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Napoleon eh? Not only did he overrun most of Europe with French soldiers, subjecting it to a reign of terror and weirdness for several years, he’s also been responsible for some of the most excruciatingly boring computer games ever.

Nothing changes in Napoleon I. You can choose to play one of four campaigns, either against the computer or a wargaming chum, and dole out orders to your troops in the traditional (somewhat laborious) manner, with the emphasis being placed on maintaining supply lines. There’s also an option (which I politely declined) to pause the game and physically act out the battles with your collection of lead soldiers, feeding the results back in afterwards.

What you won’t find, however, is any attempt to make the game appeal to the novice. While the maps are reasonable attractive(ish), the standard presentation generally is abysmally low. It’s a tough, uncompromising, workmanlike simulation, one that will grab even the most committed wargamer by the collars and say: "Listen, pal, either you’re with me or you’re not. Which is it to be?"

And that, naturally, makes it a pain to review. Those manly enough to roll up their sleeves, grit their teeth and enjoy themselves whatever the cost will demand to have me up against the wall for marking it so pitifully low; while everyone else, the overwhelming majority, will want me strung up for rating it so ridiculously high.

I’ll keep my head down for a bit.