Remember those old board games you once played with as a
child? Games like Sorry, Monopoly, Life, and yes even
Stratego. All of these games have finally made it into the
nineties by invading rooms once again. This time, however,
they are back with fancy graphics and all on your glorious PC.
Playing board games grew older as I grew older. Soon the
board games were replaced with multiplayer death matches
and deadly nuclear weapons. The board games became
bored games. Hasbro has decided to spring new life into these
old classics by releasing a slew of old games with flashy
graphics and multimedia coupled with that old nostalgic feel.
Stratego is basically a moveable version of the card game
'War'. First, you set up your side of the board with your
assortment of bombs, miners, spies, generals and other military
units. Then each side takes turns trying to capture the
opponent's flag which is hidden among the units. The tricky
part is that each unit is assigned a number. When you attack a
unit with a lower rating as yours, it disappears off the board.
Spies always win if they attack but loose if attacked. So keep
your spies, they are useful later in the game.
Despite that it is just an overhead view of a game board, the
graphics are quite appealing. More precisely the animations
are more appealing. Each unit has a different walk and a
different attack. The units look more like cartoon characters
than soldiers, but none the less they are beautifully drawn and
rendered. The downside to these visually appealing
animations, all throughout the game, is the steep
requirements. I had a hard time putting up with the slow
speed of the game on my P200. The backgrounds offer a
change from the board I used to play on. They have a 3d
appeal to them and, via a small control panel on the sidebar,
one can rotate around the board to look at all available units.
Not only is Hasbro making these old games visually appealing
they are also trying to add sound appeal as well. This does not
fair as well as the graphics portion. During a turn based game
there is a lot of dead time between moves, because obviously
a game like Stratego involves strategy. This is where every
turn-based game falls short. All chess games, and now these
newly converted board games, fall into this trap. The dreaded
"hum of silence". When I play a game I want to be drawn into
the game. In a FPS it pays to have a quiet room here and
there to heighten the tension but when sitting in front of a
game board, full of pieces of virtual plastic, dead silence is
terrible. In a game where I hear the low fizzle of my speaker
system, I get anxious for the next sound to appear. However in
Stratego I am only greeted with the sound of wind and the
occasional clash of swords. This is not a game to turn your
stereo to the top notch on.
Simple and easy, just the way gamers want it. Its not hard to
count and if you can do that then you have the rules down for
this game. Even the people that can't do that can still play this
game. The higher the unit value, the less you have of them but
the more powerful they are. The game is all about strategy.
Some may find this dull and boring and opt for the
real-time-strategy genre, but pure war game experts and
strategists will love the intricate planning of a chess-like battle.
If you could play the original then you should have no
problem with playing this PC version of the game.
I will not say this is a fun game or not. It's all a matter of
opinion. This game definitely limits the target audience in the
fact that it actually makes the user think a little as opposed to
just shooting everything in site. I never once saw this game
sold out at the local Wal-Mart, and I doubt I will see this game
sell out at he local EB. Pure strategy-based board games were
a dime a dozen and that has translated itself into a small
following. These small few will love Hasbro, the rest will
simply let this game pass itself to the bargain bin.
This is where the game gets fun. Of course you can always
beat the computer, but where's the fun in that? After all, you
must beat your friends to show your superior mind. The good
part is you can use the Internet to beat your friends across the
ocean in this classic game. I can't ever remember playing a
long distance board game before this.
Because of its turn-based strategy style the audience for this
game will be sadly limited to only a few. It's not the best game
on the market but it's certainly not the worst. This game tries
to bring back what board games used to do back in the day:
bring together people. I can't once remember playing a game
by myself. Unless of course you're in dire need of a confidence
boost I do recommend getting a friend and trying this game