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Review: Evil Genius

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the doomsday-laser-built-for-peaceful-purposes dept.

Real Time Strategy (Games) 197

The drive to be an evil genius is an easily understandable one. Riches, power, eventual fame, and plenty of minions to order around are just some of the perks of the vocation. Vivendi's Evil Genius (flash required) gives you the opportunity to exercise your lust for worldly power in a seriously stylish way. A rich musical score, tons of polish, and enough dastardly deeds to keep even Dr. Claw happy are the game's high points. An overabundance of micromanagement and a lack of proper GUI interaction marrs what have could been a classic in the strategy genre. Read on for a more in-depth examination of the first real-time strategy game whose tag line could have been "Mwahahahahahahahaha!"

  • Title: Evil Genius
  • Developer: Elixir Studios
  • Publisher: Vivendi Universal
  • Reviewer: Zonk
  • Score: 6/10
The concept of Evil Genius is simple: You're an arch-villain just starting out in your quest for world power after a stint in the slammer. When you start the game you have some spending cash, a couple of mooks, and a henchman. You can choose to control one of three archetypal archvillains. Your options include a Fu Manchu Asian spymaster, a Cruella DeVille-esque dame of disaster, and a Dr. Evil inspired shorty. Each of them has slightly different effects on their minions, but in playing with each of them the difference didn't seem to be drastic. The game follows your journey from obscurity to world-girding superiority. The way to accomplish the goal of ruling the world is to follow the stereotype of villains the world over: Build a Secret Lair. From your den of evil you can send out minions to rob the world blind and perpetuate acts of infamy. As you gain notoriety the world governments become hip to your plans and begin to send agents to stop you. Much of the game's action is an interplay between the base building experience and a risk-like board where you move your minions across the world. The endgame comes when you complete all the goals the game has set for you over a series of chapters, and you gain Real Ultimate Power(tm).

When loading up Evil Genius for the first time, you'll note that Elixir Studios has learned from past mistakes. The game features a very well crafted tutorial that gets you moving pretty quickly. At important moments the action pauses and full motion video clips of in-game actions are played to illustrate a point. Every basic act in the game, from minion creation to trap setup, is covered by the tutorial movies. While this helps a great deal to understand the basic concepts of the game, the tutorial and glossary quickly outlive their usefulness. The building blocks of the game are explained in detail (almost to the point of annoyance), but where more advanced help would be useful you're left on your own.

* The initial experience of Evil Genius will be familiar to anyone who has played Peter Molyneaux's Dungeon Keeper. You utilize a tool to select an area of earth to be excavated. Construction worker minions do the demolitions and then put up finishing touches on a new room. Rooms and corridors make up your hidden base, and each room has a specific purpose. The first room you gain the ability to build is the barracks, which allows you to house and clothe your workers. The more barracks space you have, the more lockers you'll be able to have, and the more minions you can support. A training room with different furniture pieces allows you to transform your construction workers into more specialized forms. A combat dummy trains your construction worker to be a Guard, a lab set up will net you a technician, and a schooldesk will let your humble men be schooled in the ways of social manipulation as a valet. Other room types include a secure vault to house your loot, a security room where minions can monitor your base and interrogate captured snoops, and an opulent office complete with lavish conference table that allows you to host really evil meetings with other supervillains.

Minions are obtained through a simple requisition interface. You just adjust the number of minions you'd like to have, and at a certain cost over a length of time new minions show up on your deserted island. You have a cap on the number of minions you can control that depends on the number of lockers you have in barracks, similar to farms or supply depots from other RTS games. One nice touch that deviates from the norm is that in order to train a construction worker (the base minion) as another minion type, you must already have control over a minion of that type. The existing minion coaches the next unit in the ways of his trade. Minion types build on one another, so you can have a single minion that advances from a simple worker drone, to a suave valet, to a rich swinging playboy over the course of your game. To obtain additional minion types you must embark on raids into the wider world, kidnapping away a representative of the trade to instruct your workers.

These excursions begin relatively early in the game with simple kidnapping operations, but over time the focus of the game begins to move more and more onto the world stage. Minions are sent out from your island to the nations of the world, and the different minion types have varying effects on their host countries, depending on what you ask of them. Each nation has a simple mode set button. "Steal" will have your minions pulling down cash for you, while "Plot" will have your minions figuring out ways to cause mischief. Strongarm minions like guards and mercs net you more cash, while brainy minions like technicians and scientists are better schemers.

* The interplay between minions on the world board and the activity in your base is maintained by a specific type of room: the Control Room. In this room there are control panels which must be staffed by minions at your base. Each area of the world requires a certain number of control panels to be staffed in order to get good intel on the area. Staffing these panels as reliably as possible is a constant battle, because workers are very dumb. There is a punch clock system that allows you to dictate how heavily the room must be staffed, but more often than not I ended up with a control room half filled with dazed, sleep starved minions.

One of the types of intel that the control panels collect is how much "heat" you have in any given part of the world. Any activity in a region will raise the heat level, indicating how visible you are to the forces of justice. The higher the heat, the more likely the forces of justice will come looking for you. This is expressed both on the island through snoopy spies and on the world map with tokens indicating agents actively looking for your minions in their home regions. Eventually the small groups of flunkie agents will be replaced by swat teams, military forces, and finally super-spies who require a base full of minions to take down.

This is the point where the game begins to break down. The strategy elements of the island map are easy to follow, and have easy to understand components like troop training, base building, and trap creation. The hard part comes when you have to keep an eye on your base and at the same time watch a flat, almost 2d world map where your minions are causing trouble. The real goals of the game are accomplished on this map in the form of Acts of Infamy. Plotting minions in a region suss out new acts to be performed, which appear on the world map as little flags. Each Act has minion requirements (4 Workers and a Valet, for example), and a timer. You complete the Act by hitting the Go button, sitting back and hoping. There's no interaction or player skill involved, other than a balance of how much heat you already have in the region vs. how many minions you have on site. The Acts usually take quite a while to perform, though this can be alleviated by bringing along more Technicians. Upon completion, you hear a radio or television broadcast giving backstory to what you've just accomplished.

* When they're not participating in Acts of Infamy minions on the world map are constantly at risk from agents. Your role becomes that of a nervous clockwatcher as you zip back and forth every minute or so between the island and the world map. If you don't adopt this habit expect to lose a lot of minions. Notification of the presence of agents is extremely subtle, amounting to the map icon lighting up. Even this indicator is predicated on the Control Room being staffed properly. If you are communications impaired you can return to the world map after a few minutes of base building to find your forces abroad have been decimated. It's incredibly frustrating and very confusing when you first encounter the phenomenon, because the tutorial doesn't give you a good handle on what exactly you're doing wrong.

The half finished thought that is the tutorial system is a constant problem, and an earmark of what is wrong with this game. There just wasn't enough clarity put into the presentation of the game. The gameplay is there (in the form of base building and world map management) and the polish is there (in the form of a rich score and nice graphics), but all of the interfaces could use some clarity. Things will happen in the game, like minions deserting your evil empire, and you're not given nearly enough direction regarding how to resolve the issue. It took me a good fifteen minutes of digging to find out how to raise a minion's loyalty. Even then, the way to go about it (demonstrating your evilness to the minions via torture and loot) is cumbersome and difficult to go about on regular basis.

In the end the intriguing potential of this game is put to waste by the cumbersome interface and unclear goals. The gorgeous graphics of the island map and base building portions of the game are squandered, because most of the action in the game happens on a boring 2D world map. Much of this 2D time is spent waiting while your minions invisibly complete tasks, making your role supervisory in nature and kinda boring.

If the Dungeon Keeper style of game is gaming perfection for you and you don't mind sitting around a lot while the game plays for you, this will be your perfect game. Otherwise, I can't recommend this game for anyone other than a hardcore strategy gamer or a troubled youth with a Dr. Evil complex.

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I just dropped in.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10738889)

to see what condition my condition was in

Re:I just dropped in.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10738932)

Here's an update: shitty!!!

That was fast (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10738891)

Never would of thought a book about Bush could come out so soon after his reelection.


Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10738916)

Well the elections are over (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10738910)

We all know who the evil genius who will rule the US for the next 4 years is.

Actually, I guess he's not exactly a genius.

Re:Well the elections are over (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10738951)

whatever. go back underneath the rock you crawled out of.

Re:Well the elections are over (2, Funny)

bastardadmin (660086) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739478)

Who? Cheney?

Re:Well the elections are over (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10739504)

What? I thought Kerry lost...

How evil are you? (4, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 9 years ago | (#10738911)

Well I must be getting more evil. I used to just enslave captured populations in Rome Total War, now I almost always exterminate them cos I like the sound effects.

Re:How evil are you? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10738970)

Wasn't that the reason most of us played Lemmings? I used to make a sport out of eliminating as much ground as possible, and getting as many Lemmings as possible to explode on-screen.

Re:How evil are you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10739250)

What's more interesting: Slash supports inline graphics... *drool*

Re:How evil are you? (5, Funny)

brocktune (512373) | more than 9 years ago | (#10738999)

I voted for Bush.

Just as evil, but all I needed was a Diebold machine and a couple hours to kill.

Re:How evil are you? (4, Funny)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739442)

I altered the vote for Bush, to make sure that he only won by a slim margin.

Even more evil, because it keeps the democrats with a slim, yet desperate hope for DAYS before ruthlessly crushing it...

Re:How evil are you? (3, Funny)

arcanumas (646807) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739008)

Ahh, yes. Electronic murders are always fun, though i prefer my own killing machines.

For example:

class population:
def __init__(self,size=None):
self.size = size # size of population

def kill(self,howMany=None):
self.size -= howMany
print "You just killed " , size ," people"

earth = population(6000000000)


Re:How evil are you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10739035)

Yes, i know about the mistake. Please don't mention it :)

Re:How evil are you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10739069)

def kill(self,howMany=None):

I'm just delighted to see people making jokes in Python. It warms my heart.

Re:How evil are you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10739344)

class population:
def __init__(self,size=None):
self.size = size # size of population

def kill(self,howMany=None):
if self.size == 0:
print "You've already killed everyone. Who's making dinner now?"
elif self.size howMany:
print "They're not that many left, you greedy bastard."
print "You killed the last ", self.size, " people."
self.size = 0
self.size -= howMany
print "You just killed " , howMany ," people"

earth = population(6000000000)


Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10739037)

He will drink your cum!

Original Title for this Game (-1, Troll)

alienspanke (828386) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739057)

Actually the original idea for this game was losely based or modeled after the Bush Administration and the first non-working title was "Evil Penis".

Consuming your evil urges (2, Insightful)

vlad_petric (94134) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739233)

IANAP (P=psychiatrist, psychologist), but here's my theory: games are very often a way for one to consume his/her domination instinct. Clearly, it's a surrogate, there's more satisfaction from dominating real people in real life, but it's still better than nothing. One way of consuming your domination instinct is just being very evil.

To conclude, I really don't think you're evil. Mr. pointy-hairy doesn't need to play computer games, he is the Satan of the office.

Re:Consuming your evil urges (2, Insightful)

el-spectre (668104) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739473)

Yup, that's why people feel happy after playing the blues, and after head-banging to aggressive metal. You let the emotions out, and you're happy :)

Nice idea... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10738921)

But poor execution.

There is only so much I can take of seeing the same torture sequences. It's a great idea, but somewhere along the lines they lost the fun appeal - it just isn't there.

I think too much micro management and work is required by the gamer to get anything out of this game. It's staying on the shelf while I head on back to Tribes Vengance. []

Re:Nice idea... (4, Funny)

Ra5pu7in (603513) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739188)

I did try the demo a while back and this article lets me know that my first impression wasn't too far off. As the AC parent mentions, being an evil genius should be fun - not a bunch of waiting and micro-managing. I'd guess that the demo was really not much more than the tutorial with limitations. It never accessed the 2D world part of the game - only the island - but it got quickly boring having to watch for and deal with every invading agent. Neither henchman would pro-actively defend the base. I had to tag every agent. Early on I was tagging them all for killing, but the body bags pile up way too fast - and there just isn't enough space available.

Perhaps it is a sign of how evil I really am that I had more fun tagging my minions for death or not buying bunks so they couldn't sleep (I had quite a few dying of "heart attacks" while training to be guards). Now that was kinda fun.

Red Alert? (4, Informative)

zipwow (1695) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739283)

In the demo, I found myself leaving the base on "Red Alert" so that the minions would be armed, and kill agents on sight. I never quite figured out what the drawback of that would be, surely there is one?


Re:Red Alert? (4, Interesting)

Ra5pu7in (603513) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739412)

Aside from listening to the noise of the alarm going on constantly and the body bags piling up, I didn't see a drawback either. It might have affected training negatively or slowed down construction work. At least the agents were never smart enough to grab the briefcases of ill-gotten loot and leave the island (speaking of which, what kind of moronic agent parachutes onto an island with no way off? I had guys wandering around all over the island one time - for what?)

Security systems (2, Informative)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739528)

In the full game, you can set up security systems and traps to defend your base automatically, taking a lot of the micromanagement out of it.

Traps: These are entirely automatic. An enemy agent triggers the trap (by stepping on a pressure tile, interrupting a laser beam, or passing a motion sensor), the trap activates, and the enemy is killed or weakened, depending on your choice of trap. However, your own minions will accidentally activate the traps if they aren't paying close enough attention - i.e. if you haven't built enough staff rooms or placed enough loot to keep them alert.

Security systems: These require you to tag enemies before they'll work, but they're much more effective. You set up a security desk, which is linked to a network of cameras and loudspeakers. (You can have separate networks for different areas of your base.) When the desk is staffed, the security system will notice any tagged enemy who enters the range of the cameras, and use the loudspeakers to alert anyone within earshot. Any minions who hear the alert will rush to the enemy's location and deal with him.

Tagging agents for the security system isn't too much work. You just have to click around the minimap every few minutes looking for red dots. If you have doors on your base, you'll get an audio alert whenever someone breaks in, in case you forgot to tag them.

Re:Nice idea... (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739313)

"There is only so much I can take of seeing the same torture sequences."

So its the games fault that you only figured out how to use one device for torture?

Re:Nice idea... (4, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739423)

> > There is only so much I can take of seeing the same torture sequences."
> So its the game's fault that you only figured out how to use one device for torture?

Yeah, talk about having the wrong attitude for this game.

The fun part of torture isn't the victim's reaction (let's be honest here, that gets pretty old after the first few hundred times), it's the feeling of... well, you know... that happy giddy evil feeling that comes over you while you're making up your diabolical little mind about which implements of destruction you want to use today.

"Hmm, bamboo splints? Naw, done that. The red-hot tongs? Feh, too middle-ages. The human-sized garlic press? Maybe, but one of my cuter minions and I had garlic bread for lunch with a lovely glass of Merlot, and why spoil the lovely aftertaste with sprayed blood and organ bits? Roll dice to see which limb to burn off with the house-sized magnifying glass? Bah, I got bored of that with ants when I was six... The box that drops rubber hammer on them, once every 10 seconds, for six hours until they get used to it, which is when you switch to a real hammer? Oh, bother... Decisions, decisions, decisions... so much evil to do, so little time..."

Great Game. Some annoyances. (5, Informative)

Chmarr (18662) | more than 9 years ago | (#10738927)

Not played it myself, but my roomie thinks its a great game. One downside, and its a very annoying one, is that you need to micromanage, and there's no way of setting up 'macros' to respond to condition changes in the game. Ie, you're in for a LOT Of button clicking.

I had the same issue with Transport Tycoon all those years ago. Fantastic Game, great cheezy jazz music... the one really annoying downside is that you need to MANUALLY return your vehicles to depot and replace them when they get old and tired. Lots of clicking, especially if you play well beyond the intended length in the game :)

Re:Great Game. Some annoyances. (4, Informative)

Vaevictis666 (680137) | more than 9 years ago | (#10738988)

Transport Tycoon Deluxe has some "extra" patches and stuff available, and as far as I'm aware OpenTTD [] improves upon them, that help automate a lot of stuff.

Re:Great Game. Some annoyances. (1)

Chmarr (18662) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739107)

Ooo... ooo... you're getting me all keen again :)

But... it means I have to go back to using windows. Bleah :)

Re:Great Game. Some annoyances. (1)

Chmarr (18662) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739123)

Gah... I stand corrected, There ARE OS/X binaries available, I just need the Windows datafiles. (WHich i don't have... I had the DOS version)

Re:Great Game. Some annoyances. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10739162)

They're reasonably easy to find in... er... "shareware" depots (cough*P2P*cough). Look for "WinTTD", "TTDWin" or just "Transport Tycoon Windows". Also, there's Chris' new game, Locomotion.

Re:Great Game. Some annoyances. (1)

Vaevictis666 (680137) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739399)

Don't look for WinTTD, or TTDWin - look for TTDX or Transport Tycoon Deluxe (minor updates and such).

Re:Great Game. Some annoyances. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10739310)

Here ya go, this Transport Tycoon Deluxe Patch has both DOS & Windows EXE, you need to have Transport Tycoon Deluxe

Its makes an old classic like new, and its better than locomotion too. Either Chris Sawyer or his publisher took to much out of Locomotion.

Re:Great Game. Some annoyances. (2, Funny)

bkhl (189311) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739319)

Yeah, well, micro management is evil, after all. But genius..?

Re:Great Game. Some annoyances. (1)

Shadarr (11622) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739527)

The game has style coming out the nethers, but there are a fair number of annoyances which I've expounded upon bloggishly here [] and here [] .

My main complaint is that the game is fundamentally a management sim, like Majesty or Tropico, but doesn't have enough for you to manage so it fills the gap some RTS-style micromanagement that feels largely unnecessary. Why do I have to manually tag everyone who comes to my island rather than setting rules? Why do I have to check the world map every minute or two to make sure my guys aren't going to get killed? The only answer I've been able to come up with is "Because otherwise there would be nothing for you to do."

It's a shame they couldn't come up with something more interesting, because at some point the novelty is going to wear off and the game will get shelved, permanently.

super marr-io (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10738933)

An overabundance of words and a lack of proper spelling marrs what could have been a decent slashdot article.

Let's just stop this right here (0, Offtopic)

I Like Pudding (323363) | more than 9 years ago | (#10738937)

In Soviet Russia, article topic verbs YOU!

I'm going to go shower now.

The thing about Evil Genius... (2, Interesting)

Nuskrad (740518) | more than 9 years ago | (#10738946)

Is that it's too bloody hard. I end up with no minions because I'm so evil I kill them all myself :( But anyway, Evil Genius is a great game, and although the genre isn't exactly original, the concept and to some extent the gameplay is. It's also incredibly fun, especially if you like tounge-in-cheek humor, and cartoonish style effects. 87%, well worth a purchase IMHO!

Re:The thing about Evil Genius... (4, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739089)

> I end up with no minions because I'm so evil I kill them all myself :(

That's because you weren't playing Evil Genius, you were playing Sims 2!

My Opinion (4, Interesting)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 9 years ago | (#10738962)

When first playing the game, I found it extremely intuitive and easy to play, with challenges later on. There is, however, what seems like a lot of grind to get your minions, loot and complete certain objectives.

There is also a lot of random, rather bizzare glitches which should have been caught in beta but for some reason weren't (No, they weren't caused by XPSP2). I'm hoping a patch (soon) fixes these and tweaks some balance.

Real Ultimate Power? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10738984)

Arch-villians are cool, and by cool, I mean totally sweet [] .

So what are we going to do tonight Brain? (4, Insightful)

lrwx (800141) | more than 9 years ago | (#10738986)

Try to take over the world! I'm planning on buying this game when it comes out, main reason is lately I've been tired of always saving the world in a one man against all battle for good. I think the idea of being the villian is great idea once in awhile. I also plan on playing City of Villians as well. It's not like I want to be a bad guy, but killing demon hordes to protect the masses or foiling the dastardly bad guys who are always trying to take over the world has kind of got played out. I think this is a game that I would enjoy to play as much as I enjoy Fable where I can choose to be good or evil. Either way I think this will be a great game to play. Thanks for the review.

Black and White revisited (4, Insightful)

js3 (319268) | more than 9 years ago | (#10738989)

Just like black and white once you get on the second island it just becomes a game of repetitive tasks.

Re:Black and White revisited (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739358)

But the second island has monkeys!

Re:Black and White revisited (1)

Shadarr (11622) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739568)

Has anyone figured out how to capture a monkey before it can climb a tree? Those cheeky bastards piss me off.

What? No Harem O' Hos?!? (4, Funny)

Donoho (788900) | more than 9 years ago | (#10738994)

What kind of Evil Genius can survive without a Harem O' Hos?!? Where's he suposed to get his inspiration for World Domination? Automatic -5 to whatever rating it's given. Even GTA knew the importance of hos...

Re:What? No Harem O' Hos?!? (1)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739104)

Since the first thing they'd do is fall in love with the agents and plot against you I can understand the decision to leave them out.

Re:What? No Harem O' Hos?!? (4, Interesting)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739109)

Exactly. Where are the hedonistic rewards? Like "Kidnap an american actress and try to make her fall in love with you" and other evil cliches. Sadly, I'm sure these games would have a more 'adult' sense of humor if it wasnt for the game ratings and Walmart censors. A game like this should really be anti-political correctness, it would add a lot, and frankly it needs it. I played the demo and thanked myself for doing so instead of just buying it because it looked funny.

there is, sort of.... (1)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739138)

Your evil genius get a "bodyguard" of the other sex after reaching a certain notority. Of course this "bodyguard" cannot fight but looks suspiciously, lets say unbodyguardly...

Re:there is, sort of.... (1)

Dark Nexus (172808) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739486)

Erm... the body guard CAN fight, and you get a second bodyguard at another, higher level of notoriety.

And you can be Bill Gates, too! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10739001)

Go-go Gadget Service Pack??

Micromanagement. (4, Funny)

Spudley (171066) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739006)

An overabundance of micromanagement and a lack of proper GUI interaction marrs what have could been a classic...

What's wrong with a bit of excess micromanagement? I thought that was a hallmark of a true evil genius?

Does the phrase "I'll deal with him personally!" ring any bells? (spoken in a suitably sinister voice, of course)

Re:Micromanagement. (3, Funny)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739415)

More truth than you know..
Good organizations are founded on uplifting and positive interaction.. a good orginization can carry on with a key component (read, individual) missing or temporarily disabled,

and an evil company falls apart when a supervisor or figurehead is taken out, because everone at Evil org has been jealously guarding their patch of turf....

at the facility I work, I maintain a 3 ring notebook with maybe 20 loose pages of the werid technical things I am always doing top of my head, if I worked at a place where I felt the need to protect my very existance I wouldn't have done that

My Questions... (1)

Tsali (594389) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739027)

1. Why couldn't they make the control room more realistic, looking like Starbucks?

2. You always need an evil helper, be it a test-tube son or some midget.

3. If you want to do it, download a demo of "The Political Machine" and pick your favorite side. That works for me.

Score (5, Insightful)

Zevets (728720) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739040)

I think you gave it too low of a score. The game is really fun, but I think that once you go on the mod sites, you realize how much potential the game has. Frustrating bugs, too much tagging, and the death of minions is too easy. The game has the evil feeling down, and that is worth of a higher score, something like 8.0/10

The game really shines in its presentation. The little radio segments after the AOIs are priceless, and some of the ideas are just plain funny. The art style is great, and the music is kick ass! Too bad the theme music doesn't play during the game.

I think this game has a lot of potential, but it really needs some concepts added, like bases run on dummy corporations(the hotel building does not cut it), interactive AOIs, ability to buy off politicians, and other dastardly things. I would also like a true story line that really has some depth. I think having your son come onto the base and plead with you to stop would be priceless. The characters are a little flat, but a little bit of story could really push this game into the stellar category.

Re:Score (1)

js3 (319268) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739179)

I agree. It is hardly a bad game, infact is is quite enjoyable for a couple of days. If you reach a point where you don't enjoy playing it anymore STOP!

6/10 score looks like a grudge score.

Re:Score (2, Interesting)

arkanes (521690) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739334)

6/10 only looks bad to you because you're used to gamer mags that would give "Triple Insane Paintball Command Quake Engine XXX Extreme" a 7.5. 6/10 is an "eh, it's okay for a while" score, which sounds like exactly what it deserves (and matches my rating after the demo).


MooseByte (751829) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739512)

"6/10 only looks bad to you because you're used to gamer mags that would give "Triple Insane Paintball Command Quake Engine XXX Extreme" a 7.5."

Come on! Triple Insane Paintball Command Quake Engine XXX Extreme RULEZ! Did you know there's a code for making their bikini tops disappear? And then they're all like, topless and stuff. With like their hooties showing? OMFG! HOOTIES!

- Lead Developer, Acclaim

Re:Score (1)

dedave (609713) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739436)

I disagree. I think 6/10 is a perfectly valid score. I had fun playing it for a while, then ran into all the issues that he mentioned in the review. The game is a 6. (Maybe a 7, but that's pushing it)

The original Dungeon Keeper was an 8. Now that's a pretty good game! Still not a 10, though. It was really fun, but interface quibbles kept it from that.

Your Guide To Becoming An Evil Genius (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10739056)

Captain Electro [] , my favourite evil genius, has a twelve step guide to becoming a world-dominating success story. Hopefully, his wisdom and experience can help you, an aspiring minion, take over the world.

Was anyone surprised... (5, Funny)

Indy Media Watch (823624) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739079)

...That Evil couldn't run on Macintosh?

Re:Was anyone surprised... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10739141)

Only Microsoft is evil enough :)

Re:Was anyone surprised... (1)

DongleFondle (655040) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739305)

That was goddamn funny. Mod's are apparently feeling rather . . . evil? . . . tonight.

Re:Was anyone surprised... (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739437)

> Was anyone surprised...
> ...That Evil couldn't run on Macintosh?

"It's not easy being Evil, but Evil's what I be! (Choke on it!)"
- Zorak, Space Ghost

If anyone remembers... (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739080)

Dungeon Keeper 1 and/or 2, could you possibly post a comparison of these games together. I have the two older games which work on the same premises. I'd like to know if buying Evil Genius is just going to make me feel like playing a third iteration of DK.
Or is Evil Genius different enough to warrent as a different game.
I know they are both Real Time Strategy games, but do they differ like Command and Conquer and Warcraft did?

Re:If anyone remembers... (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739110)

Oops, I didn't read the article I did a search and the case-sensitive was on when I searched for 'keeper'. I'd still like to see a review or two by other people.

Re:If anyone remembers... (1)

Jainith (153344) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739311)

Its alot like the DK serise in how you build your base and have minions. And its alot of fun in this way...However the fact that you have to tag every enemy manually is a real pain in the ass...especially when your base gets really fricking huge. Oh also be warry of keeping the HUGE russian henchman at home...since he like to use his rocket launcher to light your whole damn base on fire. Its a good game...but I wouldnt spend the money on it...$5 for dk 2 is a sweet deal...and its more fun anyway.

Its not really rts in the way that C&C or warcraft is at all...thats a totally different genera.

Their FAQ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10739082)

Sounds like Black and White (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10739086)

Only note quite as much fun (if that's possible).

My Online Name. (1)

coopaq (601975) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739092)

I'm using George W. Bush as my username so nobody better fscking copy me!!!

That includes you, Dick.

Ya (1)

pmc255 (828453) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739105)

Looks like the game is doing pretty well in terms of ranking and reviews over here []

Why are all the evil henchmen black? (3, Insightful)

Groucho (1038) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739142)

Look at the cast page in the Flash. All the evil henchmen are black - even the Russian one.

Re:Why are all the evil henchmen black? (2, Funny)

Chmarr (18662) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739177)

They're not black.... they're just not very bright. ;)

Dungeon Keeper (3, Informative)

DeepHurtn! (773713) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739175)

Read on for a more in-depth examination of the first real-time strategy game whose tag line could have been "Mwahahahahahahahaha!

What about Dungeon Keeper?

Re:Dungeon Keeper (1)

Feanturi (99866) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739275)

RTFA to see it mentioned, more than once.

Re:Dungeon Keeper (1)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739544)

RTFA to see it mentioned, more than once.
Which just makes it even more bizzare that the author considers Evil Genius (rather than Dungeon Keeper) the "first real-time strategy game whose tag line could have been "Mwahahahahahahahaha!".

Does it have... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10739218)

Sharks with frikkin lasers??

This seems wrong to me (2, Funny)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739232)

In real life evil geniuses are people like Adolf Hitler and Osama Bin Laden. In fact, both of these people were on quests to create the perfect doomsday weapon. This game will cause a generation of kids to grow up with similar ambitions. I'm going to stick with Vice City where the violence is on a much smaller scale and hence far less morally reprehensible.

Re:This seems wrong to me (1)

PedanticSpellingTrol (746300) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739322)

I dunno... video game geeks don't seem like they'd have the social and leadership skills for empire-building

Demo Question (1)

DongleFondle (655040) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739276)

For someone new to this style of gameplay, does anyone know what the specific limitations are on the demo download? I'm just curious if this will give me an idea if this is the type of game that I might enjoy. Also, do you have any suggestions for game's of this genre that might be a better place to start for a newb? Thanks much.

Re:Demo Question (1)

kcbaltz (180406) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739397)

I played the demo, and it's good, but you have to realize it differs in a number of significant ways from the final product. Read the following FAQ. It's written by the developers and it explains why things in the demo don't work as well because they had to artificially cause certain events to happen.

Evil Genius Demo FAQ []

More twits writing here ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10739291)

"The drive to be an evil genius is an easily understandable one."

Is it?
Unless you are an evil genius, how do you understand what the drive is to be one ?
Studied the subject for 30 years have you ?

Please STOP writing rubbish.

Re:More twits writing here ... (3, Funny)

DongleFondle (655040) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739343)

Apparently as someone who has spent most of their natural lives working to become and evil genius you're offended by this poster's reckless disregard for the contemplative art of becomming a true evil genius. Makes me think of . . .

"That Dr. Evil. I didn't spend four years in evil medical school to be called Mr., thank you very much.".

More anons posting nitpicking bullshit here . . .

6/10 ?! - it's a piece of shit game (1)

greymond (539980) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739316)

It's buggy as all get go, the graphics are horrible, there are tons better strategy games out on the market right now. Why on earth would anyone even bother with this game? Because of it's title.

Do yourself a favor and forget about it. If you really are curious warez it or wait a couple months for it to drop into the bargain bins of your local store. It's not worth your money or your time.

Re:6/10 ?! - it's a piece of shit game (2, Insightful)

perky (106880) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739552)

it's a piece of shit game

Because of it's title.

Huuuuge download (1)

Large Bogon Collider (815523) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739335)

I haven't played games in a while, but the requirements for CPU/hardware get stiffer and the download size is ballooning as time passes. 199MB?

I bought the game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10739347)

wish I could return it.

Buggy (1)

PktLoss (647983) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739370)

My favourite 'feature' is being able to progress in the game without acquiring all possible items. Items that will not be available later in the game, but are required for its completion.

Pretty much in agreement (3, Informative)

Derekloffin (741455) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739380)

It had a strong concept, a good start up, but got the potential got squandered in the final execution.

It's quite humorous and the tag system had potential as a fairly effective way of controlling things without having to worry about the nity-grity of "you there, minion, go here, confuse this investigator". Sadly, minions still act far too stupidly to the tags, like 5 valets going to confuse 1 guy, and even when they do confuse them, they often just leave them standing around in your base to just recover. Henchmen are nice, but their nasty nack of running into super agents and getting killed without you being any the wiser is really annoying. Lastly, the build system needed some little tweaks here and there to removed frustration (like, if I want to move an object, it should be removed from the collision detection with itself, rooms should be easily expandable or changed to a different type, outdoor structures should be demolishable).

I seriously agree on the disappointing world scheming interface. It's really dull to sit there watching a dark green circle turn slowly bright green to indicate your progress and not much else. Most often, even when you succeed, you get the same generic news clip that you got for pretty much all the other infamy acts in that region which although humorous the first time, quickly loses it's impact.

Overall, not a game I'd recommend buying.

Could have been the next Dungeon Keeper... (1)

SnowCrashed (778322) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739393)

I was really hoping that this game would live up to the awesomeness that was Dungeon Keeper 1 & 2. However, the game is just flat out boring. Yeah, it's cool to build a lair, but there is no real individuality, as it all boils down to buying the most expensive things... Same with the games other concepts. If it were more open ended it might have been cool, and if there was more actual user interaction needed, but as is it's not up to snuff.

Evil Genius vs. DK2 + an revivew of the former (1)

Reaper9889 (602058) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739429)

I've been playing this game for awhile. Its close and its not close to Dungeon Keeper II.

The idea is proberly about the same. You are supposed to take over the world. But the traps system is so different ly from DK2, that I wouldnt really be able to compare them. In Evil genius you chose which sensors (and what sensors (thouch pad, laser or movement sensors are the ones on top of my mind)) activate what trap, so you can make hole strings of traps (and you get some money based on how many traps an agent moves through in an short time) (if you get evil genius, try to make an cirkel of blow traps and watch the agents fly around the rest of their stupid lives).

the way you get money is also alot differently from DK2. You get money by robbing hole countries and not by getting some imps to cut out some gold for you.

Now we get to the part about getting more infamous (not really in DK2 -except if you count the completion of missions). you send out ppl that are suppose to eg. steal an artifact (eg. the space suit (for how can you take over the universe if your minons just die all the time?)) and by duing that ppl start to make way for you and you can hire more henchmens (the bad part is that enemy super heros start to appear - and they are annoying and nearly imposible to kill). The coolest thing about this system is the small radio transmissions afterwards about what happend. Some of the missions are plain stupid tho. Who have ever heard about an evil genius that DESTROYED an diamond mine (WITH DIAMONDS IN!)

The minons. They are different from DK2's by being specialesed (eg. quantum physics aint that good in the front line but very good at finding new things to research into and snipers are very good at picking peasky agents off at an distance)

The worst thing about this game is its lack of multiplayer (you can nearly hear it scream "play me in multiplayer") but no no multiplayer.

I think its worth about an 8 for overall and about 9,5 if you aint into multiplayer.

addiction grade (1)

Rage Maxis (24353) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739452)

this game is a real addiction to me, and now I am pretty much done but it feels kind of like ... oh. ok, that ending sucked. Just like freespace.

I liked dungeon keeper(s) and this is MUCH more polished. Just the number of bodymapped actions each character can do, and the little tiny jokes you only see zoomed right in.

The interface is ok, just a couple of major annoyances. I didn't have any problem jumping right into the game and dealing with complex shit without the tutorial.

The biggest problem is when you get totally EATEN by a huge wave attack and you are back down to like 20 men with 0 in the bank. THat can get dicey, when they are so busy collecting body bags they all die of loyalty ... and you can't make any cash ... and then the bond types pick off the head scratchers one by one.

If you have no idea what that meant, play it and find out.

Typo in the review ... (0, Troll)

compactable (714182) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739468)


the first real-time strategy game whose tag line could have been "Mwahahahahahahahaha!"

in fact read

the first real-time strategy game whose tag line could have been "four more years!"

Micromanagement (1)

bastardadmin (660086) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739492)

No, this is not a bug... It enhances the evil.

I'm just curious... (2, Insightful)

guyjr (180613) | more than 9 years ago | (#10739514)

Why does /. bother with anything related to games? I mean, there are PLENTY of much more detailed sites containing everything you could possibly want to know about any game released in the last 10 or so years... why bother with these reviews? There's no way that the same level of depth or even breadth could be applied here... To me it seems like a lack of focus.

Or perhaps I'm just an old fogey. (ugh, 30 years old!)

Re:I'm just curious... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10739565)


"Bitch bitch. Bitch bitch bitch. Bitch? Bitch bitch BITCH bitch bitch. Bitch. Bitch bitch."

Got it wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10739545)

A rich musical score, tons of polish, and enough dastardly deeds to keep even Dr. Claw happy are the game's high points.

Dr. Claw??? Don't you mean the CRAW. Not the Craw, the Craw!!

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