful hook indeed.
Trenton Webb

Amiga Format, Issue 15, October 1990, p.p.68-69

Essentially a management game, Supremacy should not, by tradition, look good. Yet while the gameplay is conducted via icons, the peripheral graphics give the game bite. The ships are glorious, the background screens informative and small windows around the screen feature animations which continually catch the eye. Backed up with a mystical intro and a gruesome outro, Supremacy has real style. Background sounds are there but add little, mainly supporting the peripheral graphics, and so cannot be expected to excel. When combined, though, they make this management challenge of galactic proportions easily understandable.

The four opponents increase in cunning and make life real hard. The first is little more than a trainer and is summarily seen off afer a few wars. Numbers two and three are experts imperialists who really stomp the terra. The fourth is the ‘man’ to shoot for: resplendent in devilish scarlet, he knows and uses every trick in the book to gain control of ‘his’ 32-planet system. He is hard to beat with sneak attacks, forcing players to learn more devious economic trcisk, just to survive.

The scope of Supremacy combined with its easily accessible format make this one a must for megalomaniacs. The strategy is strong enough to engross even ardent armchair generals, but is instantly playable enough to win over arcade freaks too. Focussing on the few basics of life it makes ruling the stars a simple concept to grasp yet is hard enough to be a real challenge. A classical science fiction dream you the resources to fulfil: but have you got the power?


Supremacy logo  CU Super Star

PRICE: £19.99

E Supremacy very so often a game will come along that will knock spots off the competition; it will be an absolute corker, a true thoroughbred that takes a particular genre by the scruff of the neck, ignores convention and routine, and comes up with a radically different game destined to become a classic. Supremacy, from Virgin Mastertronic, is just such a game and looks set to storm the charts.

Supremacy is a space strategy game and pits the player against four alien empires in four different planetary systems. The first scenario involves an 8-planet system with your starbase at one end and the enemy’s base on the other. The objective is to build up resources such as money, minerals and food and train and equip an army to fend off attack and eventually capture the enemy’s home planet. Food is an essential requirement, unless you want to see your population wither and die, so it is best to invest in a food processor from the very start. Without fuel you won’t be able to power your space craft and energy is needed to help run mining equipment. Essentially, the game is a battle for economic and military domination and resource management is the key to success.

The other six planets in the system are lifeless and can be colonised to exploit their resources once they have been formatted. The animation used to depict planet formatting is similar to the genesis effect used in the Star Trek: Wrath of Khan movie with a sweeping electrical field engulfing the lifeless world. A Volcanic planet is great for fuel and mineral production but not very good forgenerating wealth. A Metropolis planet is useful for generating cash but not efficient at food production. Planet formatting is random so you never know what type of planet you are going to get until after the process has finished. By clicking onto the desired planet a small inset screen depicts the type of world that has been created: a volcanic eruption for a volcanic world, skyscrapers for a metropolis, green fields for a tropical world and so on.

The depth of gameplay is enormous. What at first looks a very simple task soon becomes increasingly complex. The first system is easy to master, once the basic techniques have been learnt, and the leader of the rebel kingdom soon capitulates. If you have any trouble, the boxed manual offers a host of hints on how to progress further. The next three systems are much larger, require a lot more planning, and offer adversaries who are more adept at military strategy. Mining stations and food processors can be bought for cash in the first game, but thereafter require a combination of cash, food, minerals and energy. It is possible to inherit such equipment by attacking enemy planets and taking over any equipment left behind.

Supremacy At the time of writing, I have managed to defeat Wotok, the first leader, through sheer brute force (an attack force of 16 crack platoons!) and have succeeded in offing the leader of the next system. It was not easy, though, as there were double the number of planets to exploit and it was not possible to send battle ships to the enemy’s HQ as you could do in the first scenario.

The icons allow quick access to all the screens. My only grumble here is the need to access so many of them to buy, crew, launch and set up a farming or mining unit on another planet. The same goes for training and equipping an army and flying into battle. It is also a good idea to use a pen and notepad (not provided) to keep track on where all your troops are and which planets have farming/mining units on them. Although you can access this info it is rather time consuming and while you are doing that the enemy could be attacking one of your planets.

The use of on-screen messages adds another dimension to the game. The main screen not only tells you when an enemy is attacking, who has won the battle, or when food supplies are getting low but also relays important news stories from around the solar system. During play I received messages telling me a plague of aracno-insects has wiped out my farming units on one planet and that my scientists had developed a nuclear drive so I did not need to refuel my battle ships. Some of these messages are entirely random so no two games are entirely alike.

There is a variety of ways to play the game. On level one I adopted a gung-ho attitude, built up a vast army of super-soldiers and went straight for the jugular. By level two this tactic won’t succeed. I had to adopt a more careful strategy and slowly build up resources and equipment before I could launch an effective attack. Even then, when I sent 8 platoons to his starbase I found myself vastly outnumbered and had to hastily retreat and send for reinforcements. Another approach is to build an empire of rich manufacturing planets, buy the best equipped troops, and fortify each planet against attack.

The game has some marvellous touches. When attacking enemy troops there are three animation screens depicting the battle which come up alternatively each time the battle screen is selected. There is also a panel where you can chose the aggressiveness of your troops as they fight. This increases their strength level but means that they die quicker. As enemy forces increase a faint image of the opposing dictator forms across the system screen which gets brighter as the enemy approaches your starbase.

It is essential to play the first level and not get stuck into the most difficult scenario straight away. The last levelbady guy is a tough nut who can outsmart and outflank you with ease. I have not defeated him yet and it looks like it will be a long time before I do. I cockily played against him as soon as I got the game and was soon reduced to licking his boots.

Nick Bruty (design) and David Perry (programming) have come up with the ultimate in strategy games. There are so many different ways to play Supremacy that you can always find a new approach and a different set of tactics to use. A classic.

Dan Slingsby
CU Amiga, September 1990, p.p.26-27

Supremacy logo  Zzap! Sizzler

Virgin Mastertronic, Amiga £29.99
Supremacy Becoming the 'master of the world/universe/multiverse/bridge club' has always been a popular topic of strategy games. The title of Virgin Mastertronic's latest, 'Supremacy', just about says it all, really.
You play the leader of Epsilon. Your system is linked to four star systems, an alien planet lies at the end of each. This is a convenient way of saying that the game has four levels of difficulty via four different opponents. Wotok, Smine, Krart and Rorn all have increasing amounts of intelligence, aggression, etc. Not surprisingly, you must defeat each alien race in turn to become supreme ruler.

However, there is the little matter of survival before wild thoughts of empire building come into focus. You must raise the population, juggle taxes, monitor morale, initiate food, mineral, fuel and energy production and begin building and training your armed forces.
A variety of spaceships will aid the cause, initially. They are divided up into Cargo Cruisers (to ferry supplies from planet to planet), Solar Satellite Generators (providing energy during planetary orbit to the planet below), Battle Cruisers (the offensive hardware that also makes a handy people-carrier due to its large hold capability), Atmosphere Processors (this god-like mechanism formats a lifeless planet for human habitation), Mining Stations (situated on the planet surface producing minerals and fuel) and Horticultural Stations (situated on the planet surface producing food).
Building armed forces, for example, asks you to select the amount of men allocated in one platoon (200 men max per platoon, 24 platoons max in your army) to be taken from the planet's civilian population. Then you select the quality of your men's body armour and weapons. Obviously, the better the equipment the more expensive it is. There are many linked factors in Supremacy. For example, drafting men to the army decreases the civilian population and, thus, lowers your tax revenues. However, it also lowers the planet's food intake (soldiers do not eat the planetary food reserves). A case of swings and roundabouts, therefore.

A deficiency of any essential resources (food, energy, etc) results in the lowering of the population due to hardship. Also, disasters can occur. For example, the testing of a new formatting process went wrong on one planet, resulting in a mass slaughter of the planetary population due to nuclear fallout. Other events included the imminent collision of a rampaging comet etc.
Thus, you will find yourself struggling an increasing amount of planets, a larger amount of varying factors and, therefore, more and more problems. The more successful you become, the more difficult the game becomes - and I haven't even mentioned the enemy yet!

Combat is largely an automatic affair, you just sit and watch the events roll in front of you. Attacks on any of your planets had better be met by a resident garrison otherwise you will have lost a planet in a very short time. Even resident garrisons should be monitored and periodically topped-up as they will be whittled away by attrition. The enemy is a devious and cunning opponent, sometimes hitting your home base, venturing behind enemy lines, and concentrating on your weaker forces.
Graphics are excellent with lots of spot animation and sound effects that add to the atmosphere. The manual is also a credit and the interface is easy to use, utilising icons, and contains a useful tutorial.

Supremacy is as good a game as Electronic Art's Imperium - for exactly the opposite reasons! It is very easy to get into and play and recommended to beginner and experienced strategists alike. The presentation is glossy and entertaining, the challenge is high and tactical thought is necessary. In fact, any game that can keep me up till five o'clock in the morning has to have something going for it!

Zzap! Issue 69, January 1991, p.44