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Game Over Online ~ Stratego

GameOver Game Reviews - Stratego (c) Hasbro Interactive, Reviewed by - Hades

Game & Publisher Stratego (c) Hasbro Interactive
System Requirements P100 16mb RAM
Overall Rating 75%
Date Published Sunday, November 15th, 1998 at 03:15 PM


Divider Left By: Hades Divider Right

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.

Graphics:
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.

Sound:
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.

Gameplay:
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.

Fun Factor:
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.

Multiplayer:
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.

Overall Impression:
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 out.


 

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Rating
75%
 

 

 
 

 

 

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