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Slitherine?s turn-based strategy game Spartan is aimed at gamers who enjoy both the strategic planning of
Civilization as well as the real-time battles of Age of Empires and similar games. Both of these elements are combined in an attractive and quite smooth game environment with a Greek history theme.
Installation and Documentation
Installation presented no problems and was quickly completed. A separate program is provided on the single CD for the multiplayer online system and this too worked smoothly. The game offers the option to install
GameSpy Arcade, which allows players to quickly find other gamers online.
The game box also contained quite a nice little 64 page CD-sized booklet which seemed to contain everything the player might need to know to play the game. I was pleased to note that, unlike the main game interface, it appeared to be free of spelling and grammatical errors. There was also a double-sided poster of approximately double A4 size that outlined both the various building icons and also the technology procession ladders. These will be familiar to many players and the information is also repeated in the extensive although slightly unwieldy onscreen help support.
An introductory scenario - must dominate all Lesbians!
The main screen of the game and a hairy guy with attitude.
Sound and Vision
The game is pleasant to look at without being ground-breaking. The initial movie can be skipped easily enough and the music, which is mostly of the slightly ominous or pre-crescendo strings familiar from biblical epics, and can be turned down easily enough. I know that some gamers actively enjoy seeking out the music and sound effects accompanying games but I am not one of them. Unless there is a real advantage to hearing the sounds, I prefer to have them turned off and listen to something else instead. Having said that, I did rather enjoy some of the incidental sound effects here, with troops providing little comments in Greek as ordered about the map and shouting throatily when ordered into the attack. However, listening to the effects does not seem to be directly correlated to winning the game and so they can be muted if preferred.
The start of the battle: units are ready for deployment.