EVERYBODY has an off day. You know the sort of thing - wake up in the morning and there is no milk for your shreddies, cannot get to work because the trains are screwed up. But all this is as nothing to the problems facing Prince Cirion. His father bought it, so has the best magician in the kingdom. What is left of it, that is, because the rest has been overrun with demons, robbers, orcs, editors and other lower forms of life. Things are looking quite bad.
Commander in Chief of the invading chaotic forces is Medusa. I do not think she is any relation to the Prime absed 3D modelling package, but she seems to be just as temperamental. The only hopy of defeating her is to find the five rings, The Rings of Medusa no less, and gather what the blurb describes as a "relatively huge" army, before putting her to the sword.
This is not quite so easy as popping into the first jewellers you come across. The rings could be anywhere in the kingdom and the kingdom is no longer a place you want to wander about unless you are being followed by a few thousand highly trained soldiers in your employ.
Now in order to get a decent army you need a large amount of money. I do not know what you reckon, but I do not think even the TSB would be prepared to lend you several million on the strength that you may or may not win back your kingdom. The local banks will be prepared to lend you a few grand to get started.
From here you can take up a number of careers to increase cash flow. In fact, the first thing I did when the bank gave me a loan was to go straight to the park, sign up 50 men, outfit them and then go back to the bank and rob it.
There are a number of slightly more honourable professions you might take up. Trading with ships or weapons, searching for and mining raw materials or gambling in the casions, as well as outright banditry.
Actualy, it all begins to remind me of Elite. I mean, obviously it is set in a different period and all that, but the basic components are the same.
All the options are icon driven. These are not the sort of icons that seem to represent anything but the sort of indistinct things that hang around on the bottom of the screen, and have you looking them up in the manual every time you want to use them.
The rest of the graphics are impressive. Very impressive even. I particularly like the scenes where you are laying siege to a caslte and you get a panoramic view of your men running up and down, as well as cavalry charges and airstrikes from dragons.
There is a fair amount of strategy to the battles, it may not be simply a case of outnumbering the enemy.
Battles at sea are a bit of a let down though - it all boils down to how fast you can load a cannon.
Individual army units are made up of humans, trolls, giants and other mythical life forms. Each will detract or contribute to the unit's overall strength, intelligence and other fighting characteristics. The right troops have to be found for the right job.
The music is OK but not exactly atmospheric and get get to be a bit painful after a while.
In the value stakes there is an awful lot to it, remaining interesting and playable right up to the end.
A worthy attempt to combine true strategy with adventure through perhaps the need for financial acumen and military skill deny the pure adventurer much scope for success.